Retailer Cruise Sales Report: The Tide Is Rising For Everyone
2017 is shaping up as the best year in a decade for many cruise retailers.
Cruise Week has interviewed top sellers and cruise line executives over the past few weeks, and the reports are generally glowing.
"There's a ton of demand,” said one top seller. “People are not only cruising, they're booking further out and they're paying more. So the tide is rising for everyone."
The retailer added some perspective: "Our booking curve has jumped way up. It's a huge trend. I haven't seen a year this good since '07. And many say it's better than '07. There's more capacity, which speaks more to economy and consumer demand, but I think that the booking curve is a big factor."
The same retailer says neither agents nor suppliers are used to such positive results.
"It has been so long since we all thought about the numbers in terms of a dramatically extended booking curve and better pricing and yields and relations with networks. All of those things are undergoing changes. It's unprecedented for people who joined the business post-2007."
He also adds a word of caution, because experience tells him that such success can breed new issues.
"I think there's a potential for the lines to undervalue the contribution of travel agents in a good year. They think: ‘Things are great, we don't need them as much.’ That's just sort of a legacy mindset.
"Agents tend to be taken for granted in a good year, when in fact we're putting tons of business on the books, just further out, which is what they've always wanted."