Group buying puts Darwin Harbour Cruises out front

Darwin Harbour Cruises Rachel Beaumont and Chris Cleveland

Rachel Beaumont started her family business with just one small boat. Now she’s the record holder for selling the highest number of group deals nationally on LivingSocial.

Darwin Harbour Cruises (DHC) offered 1000 half-price cruise deals (drinks and food included) and they were snapped up within 24 hours. The success led Beaumont to extend her number of deals to 1,500 and these additions also sold out in less than 48 hours.

Beaumont explained that she initially planned to utilise the group buying site as a marketing tool rather than an income generator.

“I needed a way to build an online presence fast and I knew that group buying would allow me to do so. Operating in a tight market like Darwin, I need to think of ways that I can give the business an edge to put us in front.”

The success of group buying has led to further sales with purchasers booking birthday parties and corporate events.

“My partner and I joked about the amount of cash it would have costed us to advertise on television, in order to achieve that number of sales!” she continued.

Darwin is not traditionally a hot spot for tourism. Especially with the economic downturn, tourists have been reluctant to travel to regional areas. However, Beaumont believes she has perfected their strategy to sustain DHC throughout the year.

“During the off-peak season, I have to rely mainly on local custom, therefore my marketing plan has to target a very specific audience – the locals. In regards to marketing I regularly travel with the Northern Territory Convention Bureau to spread the word.”

She advises businesses and entrepreneurs to “be aware of change and be humble, when you have to adapt to suit the market, don’t fight it.”

The entrepreneur now has an empire of large catamarans operating out of Darwin Harbour. According to Beaumont, their vessels are all restored historic boats.

“We are very true to the local community, using only Australian seafood and sourcing the majority of our supplies from places in Darwin.”

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