Joining forces is a great way to fight the enemy, and that is exactly what we see happening in the cruise industry to battle the COVID Pandemic. There have been new alliances being formed to ensure we all get through this together.
Cruise Professional Advisors Alliance (CPAA) is a perfect example of cruise industry professionals banding together. This alliance includes six cruise experts who offer industry acumen, specialized advice, and resources to the global cruise industry. Group members include David Selby, managing director of Travelyields; Mike McFadden, founder and CEO of Mac Maritime; Shannon McKee, founder and CEO of Access Cruise, Roger Blum, principal at Cruise & Port Advisors; Ioannis Bras, CEO at Five Senses Consulting; and Peter Wild, owner of GP Wild International. Each of these experts have experience is some sector of the industry, and together, they definitely cover it all. “In an effort to spearhead the resurgence of the industry, as the world attempts to get back to normalcy, we have come together to form an alliance that we believe will provide stakeholders with guidance, opportunities, inventive initiatives and programs needed to rebuild a stronger cruise industry,” McKee said.
The cruise industry desperately needs positive market positioning and CPAA has an innovative vision to be able to help their clients weather the storm using their ‘unparalleled pool of knowledge.’ These experts bring specialties such as port and destination development, cruise statistics, port management, onboard revenue and communications technologies, business planning, economic analysis, customer surveys and safety and environmental impact studies.
In the Caribbean, something similar was done to help share information and form a more intimate collaboration for Caribbean tour operators. With so much uncertainty out there, it’s nice to have a group to turn to and that’s exactly what Destinations Together does. Larry Stauffer and Tom Anderson formed Destinations Together to create a platform of information for their community. When asked about this new venture, Stauffer said, “We love this industry. We love the people. We were thinking how do we reach out?” He added, “We have great relationships with these tour operators. They’re family.” Both Anderson and Stauffer have unlimited knowledge as shore excursion experts and business consultants, and they’ve used their vast connections to develop 12 regional discussion/text groups, launched a weekly webinar series and built a website. Looking forward with a lot of uncertainty is difficult for many. “There are a lot of unknowns. [Tour operators] are anxious to get as much information as possible,” Stauffer said. “This is unprecedented.” Their Webinar on Wednesday (WOW) series brings everyone together to learn and feel a sense of togetherness as we all navigate these murky waters.
Cruise lines have collaborated on health and safety measures, tour operators have joined together to share information and move ahead in these uncertain times, and cruise consultants have combined forces to combat this unprecedented blip in our story. Even though there is fierce competition in the cruise industry, the COVID pandemic has shown us that we are in this together.
This post was written by cruise marketing expert, Shannon Mckee, founder of Access Cruise Inc. Access Cruise Inc is a Miami based cruise marketing and sales consulting group, specializing in product and business development within the cruise industry.