The demand for cruises continues to soar and travel agents are playing an increasingly important role in the consumer travel process, as shown in Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) third Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016.
The report is the third installment in an ongoing quarterly research study from CLIA, designed to forecast trends in the cruise industry among the travel agent community.
“The Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook enables us to identify key trends using the insights of travel agents,” said CLIA president Cindy D’Aoust. “A key finding from the report is that, as people continue to travel the globe, travel agents are playing a vital role in matching travellers desires to the right cruise experience both near and far.”
Key findings in the report include:
- Cruises Continue to Gain Popularity: Cruise travel continues to be popular among all types of travellers across all cruise segments. Of these, river cruising shows the most growth with six out of 10 (64%) travel agents expecting to sell more river cruise packages this year and 21% expecting to see significant growth in river cruise sales. Aside from river cruising, more than half (54%) of agents expected to see growth in the large ocean ship segment.
- Strong Sales: The report found that continued cruise popularity also brings in steady sales growth. Nearly three out of four (73%) travel agents expect increased sales this year while 15% expect no change. To bolster this finding, 27% of those agents are anticipating sales increases of 10% or higher. The steady rise in sales speaks volumes to the vital role of travel agents in the consumer travel experience.
- Luxury and Inclusivity: Travel agents participating in the report also stated that clients are looking for all-inclusive cruising options, especially on luxury cruises. Two-thirds (66%) of agents said that all-inclusive options were very important for their clients booking luxury cruises followed by 58% reporting that luxury cruise clients most valued a unique travel destination.
The full report is available at http://www.cruising.org/TA-Outlook.