Engaging consumers and driving cruise bookings
'Our inspirational marketing messaging throughout the pandemic has encouraged consumers to keep dreaming about their next vacation,' said Alicia Linden, director of marketing for Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. 'Now that people have been home for nearly six months, they want something to look forward to and are thinking about joyful distractions, such as a future vacation. To capitalize on this desire, we have continued our commitment to invest in consumer promotions and launched two exclusive campaigns this summer to drive cruise bookings.'
More than 60% of bookings new/40% with FCCs
The two weeklong promotions offered pre-paid gratuities, on-board credits and more, and were stackable on top of the promotions the cruise lines were already offering. For both promotions, more than 60% of the bookings were brand new, and the remaining 40% were from redeemed future cruise credits.
When the pandemic started, the travel agencies launched their #LetsKeepDreaming campaign, creating travel-themed fun activities such as word searches and coloring books. They also produced a five-part Virtual Travel Guide series with tips on how to maximize a vacation experience and insight into working with a travel agent.
Further efforts included creating engaging social media posts and designing and sending 'thinking of you' direct mail and emails on behalf of agents. In addition, the team added more than 20 videos to its video library, with the new content focused on domestic vacations, all-inclusive resorts and health and safety.
Now they have implemented a three-pronged approach to continue driving strong results: promoting the value of a travel agent, launching promotions and building lead-generation opportunities.
'With our marketing department focused on how to speak to our clients during the pandemic, we have been able to pivot to sharing information about the "new normal" in travel protocols, and destination-focused messaging,' said Karen Quinn-Panzer, Dream Vacations franchise owner and vacation specialist in Milford, Connecticut, who also chairs the Sales and Marketing Committee. 'It's been challenging to help the network adapt, and marketing has been at the forefront combatting this challenge since it began back in March.'