How Prince of Whales Generated More Partnered Bookings with Zaui Booking System

By:

April 12, 2022

6 min read
Reading Time: 6 minutes

COMPANY

Prince of Whales

HEADQUARTERS

Victoria, BC Canada

INDUSTRY

Whale Watching Operator

KEY FEATURES USED

  • Promo Codes
  • ZAUI Connect
  • Zaui–Fotaflo Integration

Prince of Whales: Experience, Education, & Conservation

An image of Prince 0f Whales, a client of Zaui Online booking system

Victoria, the vibrant island city with a mix of old-world and modern charm, is loaded with incredible things to see and do. It is also home to several ocean outfitters operating across the island.

Among them, Prince of Whales is the largest family-owned whale-watching and eco-adventure company in BC and a leader in responsible whale watching, research, and education. Prince of Whales provides fully-guided whale watching and marine wildlife tours. Passion is a key differentiator that makes them a leading whale-watching tour.

With 15 boats and tours departing from Vancouver, Victoria, and Telegraph Cove, the whale watching operator focuses on sharing the breathtaking coastal waters of British Columbia, its vibrant wildlife, and rich history. They are a proud bunch of mariners, educators, entertainers, scientists, and conservationists, making them more than a whale-watching group. 

Whale watching tours offered by tour operator using Zaui online booking system

While providing their guests with an opportunity to observe different species of whales in the wild, sea birds, and other marine wildlife, Prince of Whales also prioritizes the education and preservation of oceans and the abundant life they hold.

In a sea of competition in whale watching, Prince of Whales wanted to make an even bigger splash and capture even more of the market while elevating the guest experience. They recognized the opportunity to invest in technology to set up the whale watching tour for success. That’s how Prince of Whales began its long journey with Zaui as its online reservation software.

Zaui’s continuing drive to provide us with the technological ability to be creative in our marketing, and not be hampered by system challenges, is just one reason we’ve been a partner for so many years!

Ian MacPhee, Director-Sales, Marketing & Business Development, Prince of Whales

The Challenge: Standing Out from the Crowd

An image from whale watching tour offered by Prince of Whales, a customer of Zaui online booking system

The fear of the pandemic had left the Salish sea quiet and calm, without the cheers and joys of tourists. Getting back to the momentum, Prince of Whales wanted to invest in the local market, promoting tours to the domestic crowd. 

Their mission to distinguish itself from the rest of the pod was two-folded—merge the love of whales with education and incentivize guests to return to travel. 

In 2021, Prince of Whales decided to look for local partnerships. With a shared vision of ecological activism and love for magnificent creatures, Prince of Whales found their best local partner in the Royal BC Museum. 

They jumped on the opportunity to partner with the Royal BC Museum to spotlight its latest Orca Exhibit. Not only would it provide exposure to Prince of Whales, but also build awareness and buzz around Royal BC’s latest exhibit.

A poster about Royal BC-Prince of Whales partenrship

The package promised enthusiastic travellers a memorable outdoor adventure and indoor educational experience in the museum. Between the whale watching tour and the museum, sightseers will have a full agenda taking in all the wildlife and education the package offers.

Prince of Whales sales and marketing team approached Zaui to work on its promo code feature to make this partnered package a reality. 

And it was different from the usual Buy One Get One (BOGO) offer. The BOGO offers usually deal with products from the same company. In this case, Prince of Whales wanted to club its tour with an exhibit from another company, creating an exciting package for tourists.

Results: Building Long-Lasting Partnerships and Attracting Guests with Strategic Partnerships and Promo Codes

With the ever-evolving Technosphere playing such an important part of our day-to-day business, Zaui’s ability to understand opportunities and react quickly allows us to outpace our competitors with unique offers. Staying ahead of the pack, especially when business conditions are challenging, is invaluable.

Ian MacPhee, Director-Sales, Marketing & Business Development, Prince of Whales

Working closely with Andrea O’Brien, their dedicated Customer Success Manager and Zaui’s Development Team, Prince of Whales explored how Promo Codes could be built out to support this unique collaboration with another partner. They had four weeks to launch the initiative.

Within three weeks, Zaui’s development team addressed the complexities associated with the unique BOGO offer, ensuring that the number of guests correctly mapped out when they claimed the offer. With this all-in-one fix, Prince of Whales was ready to run the promo code campaign seamlessly using Zaui online booking system.

A screenshot of Zaui online booking system

A screenshot of Zaui online reservation management system

The campaign kicked off in June 2021, and since then, the whale watching operator has sold over 5000+ tickets. With the popularity of this tour bundle, Prince of Whales decided to extend the offer into 2022, as well as work with other government entities and local tourism suppliers to build out similar partnerships and packages.

With this in play, Prince of Whales is set up to build future partner programs and support educational initiatives.

Zaui’s customer-first strategy always enables us to deliver a stellar customer experience at every touchpoint. And we are proud of our team, which always prioritizes its customer’s long-term needs and goals.

Andrea’s (Zaui Customer Success Manager) awesome smile and groovy (but diminishing) accent make us smile.

Ian MacPhee, Director-Sales, Marketing & Business Development, Prince of Whales

Stepping Up the Game with a Free Photo Package

An image from the Prince of Whales, whale watching tour

Knowing the pulse of the customers is crucial in staying ahead of the competition. Prince of Whales realized that customers’ attempts to capture the best memories of whale watching distract them from truly enjoying the moments. 

They saw an opportunity to elevate their experience. Prince of Whales wanted to promise their customers a frictionless experience exploring BC’s marine life. 

Zaui’s online booking system baked in with Fotaflo integration offered a solution they needed to solve the problem.

Fotaflo is a photo and video marketing platform that simplifies and automates the distribution of photos and videos to customers of tour and activity businesses. 

Zaui-Fotaflo integration enabled Prince of Whales to add a free photo package to their tour, providing customers with their memories captured in stunning pictures. The tour crew takes the photos and uploads them to Fotaflo. From there, Fotaflo sends them directly to guests’ emails using the Zaui booking system.

A glimpse of whale watching tour offered by Zaui online reservation management system

The marketing potential for the free photo package is incredible. The guests can instantly share it on social media or with their friends and family. Through these photos, which are worth a thousand words, guests turn into advocates, bringing in new bookings. More importantly, caring for the customers made Prince of Whales different from other whale outfitters.

Looking Forward to 2022—More Bookings, Smoother Operations, & Pleasant Guest Experiences

Prince of Whales, Zaui’s long-term friend, has used the reservation system to power online bookings, manage daily operational flows, and make additional dock sales. The spike in online bookings has helped them save money and time, increasing operational efficiency.

Zaui Connect, which enables cross partnership, has presented new opportunities for Prince of Whales to distribute their tours. Prince of Whales’s FLY-WHALES-FLY , a customizable tour package from Vancouver to Victoria, shows how bundling different experiences for travellers is easy with the Zaui online booking system. Zaui Connect facilitated Prince of Whales’ partnership with Harbour Air, creating the tour package, Fly-Whales-Fly. The trip consists of 3 parts—Seaplane Flight from Vancouver to Victoria, Half-Day Whale Watching in Victoria, and Seaplane Flight from Victoria to Vancouver.

Even when the operations haven’t returned to the 2019 level, 2021 sales performance has improved considerably. With their infectious passion for oceans, Prince of Whales is gearing up for the next season to bring back the magic of whale watching for passionate travellers in 2022. 

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