For Immediate Release
Windstar Cruises launches innovative partnership with Jerne to expand social marketing reach
Partnership celebrates launch with co-hosted Star Legend voyage
15 January 2024 – Windstar Cruises (https://www.windstarcruises.com/), a leader in small ship luxury cruising, and Jerne (https://www.jerne.com/), the largest platform connecting social media influencers and content creators with hosted experiences around the world, have partnered to drive awareness-building through Jerne’s 6,000-strong network of creators in 91 countries, reaching 2.7 billion consumers around the world.
“The creator economy represents an incredible and untapped market for us,” said Janet Bava, Chief Commercial Officer, Windstar Cruises. “Particularly when we look at driving new-to-cruise and new-to-Windstar, there is no marketing channel that has the same organic, authentic reach as social media through our travel advisor partners and now through our creator partners.”
To celebrate the partnership between Windstar and Jerne, the companies co-hosted influential creators aboard Windstar’s Star Legend for its newly-launched “Legendary Winter in the Mediterranean” itinerary. The partnership’s first month brought together over 650 creators applying to partner with Windstar to market and sell the company’s all-suite voyages to those creators’ cumulative 163 million consumer audience.
“The creator economy is a billion-dollar industry with millions of people around the world producing all types of marketing content for Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, blogs, and other platforms,” said Tim Morgan, CEO, Jerne. “and those marketing efforts with experience providers are increasingly providing marketing cost savings and driving bookings to retail channels including travel advisors, OTAs, and direct sales.”
A study by Stelico Consulting Group found that 76% of luxury travelers selected their hotel brand, cruise line or airline based on social media, while 60% said they had purchased travel based on a social media post by a creator such as a celebrity or influencer.
In addition, the recent 2023 Jerne Creator Study (https://www.jerne.com/jerne-releases-industry-first-study-of-travel-creator-partnerships/) found that, on average, a partnership between a hotel, cruise, or tour company and a creator resulted in an average of 170,944 content impressions, 16,921 content “likes”, and 913 content “comments” for the duration of their hosted experience. Creators and experience providers work to turn those engagement numbers into attributable bookings via travel advisor, OTA, or direct channels. The study analyzed 23,453 partnership applications between 4,723 creators (representing 84 countries) and 325 experience providers (representing 102 countries), over a 1-year period from September 2022 to October 2023.
Creators interested in partnering with Windstar Cruises can begin the process at https://www.jerne.com/windstar/.
Jerne is the world’s leading platform connecting thousands of influential travel creators and experience providers – hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, spas, and every experiential product in between – forming a new channel for travel distribution. Jerne is the Official Creator Economy Partner of Forbes Travel Guide.
For experience providers, Jerne’s end-to-end creator management platform simplifies travel creator sourcing, verification, agreement administration, content management, affiliate booking attribution, commission incentive reconciliation, earned media analytics, ROI reporting, and re-marketing via MyJerne – unlocking the full power of the travel creator distribution channel. For travel creators, Jerne’s hundreds of experience provider partnerships open access to thousands of hosted experience opportunities with hotels, restaurants, spas, cruises, tours, and other travel and hospitality experiences that they can share with their followers and earn commission on attributable bookings.
Jerne was co-founded in 2021 by Tim Morgan and Ryan McElroy who have a combined 39 years of travel industry experience, both having worked with or served on advisory boards of some of the world’s leading travel companies. Formerly overseeing Canada & EMEA for Virtuoso, Morgan also co-founded The 1000, a $3 billion club for the world’s most influential travel advisors. McElroy also co-founded Travel Agency Tribes, a provider of B2B2C travel marketing technologies used by thousands of travel companies and consumers every day. https://www.jerne.com/
ABOUT WINDSTAR CRUISES
Windstar Cruises operates a fleet of six boutique all-suite and sailing yachts carrying 148-342 guests. Small ship cruises sail throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, New England and Eastern Canada, and the South Pacific, including a ship year-round in Tahiti. Windstar launched the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative to transform the three all-suite Star Plus Class yachts with new suites, restaurants, and a world-class spa and fitness center. In 2023 the line began a multi-million dollar initiative to redesign and update all three Wind Class sailing ships. The award-winning line is known for immersive experiences, destination authenticity, port-intensive itineraries, exceptional service, and an innovative culinary program. Windstar Cruises is part of the Xanterra Travel Collection®, a group of global hospitality and travel companies, one of which traces its history back over a hundred years of operating our country’s iconic national parks, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, Death Valley, and many others. Xanterra Travel Collection®, is owned by The Anschutz Corporation, the ultimate owner of the Broadmoor, Sea Island, and entertainment giant AEG, Anschutz Entertainment Group. https://www.windstarcruises.com/