24 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 • FOGHORN FOGHORNFOCUS: SALES & MARKETING 1 Y ou have a fabulous vessel operation that provides great service and cruises to wonderful venues. Current and past passengers are often delighted at the experi- ence. Your captain and crew are well trained and friendly. They know their jobs, your operation, and the areas where you operate. What could be better? How about more customers? The U.S. passenger vessel industry as a whole is ex- periencing a boom and many operations are expanding their scope in terms of vessels, routes, and locations. You may have noticed an uptick in your business as well. But, could you be doing more now to increase ticket sales and have even more passengers crossing your gangway? Marketing 2019: Three Trends to Watch By Karen Rainbolt, FOGHORN Managing Editor ONE – Destination Marketing One way to think a bit outside the box is to look beyond your dock and at the area or region where you operate. Let’s say, for example, that you operate in the Great Lakes. How can you attract more customers to your operation? One way could be as simple as thinking bigger than just your operation. Consider yourself as an attraction, experience, or a unique means of transportation for the region. Doing so means you’re now marketing a destination, not simply a vessel operation. Destination marketing is just what it sounds like: promoting an area as a venue to tourists. In the U.S. there are many resources to access to aid in destination marketing. Nationally, there’s the U.S. Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization rep- resenting all components of the travel industry. The organization reported that tourism generates $2.4 trillion in economic output and supports 15.6 million jobs across the country. w w w . f r e e d m a n s e a t i n g . c o m Catalina Seat Genoa Seat 125+ years of exceptional service and quality. Engineering support Regional sales people throughout the US and coastal areas Dedicated customer service New products to meet any vessel configuration NYC Ferry