The St. Lawrence Cruise Association (SLCA), whose mission is to develop the international cruise market and Quebec cruise supply, has unveiled its new positioning strategy in Québec City.

The SLCA entrusted the firm of Zins Beauchesne et associes (ZBA) with the mandate of heading a reflection initiative on its positioning and on the brand image of the St. Lawrence as a choice destination in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada. Accordingly, ZBA has devised a strategy that underscores the attributes of the St. Lawrence and identifies its competitive advantages by drawing inspiration from several comparable destinations.

Nine ports of call on the St. Lawrence representing significant development and marketing potential were identified, and for each of these ports, an appropriate theme was developed. The ports of call in question were Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Saguenay, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Iles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Gaspe-Perce-Chandler and Iles de la Madeleine.

The objectives of this strategy are to increase the number of cruisers visiting the ports-of-call along the St. Lawrence from 110,000 (in 2006) to 200,000 by 2010, and to 400,000 by 2014. The SLCA intends to invest $450,000 per year over the next three years in the implementation of this strategy in areas including communications, marketing, and organization of the supply.

In the coming years, the sales and communications initiatives targeting international cruise lines will be based on the theme Cruise the Saint-Lawrence (Croisieres du Saint-Laurent), and backed by the Untouched Unmatched Unforgettable (Inaltere Inoubliable Incomparable) support message.

The St. Lawrence Cruise Association presented several tools including its new promotional video produced by TVA Productions, a new exhibition booth, and a destination planner developed by Paginart Communication Marketing, the latter of which has already been acclaimed by a number of cruise lines. Mr. Richard Sasso, President of MSC Cruises, recently mentioned that the new SLCA Destination Planner is one of the work tools best adapted to respond to the needs of the industry. He commended the members of the SLCA for their integrated marketing approach of selling the St. Lawrence and all of its ports-of-call as a global destination.

The SLCA has 25 members as well as major partners including the ministère du Tourisme, Transports Québec and the Economic Development Agency of Canada for Québec regions.