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Members & Travel Agents

Preparing Your Community to Welcome Cruise By Beth Kelly Hatt, President, Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence

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uilding a good customer experience does not happen by accident, and we all need to work at preparing our communities to welcome cruise as we start getting ready to resume operations. During this time, there is work to be done to build confidence and trust in cruise in our destinations, and with the right plans, this can be done. In our recent workshops about “How to Prepare Your Community to Welcome Cruise,” we have worked with destinations to understand the importance of the community in the successful resumption of cruise, including the involvement of all its stakeholders, from local citizens to community leaders. We need everyone involved, and we need a plan to communicate with them. How do we develop a community communication plan with the right messages sent at the right time? This plan may prove integral to the successful resumption of cruise in our destinations, as welcoming communities are the foundation of excellent guest experiences in a destination. Some of our top tips for preparing our communities to welcome cruise are:

Some need reassurances that cruise will return with the economic impact so many rely on. They may need to hear what the cruise industry is doing and what protocols are being followed onboard. 5. TIMING IS IMPORTANT. For the key messages to be well received, they need to be delivered in the right tone and at the right time. A communication plan can ensure all are on message, with tools that will educate and engage the community with the right messages at the right time.

1. EDUCATE YOURSELF. What is happening in the industry? What are cruise lines doing for the health and safety of their guests and your destination? We need to make sure as destinations and ports that we are staying current on the industry and what steps are being taken. 2. EDUCATE YOUR COMMUNITY. Knowledge is power, and educating your community is key to preparing them to welcome cruise. Is your community aware of your operational plans and procedures? Do they know the health and safety measures you have taken? Do they know what the industry is doing to achieve the same? 3. INVOLVE THE KEY CRUISE STAKEHOLDERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY. Ensure you all are sharing the same key messages and involve your key stake34 FOURTH QUARTER 2020 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

holders in your planning. Ensure they understand the benefits and importance of having a community that is prepared to welcome cruise. Educate them so they can help spread the key messages. 4. GIVE YOUR COMMUNITY THE KEY MESSAGES THEY NEED TO HEAR. Every community is different. Some need reassurances that protocols are in place for the health and safety of the community.

Support from the community is key to ensuring successful experiences for cruise lines and their guests, enabling everyone to work together more efficiently and for the common goal of successful cruise visits. As the key stakeholders in our destinations, we need to support our communities and prepare them to welcome cruise again. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Beth Kelly Hatt is the President of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, the FCCA’s official training partner. Contact Beth for more information at Beth@CruiseExcellence.com.

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Travel & Cruise 4th Qtr. 2020  

2020 4th quarter edition of Travel & Cruise Magazine. Published quarterly, Travel & Cruise is the official magazine of the FCCA, CLIA, and t...

Travel & Cruise 4th Qtr. 2020  

2020 4th quarter edition of Travel & Cruise Magazine. Published quarterly, Travel & Cruise is the official magazine of the FCCA, CLIA, and t...

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