Today, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released the second Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016, revealing economic trends are positively impacting cruise travel, travelers are cruising closer to home and demand for river cruises continues. The report, which was conducted in February, is the second in an ongoing quarterly research study from CLIA, designed to forecast trends in the cruise industry among the travel agent community.
“Travel agents truly are the experts when it comes to identifying and forecasting cruise travel trends,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Through the ongoing Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook, we are able to tap into the knowledge and expertise of agents to identify the most current trends impacting the cruise industry.”
Economic Trends Impacting Cruise Travel
According to the report, more than half of agents (53 percent) stated that lower airfares have had a positive impact on cruise sales, with cruise travelers finding it more affordable to travel to and from cruise ports. Similarly, 30 percent of agents stated that favorable currency exchange rates are making cruising more attractive for customers interested in international cruise vacations.
Cruising Closer to Home
While international cruise itineraries remain in demand, the report found Americans are currently planning cruise vacations close to home. Almost three-quarters of agents (73 percent) have seen an uptick in bookings to Alaska and nearly half (48 percent) are experiencing an increase in cruise demand for the Caribbean, Bermuda and Mexico cruises. Additionally, about a third of agents are reporting an increased interest in cruises to Hawaii (36 percent) and the Panama Canal (33 percent) as well as Canada and New England (30 percent).
Rise of the River Cruise
According to more than 60 percent of travel agents, river cruises continue to offer the most potential for growth this year. At the same time, “very large” or “big ships” are also expected to experience growth, according to nearly 60 percent of agents. Agents are also optimistic about the desire in ocean liner cruises, with more than 40 percent of respondents anticipating increases in demand.
Travel professionals in the cruise industry, can have their voice heard by joining the CLIA Travel Agent Research Panel. Simply email email@example.com.
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 23 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.