Webinar: Surviving and Thriving After Lockdown with Paul Milligan, Black Cat Cruises

James discusses surviving and thriving post lockdown with Paul Milligan, CEO of Black Cat Cruises
James Donald
April 17, 2020

While the exact timeline for recovery is unclear, the impact of Covid-19 will eventually pass, and  people will travel again. But things will be different. We believe it’s through thoughtful discussion with diverse perspectives we can build a robust pathway there, so Yonder is bringing tourism business owners and experts from around NZ to this webinar series to gather insights about how to survive and thrive after lockdown.

A few of the key points made during the webinar discussion include:

  • The "drive-to" domestic tourist will be the first visitor market to pick-up. The needs of these visitors are different to international visitors, qne innovation in products and messaging may be needed to appeal to them.
  • Pay close attention to signals for visitor growth, and be agile to respond to those signals.  Paul mentioned airport visitors numbers as a signal they used, but this won't be useful in the near term. Yonder proposes that website visitors will be an important signal as people start to dream again about travel - check out our article which shows March and April 2020 data across different tourism sectors in NZ, read here.
  • Create reasons to entice pre-booking to ensure you cover operational costs, which is an issue as NZer's are notorious for 'rocking up'. Make cancellation policies more flexible and upfront on the website, as people are cautious being locked in.

About the speakers

Paul Milligan, CEO, Black Cat Cruises

For over a decade Black Cat Cruises has been recognised nationally and internationally with numerous tourism awards and is acknowledged as New Zealand's first true eco-tourism operator.

Operating out of both Akaroa and Lyttleton, Christchurch, they host more than 120,000 passengers each year. The Swimming with Dolphins and Akaroa Nature Cruise tours currently hold the title for #1 wildlife activity in NZ, as voted in AA's national survey. In 2019, Black Cat was a finalist in the New Zealand Tourism Awards for their work protecting Hector's dolphins.

James Donald, Yonder

James is co-founder of Yonder, and is on a mission to revolutionise sales and customer service in tourism businesses. He is a passionate advocate for using technology to work smarter not harder.

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