CLIA Agent Outlook: Majority See Growth In All Segments
According to the latest CLIA Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report, cruise travel's popularity continues to rise across all 4 major cruise segments.
The survey of 700 North American CLIA agents found that agents are reporting a higher cruise sales volume over last year with over 3/4 projecting a continued increase.
River cruising continues to surge with 67% reporting growth in river cruise popularity. Larger ships are seeing a spike in interest as well as 62%of agents report growth in that sector.
The report is the 4th installment in an ongoing quarterly research study from CLIA and is designed to forecast trends in the cruise industry among the travel agent community.
The CLIA report found that over 80%of travel agencies polled believe that cruise sales volume will be stronger 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 3/4 report an increase in consumer spending with 22%expecting growth of 10% or more, another 22% expecting sales to grow 6-10%, and 30% expecting growth of around 5%.
Agents say clients are increasingly booking cruises further in advance, shining a light on how knowledgeable agents can guide clients toward the best deal before ships reach sailing capacity, contrary to the "last minute deal" mentality.
In fact, 43% of agents report that more customers are booking travel 9 months to a year in advance, while 37% 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 travellers booking cruises less than 3 months out.
Cruise travel professionals 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 here.