Identikit of the luxury cruise tourist: stay on the territory for some hours, in search of unique and charming experiences

Big participation in the two digital workshops, one meant for the stakeholders in Bari and the other one for the stakeholders of the area of Manfredonia, organized within the framework of the Interregional Project Greece Italy 2014/2020, called THEMIS, and dedicated to stakeholders, companies and  enterprises which want to join this territorial network.

THEMIS is the “umbrella brand” under which thematic tourist packages have been created and new cruise routes  including the minor ports of Puglia and Greece,  are being promoted. Little “terminals” are being built, and since the last month free training courses (courses of English and on safety) dedicated to the personnel working in the ports of the Southern Adriatic Ports Authority, have been started. They are aimed at improving the level of the services offered.  Incoming and outcoming activities have also been promoted by the Chamber of Commerce of Bari, aiming at involving new Italian and Greek luxury cruise companies in the tourist packages organized. The project is co-financed by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund  (ERDF) and by national funds of Italy and Greece.

Simona De Santis and Marialeila Traversa, on behalf of the Southern Adriatic Ports Authority, leading partner of the Project, have introduced the meetings and the activities carried out over the last months, by the Port System Authority and by the different partners from Puglia and Greece, notwistanding the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 emergency, to the sector of tourism.

Alessandra Viscito, as representative of Ediguida srl, the company which is working in the communication and promotion of the project  on behalf of the Southern Adriatic Ports Authority , has illusrated the activities being carried out, aiming at promoting the Themis brand, while Elena Salzano, EO of inCoerenze srl, expert of marketing and integrated communication, has introduced the Themis territorial network, which is aimed at involving, in the offer of charme experiences and exclusive tourist itineraties dedicated to luxury cruise tourism, the enterprises joining the project and situated on the territory, by offering at least one product meant for luxury tourists.

During the workshop, the attention of the public has been focused on how much tourists wish to live a travelling experience, supported  by valuable services.  A product meant for luxury tourism, is a product  characterized by the sense of uniqueness and authenticity of the travelling experience, which can be not necessarily a luxury experience, but an experience which represents an added value. Products, then, which tell about the territory and the company, authenticity, care for details, which can be communicated, traceable and in foreign languages.

Before drawing up the Themis project, an analysis of the cruise tourist demands has been made. From this analysis it has been found that the experiences preferred are expected to last a few hours (2-4 hours should an itnerary last). The project is meant for attracting cruises which can stop in the minor ports of Puglia, in order to allow their guests to have dinner or enjoy visits or excursions of a whole day. The purpose is that  of fostering the meeting between the offers of the territory and that of the cruise companies, and the demands of this kind of tourists, which Themis is trying to involve as much as possible, by targeting this sector at best, with the intention of enhancing the beauty of the territory, and enlarging the territorial network.

Many companies have taken part in the meetings. The local stakeholders’ offer has resulted to be already rich in a variety of élite services, which the Themis project wants to gather at this step, in order to make them be synergically available and ready to be promoted, by the communication structure presented.

Possible tours around oil mills and cellars have been conceived, in order to tell  the history of old ovens or dairies. Also experiences in luxury spa and wellness centres in caves or in well structured hypogea,  have been suggested, as well as naturalistic horse or bike riding excursions, bird watching, walks in the nature guided by experts, in search of sponaneous herbs to be picked up and cooked.
Among the stakeholders participating in the meetings, there were also massage operators and technicians providing engineering support to luxury boats, even only for very short stays, who have promoted charme tours, thus transforming a little wait time, in a rich experiential travel event.

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