Being cruise export-ready means aligning existing or developing new tourism experiences to the needs of each cruise brand. The following will need to be considered when developing or adjusting a tourism experience for the cruise market.
Review customer demographics of each cruise brand
How does your tourism experience enhance the image of the cruise line and meet the needs of the customer demographics of each cruise brand that operates in your area? The larger the vessel the more likely you will experience a wide range of customer segments that may be interested in your product. Review the cruise brands and cruise lines operating in Canada.
Review the cruise itineraries
Determine what unique experiences or shore excursions can be offered. Examine how much time the cruise ship is likely to be in your port on a typical voyage and design your tourism product with that consideration in mind.
Review the competing ports-of-call
How can you make your shore excursion different than what was offered in the previous port-of-call / community? If your tourism product is similar to what else is being offered at previous ports-of-call, consider partnering with another tour operator in your community to combine the experiences which will create an overall different tourism product. A tour product that offers a combination of experiences may be all that is required to create a totally unique shore excursion.
Accommodate varying passenger numbers
To work successfully with the cruise lines, your tourism experience needs to be able to accommodate the passenger demands from both large ships and smaller vessels and within the time frame the cruise ship is in port. Explore ports and average time spent offshore.
Useful Hint for New Experiences / Products
Developing any new experiences or products for the cruise market may be the catalyst you need to get your tourism venture up and running. However, the cruise market should not be considered as your only target market. Cruising is seasonal and in many regions traffic is not regular. Seeing the cruise industry as one target market while developing others such as the touring market (fully independent travellers, groups, RV, etc.) will ensure that your company operates successfully. Running a tourism venture needs patience as it could take up to five years to have a profitable operation.