Destination Marketing Organization, Port Authorities, Cruise Associations: industry partners not only play an integral role in promoting a destination to the cruise lines, as well as highlighting the destination’s tourism experiences available for the cruise passengers, but are an essential marketing channel used to get your tour product in front of a cruise passenger to purchase.
It is important to work with these industry partners to provide a cohesive massage to the cruise lines, but also to market jointly, which reduces costs and risks for the tourism operators.
Working with Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO)
Ensure your regional DMO or city DMO is aware of your experiences. DMOs have an interest in showcasing the best a region has to offer which also includes unique tourism experiences. DMOs have a close connection to cruise lines and can be supportive in providing you with valuable information and strategies to get your product in front of the cruise lines’ decision makers.
Many DMOs also assist with product development and know what types of experiences the cruise lines are looking for. DMOs attend tradeshows specifically to the cruise industry where they market the destination and respective experiences to the cruise lines’ decision makers. Once a product has been published, DMOs can also be instrumental in highlighting this to travel agents through sales missions or e-marketing communication.
Working with IndigenousTourism Marketing Organizations
Aboriginal Tourism BC, Quebec Aboriginal Tourism and other Indigenous tourism marketing organizations take on a role similar to that of a Destination Marketing Organization. Like ‘regular’ DMO’s, they can provide support for marketing and product development, however, they specialize in Indigenous cultural experiences. Be sure to contact your respective organization when you first develop your experience for the cruise market, and again, when your experience is ready to be marketed to the cruise lines.
Working with the Port Authority or Port Manager
In some ports-of-call, the port takes on the role to actively seek new and exciting experiences that would appeal to the cruise lines, thus making it more attractive for cruise lines to choose a particular port over another. They can also help with the development of your experience, or for developed experiences promote these to the cruise lines in time for the following season. Some ports-of-call attend tradeshows to promote the port and associated experiences and packages.
Working with Cruise Associations
Each region has a cruise association that markets the region from a cruise perspective to the cruise lines. These associations are responsible to market the region and to maximize awareness of their respective region within the cruise industry. In addition they market their cruise destination to the trade via media, marketing and trade activities. It is important that these cruise associations are aware of your experiences. For a list of Cruise Associations in Canada, click here.
Working with Parks Canada
In some regions, Parks Canada is an instrumental driver in the development of specific experiences within a National Park. They work with Indigenous organization to develop an experience geared towards the cruise market. This type of partnership is mainly taking place in the province of Québec with financial support by the provincial government. Parks Canada is also supporting the communities in Arctic Canada to maintain a sustainable cruise ship industry presence.
An example of how combined marketing efforts can turn into significant results
Pearl Seas Cruises has recently modified the Pearl Mist’s 2014 fall itinerary to include two port visits to Sept-Îles.
The addition of these two visits to the existing eight, confirmed several months ago, will make 2014 a record year for Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu (DSIN), the local cruise organization. It also means that on October 21, two cruise ships will be docked at our terminals: the Maasdam, at the Cruise Terminal, and the Pearl Mist, at the Pointe-aux-Basques Terminal.
Pearl Seas’ decision to add Sept-Îles as a cruising destination was no fluke. A delegation led by the DSIN and the Cruise the Saint Lawrence Association (CSLA) was sent to the Pearl Seas headquarters last October with this objective in mind.
Following this visit, the Pearl Seas’ directors decided to modify their cruise itineraries in the Canada-New English circuit.
The delegation was composed of a representative for the Sept-Îles port of call as well as the other members of the CSLA, representing the other eight ports of call. In so doing, the delegation was also able to promote the St. Lawrence as a cruising destination. “These missions, bolstered by actions such as promotional tours and meetings in special cruise industry-specific events, have been instrumental in bringing ships to Sept-Îles. It comes as no surprise that we hit a record year in 2014 with these 10 visits,” said Mario Sévigny, Executive Director of Destination Sept-Îles Nakauinanu.Source: Cruise Industry News – Feb 2014