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Online Strategy | Inbound Marketing | Tourism

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Boat trips and ferry excursions: a strategy to attract foreign customers

Written by: Cristina García

Nowadays ferry operator companies are more often oriented to daily and regular lines, transportation of passengers from a point A to a point B. This for sure can allow a regular revenue stream and organizational stability, but the income will decrease as the customer traffic becomes lower with the off-peak season.

Of course, local customers will always be looking for daily transportation, to go to their work for example, but it won’t be sufficient to boost performance. The point is, except the day-to-day business, it’s hard for ferry companies to find an audience so they can generate extra commercial growth.

Fortunately, there is a way for your ferry company to boost sales volume, and it consists in attracting new customers: tourists. But how can you do this?

1. Organize boat trips and excursions

An easy way to increase profit margin is by trying to attract foreign customers, especially because they mostly have a higher purchasing power. They are more likely to be interested by a complete offer or package, such as an excursion bringing them to the best places or beaches in the archipelago.

Most ferry companies are located on islands or archipelagos, but they only organize weekly routes. But, who knows better this location but you? For this reason, you should use the knowledge you have on this area to organize excursions and guided tours to improve your customer’s experience, or simply provide information to travellers.

One of the best ways to attract foreign customers is to organize trips and excursions in parallel of regular lines activities. These customers are looking for real added value, they don’t just want to go from point A to point B, but to be taken to unique places they would never have known without you.

Indeed, a foreign customer will be more attracted by a personalized solution offering a unique individual experience. According to an American Express Travel survey, 85% of travelers agree with the statement “spending money on travel is an investment worth making”. This proves that foreign customers leaving on a trip are ready to spend, it’s up to you to offer them the activity that will differentiate you from competition.

2. Raise awareness of foreign customers

The thing is, if you want to get these new customers, you will need to make them aware of your products and services and in some places, especially in the Mediterranean Sea, competition is fierce!

So you need to differentiate from competition by proposing innovative and specialized services and products. Many tourists are looking for guided experience, they don’t know your area and all its specificities. During their planning stage (traveller’s journey), they are looking for advices about where to go, what to do, etc.

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A good way to make them aware of your trips or to provide them information is to create a blog directly into your website. By posting blog posts on a regular basis you will draw attention to your website and this is very important. According to the survey mentioned before, 73% of customers said they use the web for researching places to go for leisure travel.

You can thus create educational and informational content in your blog about your destination or activity that includes direct links to your trips. Thanks to that technique, you will attract qualified traffic to your website and drive it to your products more easily. Indeed, the creation of boat trips should go hand in hand with the creation of a blog article, which allows making foreign customers aware of the activity.

By combining regular daily lines to boat trips you will ensure both continuous flows of customers during the year and higher turnover during the peak season.

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