The 19th annual Cruise Canada New England (CCNE) Symposium formally kicked off on 13 June 2017 in the city of Montréal.
Following the recommendation of the 18th symposium, held in 2016, a ten-year, six-point strategic plan for the region, CCNE 2026, was outlined by Michael Venderbeek, Deputy Port Director of Flynn Cruise Port Boston, during the first session of the symposium.
The six points are:
– Research and Asset Development
– Brand Identity
– Marketing and Communication
– Destination Development
CCNE as a loose alliance of more than 100 ports throughout Canada and New England has a vision of attracting dozens of cruise lines, hundreds of cruise calls, and over one million cruise visitors to its region by 2026.
The organisation will deliver this objective through putting in place the aforementioned six strategic action areas.
In research and asset development, CCNE will make concerted effort into enhancing knowledge and understanding assets within the Canada New England region; it will also explore opportunities and learn from other cruise regions. In terms of brand identity, the region will build a cohesive brand that can be easily marketed to cruise lines and their consumer bases. In marketing and communication, the alliance will strive to have high visibility among key stakeholders in the cruise business; this swill include travel agent training. In destination development, past experience taught the alliance the lesson of “build it and they will come”; it will continue to adhere to this philosophy and intensify investment. At the same time CCNE will strive to expand its partnership network. Within this ten-year time frame, the alliance will investigate alternative funding strategies with a goal of achieving adequate annual funding.
In spelling out its vision the CCNE Executive Committee recognises the challenges ahead. But these are achievable goals and the region has much to offer.