Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released today the fourth and final Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016, revealing key cruise travel trends and insight into the current state of the travel agent industry. The report is the fourth installment in an ongoing quarterly research study from CLIA and is designed to forecast trends in the cruise industry among the travel agent community. This installment of the report found that travel agent sales remain strong, overall cruise spending is growing, and travel agents are influencing advance cruise bookings.
“The Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook report allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of the cruise industry as a whole and provides a glimpse into the future from the travel agents perspective,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Findings from latest report help both travel agents and industry stakeholders adapt to meet the needs of today’s travelers and has become a staple in our research calendar.”
Key findings from the latest Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016:
Cruise Growth: Increase Over Last Year
According to the report, cruise travel’s popularity continues to rise across all four major cruise segments. Travel agents reported a higher cruise sales volume over last year with over three-quarters projecting a continued increase. River cruise popularity continues and six out of ten (67 percent) of travel agents are seeing a growth in river cruise popularity. Larger ships are seeing a spike in interest as well as 62 percent of agents is reporting growth in the sector.
Increased Sales & Spending: Strong Interest in Cruise Travel This Winter
The report found that travel agents are continuing to see strong sales due to cruise travel’s ever-growing popularity and sales are projected to be the strongest this winter when compared to earlier in 2016. Over 80 percent of travel agencies polled believe that cruise sales volume will be strongest this winter compared to sales this time last year, due in part to economic stability. Overall cruise spending is also reported to be on the rise, as nearly three-quarters of all travel agents report an increase in consumer spending with 22 percent expecting growth of ten percent or more, another 22 percent expect sales to grow six to ten percent, and 30 percent expecting a five percent growth.
Advance Travel Booking: Last-Minute Cruise Deal Hunters On the Decline
Travel agents taking part in the report stated clients are increasingly booking cruises further in advance, shining a light on how knowledgeable agents can guide clients toward a best vacation with the best deal before ships reach sailing capacity contrary to the “last minute deal” mentality. In fact, 43 percent of agents report that more customers are booking travel nine months to a year in advance, while 37 percent report higher bookings 12 to 18 months in advance. Last minute deal hunters are on the decline, as 20 percent of travel agents report a reduction in the number of travelers booking cruises less than three months out.
Travel professionals in the cruise industry, can have their voice heard by joining the CLIA Travel Agent Research Panel. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full report is available at: http://www.cruising.org/TA-Outlook.
About the Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook
The CLIA Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook report is a quarterly study conducted by CLIA. The data and research are compiled based on online survey responses from the CLIA Travel Agent Research Panel, which consists of 700 travel agents from North America.
About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. The association has 15 offices globally with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 24 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. Members are comprised of the world's most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. The organization’s mission is to be the unified global organization that helps its members succeed by advocating, educating and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community. For more information, visit www.cruising.org or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.