Royal Caribbean Push Offers Boatload of Pleas to Vacation | Adweek Royal Caribbean Push Offers Boatload of Pleas to Vacation | Adweek
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Royal Caribbean Push Offers Boatload of Pleas to Vacation

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BW: Is demand starting to pick up?
BO:
For Royal Caribbean, we are seeing a build up in demand. I can’t speak for the entire industry, but I follow what the U.S. Travel Association puts out. I came from the hotels business, and RevPAR [revenue per available room, a key metric] is up, and we’ve seen our business travel, meetings and incentives businesses pick up, so those are all very good signs. We also have more than 40 percent of our guests coming from international countries outside of the U.S. We’ve seen very strong demand across the board, but it varies country by country. We have not reached the ’08 levels yet, but we’re getting pretty close.

BW: What’s your strategy for keeping business afloat in a downturn?
BO:
It’s really frankly going back to our past guests, who are very familiar with the product. Those who have cruised with us recognize the opportunity to cruise at an even better value. Then what we have found is they invite their friends who may or may not have cruised before. That has been very successful for us.

BW: The new “Vacation Daze” videos run online only. Is that where you’re spending the bulk of your media dollars—in social and digital media channels?
BO:
We are in two channels: TV and online. Television creates a lot of awareness, but what we know is that people go online when they are actually searching to plan their trips. That’s why we’ve chosen these two channels.

To get to your point about social media, we actually really entered into it a little over a year and a half ago, and we started out with both our chairman and our president blogging...[Furthermore], our captain, [William Wright], has literally become a celebrity as a result of starring in our Webisodes. He is often stopped at airports [by fans]. And when he is on board, it takes him over an hour to get from one side of the ship to the other because he is stopped by so many people who ask him for photographs and autographs.

We’ve created our own social media star.