Costa Rica has long been a popular tourist destination, but it suffered from misconceptions about its location and offerings. The Costa Rica Tourism Board wanted to break into another part of the travel community and garner brand awareness through press coverage and continued media relations. We were asked to bring a new experience to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. We partnered with WanderLuxxe, a luxury membership concierge service, to bring Costa Rica’s vision to life.
Sundance attendees experienced a taste of Costa Rica’s “pura vida,” meaning “full of life,” at the WanderLuxxe Filmmaker Lounge on Main Street. The lounge, presented by the Costa Rica Tourism Board, also hosted an array of performances, events and filmmaker panels, including discussions about diversity, women in entertainment and industry leaders. Tichina Arnold hosted a fireside chat at the lounge. Among the films that premiered were “Love, Antosha,” a documentary tribute to Anton Yelchin, and “Clemency” by director and screenwriter Chinonye Chukwu.
Festivalgoers enjoyed a respite from their festival schedules with wellness experiences throughout the weekend, including daily yoga led by Lululemon, a sauna, facials and massages, and a custom coffee bar serving authentic Costa Rican coffee, reflecting the destination’s long history of traditional and environmentally friendly coffee production.
To further highlight Costa Rican cuisine, chef Santiago Fernández Benedetto curated a VIP culinary experience for top-tier media. He began with a traditional cocktail, the agua de sapo mule, and served braised pork, potato enchiladas and wild fish caldosa. Chef Benedetto even roasted fresh cocoa beans to warm up festivalgoers with Costa Rican hot chocolate.
Representatives from more than 30 top-tier publications, including Page Six, Us Weekly, Forbes, Daily Mail and OK! magazine, attended the Costa Rica lounge, resulting in over 150 million media impressions with over $3 million in ad value.