Is there a market for selling or advertising for sailing charter vacations?
Do businesses themselves bring in their business? Has anyone tried to be an affiliate for a yacht charter type vacation business?
There is definitely a market for them, but I think they do their own advertising or get referrals from travel agencies. Don't know about the affiliate angle. Look in Men's Journal magazine, they have a few pages of ads advertising adventure vacations, including sailing charters. The British Virgin Islands are a big sailing charter center.
Over here in Holland there are, apart from yachts, about 500 traditional sailing ships, some built in the 19th century, refitted from cargo barges to charter ships. A number of charter booking agencies promote the ships on german, dutch and belgian fairs and sailing events and handle bookings, apart from that there is a growing number of affiliate type agencies, and small companies aiming mainly for the business market.
The turn-over has not grown much since 2007 and most people that book a vacation are schools and groups that do so every year, often on the same ship or through the same charter office.
Yacht charters here are often handled by the yacht harbors, or by charter companies making deals with large general travel agencies as Fgual says, some run similar yacht charter offices in the mediterranean or caribean and use mainly social networking. There is an affiliate market in that particular branche, if you have the social skills and connections.
If you're interested in marketing for sailing charter vacations, I'd say go for it. In the last six or seven years, the sailing industry has taken a bad hit on charters. Here in Rhode Island two well-known charter companies closed up shop because they couldn't survive the decline. But companies - sailing charters included - are waking up to the power of Internet marketing, and affiliate programs are popping up everywhere. Don't listen to naysayers - the sailing niche is still alive and strong, and always looking for new advertising angles.
You could check with CharterWorld.com. I think you can get their affiliate program.
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