The Town of Saint Andrews and it’s tourism partner Campobello International Park have teamed up to join CruiseMaineUSA, an active marketing consortium focusing on attracting cruise ships to coastal destinations within it’s membership.
Already a member of Atlantic Canada Cruise Association, the unique location of Saint Andrews/Campobello makes it a natural to join forces with the two major cruise associations promoting the area to the cruise lines, travel media, travel agents, and consumers.
“Our proximity to our friends in Maine and the New England coast make us a natural part of itineraries sailing along the coast, as we could be to those visiting the rest of the Atlantic region” says Vaughn McIntyre the cruise ship development officer for St Andrews. “We are marketing the entire bay and our relationship with Campobello Park and Eastport, Maine as one beautiful historical and environmental destination. The fact that we are working together on cross border immigration clearances could be a great “value add” to the overall appeal”.
Amy Powers, Director of CruiseMaineUSA views the partnership as a strategic extension of the marketing program that Eastport has been a part of since the consortium’s beginning. “Partnering our easternmost deep draft port of Eastport with the two western Atlantic Canada resort communities of Saint Andrews and Campobello Island will provide a range of cruise lines with a fresh and diverse destination for a variety of ship sizes – and most importantly in a perfect geographical location within the sailing region,” says Powers.
The timing of this new relationship capitalizes on the newly established Emissions Control Area environmental law in both the U.S. and Canada that requires the shipping industry to burn higher priced low sulfur fuel beginning in 2012. Due to the unknown availability of the quantity of the new fuel and it’s prohibitive cost; the inevitable desire for the industry to create conservative itineraries provides an opportunity to grow additional destinations within a reasonable cruise distance from the core eastern seaboard anchor ports of New York, Bayonne, and Boston.
Powers adds, “Using these new challenges to create opportunities is the most important thing we can do in what could be an upcoming crisis for the cruise industry in our region.”
“Creating the opportunities to bring cruise ships to Passamaquoddy Bay spreads the prosperity throughout not only three communities, but to two countries, and attempts to nurture cruise tourism which plays a very large role in the tourism industry in Maine, which is our number one industry.”
Powers states that the effort is going to require a lot of commitment from all parties, but is well worth all the investment, noting that the cruise industry contributed over $35mil in economic benefit in Maine during 2009.