Cruise Bosses Urge Destinations to Do More

WTM: Cruise Baltic urged to “squeeze out more marketing money for the region.”

Speaking at a cruise debate at the World Travel Market in London, cruise bosses have called on destinations to see cruise lines as partners, not “the enemy”. They also asked destinations to work more closely with them on joint marketing. The cruise lines agreed that destinations were still the key factor in why passengers choose a particular itinerary, even though many ships have become floating resorts.

Specifically, Cunard President Peter Shanks urged Cruise Baltic, which represents 27 ports in 10 countries, to “squeeze out more money” for marketing the region and its offerings. He highlighted Barbados as a good example of a destination which works well with cruise lines and other stakeholders such as ports and airports to smooth the way for cruise passengers.

Bo Larsen, director of Cruise Baltic, admitted that it was a challenge to get people from many different countries, ports and cities to agree on joint marketing. But he highlighted how certain cities are introducing innovative excursions to boost cruise line revenues, such as the new Stieg Larsson ‘Millennium Trilogy’ tour of Stockholm. He said that the Baltic region will see 3.5 million passengers in 2011. He added that Northern Europe, which includes the UK, the Nordic and Baltic countries and the fjords, has now overtaken the Caribbean in terms of cruise passengers from the UK.