by Brett Jardine, commercial director CLIA Australasia 

The first week of September 2015 will see the delivery of CLIA Australasia’s fourth annual Cruise Week promotion.

Just as many associations and charities have a special day or week to raise awareness, Cruise Week is the cruise industry’s chance to shine.

At CLIA, we’re very proud to have our Member Cruise Lines pulling together to raise the profile of cruising at this special time and deliver a call to action focused on CLIA Accredited Cruise Specialist Agents.

Cruise Week is celebrated around the globe by CLIA offices and aims to deliver on two primary objectives:

1. To spread the word about cruising to a “new to cruise” audience that is yet to be convinced about the great value a cruise holiday delivers.

2. To create Cruise Week Deals which are primarily aimed at the “already committed” cruiser. For this audience, our goal in creating a buzz and generating a high level of anticipation (without eroding other ongoing campaigns) will be achieved by releasing ‘the deals’ at the last moment.

For many retail agents, deals are an important tool to hook new customers. But I believe many benefits can flow from taking a less tactical approach to Cruise Week and using it as a chance to build rapport with clients and highlight your knowledge and experience in the cruise industry. Either way, the critical ingredient for any agent is proactive participation – this means co-ordinating your own local promotions and activity in conjunction with the wider national promotion.

This year, Cruise Week will be promoted through a new interactive online magazine (e-zine) which will be supported by a dedicated marketing campaign featuring a mixture of EDMs and social media as well as banner advertisements and native advertising across popular mainstream sites.

With people spending more time online today than they do reading the newspaper, watching TV or listening to the radio, it makes good sense to take Cruise Week into the digital space. For agents the e-zine will be a fantastic way to attract prospective passengers as it will enable readers to experience life onboard a wide range of ships through content, images and video designed to immerse them in the magic of cruising.

Whilst traditional promotional activity such as film nights and window displays are still encouraged, distribution of the Cruise Week e-zine electronically via database and social media platforms will be very powerful.

Why promote Cruise Week when everyone else is doing the same? There are many clichés that capture the spirit of such an event – the best one may be “the power of one”! For us this means “one industry, one voice” so let’s all get talking about cruising and make Cruise Week the biggest week of the year.

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