Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released today its most recent Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report, uncovering cruise travel trends and key insights from within the travel agent industry. The report is part of an ongoing research study from CLIA intended to forecast cruise industry trends among travel agents. This installment of the Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook found that more than 80 percent of travel agents say their cruise volume has increased in 2017, and three-quarters say their clients are spending more this year on cruise tourism.
Key findings from the Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report include:
North American travelers tend to gravitate toward Western Hemisphere destinations. Alaska is currently seeing the most growth (51%), followed by Caribbean/Bermuda/Mexico (42%) and Canada/New England (31%). Staying closer to home could offer some degree of comfort, according to several agents. “People are concerned about safety, but still want to explore new places,” says one travel professional, “so Alaska has become bigger overall. I am featuring Alaska more as a potential destination and making sure it is on my clients’ radar.”
Value & Service
Value and service are the most important factors in driving cruise guest satisfaction, according to travel agents. Almost all customers (98%) say service is “very” or “extremely” important to their guest satisfaction, and (96%) report the same about value. These factors are followed by comfort (94%) and amenities/activities and destination (90%). Less important, but still essential, price transparency (83%), return on experience (81%), culinary options (80%) and security (79%). Entertainment (67%) and enrichment opportunities (47%) scored lowest, but still provide value for some travelers.
Adventure & Expedition Travel
Sixty-two percent of travel agents say their clients are becoming more interested in expedition or adventure travel than in years past. Travelers are looking for exploration, “something new and out of the box,”, and the cruise industry offers many choices—from luxury to adventure boat experiences. That interest isn’t coming from just one type of traveler. It comes from friend groups (62%), couples (61%), solo travelers (50%) and multi-gen groups (46%)—and it finds advantage in a multitude of destinations. Agents in adventure report 76% “more” or “some” interest in Alaska, 49% in the Galapagos Islands and 33% in the South Pacific.
For more information, 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 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 800 travel agents throughout 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.