Cruise Executives Rejoice over Zielia!
The cruise industry is on a trajectory of exponential growth, and this means more port calls; not only to currently visited ports, but also new ports. Cruise Line itinerary planners are being approached by all the ports, and they provide wonderful information to the itinerary planners. The itinerary planners are the first step to getting a ship to a port, but they don’t want a “scavenger hunt” when looking for port information, and that’s what it becomes for them with the multiple jump drives and brochures. Zielia is a platform to simplify this process!
Cruise line executives are excited to use this: Tim Littley, Senior Director, Deployment & Itinerary Planning, told Seatrade Cruise News, “The cruise industry is growing and evolving at a blistering pace and so are cruise destinations. The volume of information we receive through printed collateral or memory sticks is staggering and quite frankly not productive. Knowing that there is a single source of high quality, user-friendly and up-to-date information available will change how I approach destination research.”
Zielia was created and launched in Miami, the cruise capital of the world. It encompasses 5 main aspects of cruise planning: itinerary planning, marine and port operations, top attractions, marketing and a calendar of events. With this information in one place for multiple ports, the cruise executives can access technical, geographical, operational, marketing, shore excursions, and planning information at their convenience.
There are 2 main users for Zielia: The Destination Manager and the Destination Explorer. Below is a breakdown of the ways Zielia helps to bridge the communication gap between the destinations and the cruise lines:
The destination is called the Destination Manager on Zielia. Some benefits to being on Zielia include having their information accessible at all times, the ability to save time and reduce their carbon footprint by printing less collateral, one convenient and safe space to house their information and material, and a dashboard on Zielia shows the destination manager who is viewing their information.
The Cruise Line executive is referred to as the Destination Explorer on Zielia. On Zielia they’re able to view port and destination information in one place at any time they need, reduces the need for back and forth communications, allows the Explorer to connect directly with the port & destination, provides a safe & sustainable home for the necessary information, access to updated information managed by the port.
Cruise Line Marketing and shore excursion departments can also benefit from the use of Zielia as they will be looking for local events, local sites and highlights, high resolution images, and of course a calendar or events. “By having the port and destination data available online and as downloadable documents, Zielia eliminates printed brochures and collateral as well as the need for jump drives — currently the medium of choice for information exchange,” said Shannon McKee, co-founder of Zielia.
Each destination will input their information and keep it updated with press releases and any port upgrades they have made or plan to make. “Ports and destinations control the information, so users can be confident the content is up to date and accurate,” said McKee. “Zielia will make life easier for cruise line and port professionals by standardizing the basics and simplifying communications.” This information is free and available to cruise line executives 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so there is no waiting for email responses to be able to make decisions. The calendar on Zielia, which is updated by each destination, provides information on local events that may cause blackout days and ship calls which could cause congestion in the port. Zielia’s collaboration with Portcall.com will also assist with the port scheduling piece of the platform. All this information is crucial to have when planning an itinerary. The ports pay an annual fee and maintain their information to allow the cruise line executives to have access to their port and destination information.
Currently Zielia has about 20 ports signed up and this number in increasing on a daily basis. The idea of being a “one-stop-shop” is very appealing to cruise line executives and this is necessary when planning for this ever-growing industry. A Zieliever at SeaDream recently said about Zielia: “Wow! This will be a very powerful tool. It is a great step into the 21st century for itinerary planning and research!”
This post was written by Shannon Mckee, founder of Access Cruise Inc. Access Cruise Inc is a Miami based cruise marketing company and sales consulting group, specializing in product and business development within the cruise industry.