CLIA view: Celebrating our wider community

JOEL Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia

Celebrating our wider community

October is Cruise Month, and for the coming weeks CLIA and its cruise line members are mounting a packed program of marketing and PR initiatives that showcase the best that cruise has to offer travellers.

We’ll also be reinforcing the benefits of booking through a CLIA-accredited travel agent, and we’ve released a new toolkit for agent members to help them mount their own marketing and social media campaigns and capitalise on heightened consumer interest.

But this year Cruise Month will also take on a new dimension that will help celebrate our wider cruise community and the many positive stories that take place within it. It’s part of our global #WeAreCruise campaign and it will help highlight the variety of benefits that cruising brings, not just to the cruise industry itself but also to millions of people in the communities we visit.

Travel agents are a key part of that wider cruise community, and we’ll be giving agents a chance to get involved and tell their own stories. This will echo the stories being told online through our #WeAreCruise videos, which allow individual people to tell their own tale — shop owners, tour operators, restaurateurs and even a Tasmanian gin distiller. All of them have a story about how they fit within the cruise economy.

Worldwide, cruising creates an economic impact worth more than US$134 billion a year, supporting employment for 1.1 million people in places around the world. These are destinations the cruise industry is heavily engaged with, both to ensure a great experience for our guests and to make sure we create a positive impact for local communities.

Increasingly, this will be a key part of CLIA’s role as we tackle the myths and misperceptions that sometimes plague our industry. One of these is that cruise ships bring little tourism benefit compared to land travel, yet the reality is that each cruise passenger spends hundreds of dollars per day while a ship is in port.

Another key area of communication is around the sustainability initiatives cruise lines are mounting to reduce their impact on the environment. Though it has grown in popularity, cruising still represents only 1% of international shipping. Yet as an industry, it has become a leader in addressing environmental challenges.

Demonstrating this leadership is our historic global cruise industry commitment to reduce the rate of carbon emissions across the world fleet by 40% by 2030.

The efforts cruise lines are making to improve practices and create a more positive impact for communities are extensive and cover a whole range of areas. So, as we celebrate Cruise Month and work to grow our sales of cruise holidays, we also hope to celebrate some of the wider benefits cruise brings in locations worldwide and our ever-growing #WeAreCruise community.

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