Aggressor Adventures has taken a deep dive into ramping up its client engagements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most notably, the tour operator, which specializes in liveaboard scuba diving itineraries, has partnered with dive suppliers and manufacturers to offer incentives for customers to buy their products—thus keeping them engaged and ready to use those products once the coronavirus is suppressed.
“We have had a great response from their customers sending us receipts showing the proof of purchase so they can receive a voucher for future use with us,” said Aggressor Adventures CEO Wayne Brown. “We have also had other suppliers hear about the program and ask if we can partner with them.”
Although Aggressor doesn’t receive a portion of those sales, “we see the access to their customers for potential future sales with us as more than ample compensation and hope it has helped their sales as well,” he said.
The company is also engaging its clients in a variety of other ways, as well. “We have a very extensive list, that continues to grow, of customer engagement initiatives. Our first was to ensure all the destination staff follow our ‘Clean, Sanitize & Refresh’ program for deep cleaning and sanitizing, as well as refreshing linens, painting and repairs,” Brown said. “They then send us weekly photos and videos that we post to our social media, as well as create video montages to post.”
Additionally, Aggressor has featured its chefs around the world to create three- to five-minute videos for its “Cooking with Chef” series, with a focus on favorite local dishes. “These are shared on Facebook, as well as our aggressor.tv site,” he said.
The company is conducting twice-weekly Zoom sessions, some of which are hosted by celebrities. Sessions include talks with Les Stroud, creator and star of “Survivorman,” who shares his past and upcoming adventures with Richard Wiese, Explorer Club president and host of the “Born To Explore” television show.
The Zoom sessions also feature yacht captions who provide details on their destinations.
“An upcoming [session will focus] on how we will keep our guests as safe a possible once operations resume with all the updated procedures and sanitizing efforts,” Brown said. “We will be announcing in an upcoming eNews letter to our guests about June Ocean Clean Up Month, asking them to help with local waters, whether that be salt or fresh water, and to send us pictures and videos of them cleaning up for us to share.”
The operator also launched the Aggressor Addicts Facebook group for guests who have traveled with the company at least once; it is running fun weekly contests, enabling group members to win gifts and vouchers.
Looking to expand beyond the dive market, Aggressor began adding river cruising and safari lodges to its portfolio several years ago. “Moving into river cruises was an easy transition. Adding safari lodges in places with unique cultures and environments was the next step to further expand the adventures a guest can participate in with us,” Brown said. “I have adhered to our small group bespoke offerings with these new adventures also. Having only 16 to 22 guests allows us to connect personally with each guest and ensure they get the most out of their time with us.”
More than half us Aggressor’s reservations come from travel advisors, Brown said. “We have always heavily supported them with free advertising and marketing materials, and even offer them a commission should one of their past customers start booking directly with us.”