Windstar Cruises and Jerne, a platform that connects 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 of 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 per cent of luxury travellers selected their hotel brand, cruise line or airline based on social media, while 60 per cent said they had purchased travel based on a social media post by a creator such as a celebrity or influencer.
In addition, a recent 2023 Jerne Creator Study 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 in the Jerne platform 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 here.