CLIA’s Q2 Travel Agent Industry Outlook Reflects Some Positive Trends
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released its 2nd Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016, revealing economic trends are positively impacting cruise travel, travellers are cruising closer to home and demand for river cruises continues. The report, which was conducted in February, is the 2nd in an ongoing quarterly research study from CLIA, designed to forecast trends in the cruise industry among the travel agent community.
Economic Trends Impacting Cruise Travel According to the report, more than 1/2 of agents (53%) stated that lower airfares have had a positive impact on cruise sales, with cruise travellers finding it more affordable to travel to and from cruise ports. Similarly, 30% of agents stated that favourable 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 North Americans are currently planning cruise vacations close to home. Almost 3/4 agents (73%) have seen an uptick in bookings to Alaska and nearly 1/2 (48%) are experiencing an increase in cruise demand for the Caribbean, Bermuda and Mexico. Additionally, about 1/3 of agents are reporting an increased interest in cruises to Hawaii (36%) and the Panama Canal (33%) as well as Canada and New England (30%).
Rise of the River Cruise According to more than 60% 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% of agents. Agents are also optimistic about the desire for ocean liner cruises, with more than 40% of respondents anticipating increases in demand.
“Travel agents truly are the experts when it comes to identifying and forecasting cruise travel trends,” said Cindy D’Aoust, President & 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.”
Travel professionals in the cruise industry are invited to have their voices heard by joining the CLIA Travel Agent Research Panel. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.