Cruise Agents Say Frigid Weather Stimulates Thoughts Of Future Travel
Spot checks with North American travel advisors finds that Wave Season sales "picked up with a vengeance" -- to use the terms of one retailer, in the final week of January.
Factors cited included the reopening of the U.S. government after a month-long partial shutdown, a less volatile stock market and frigid weather across much of North America.
This past week more than 90% of travel retailers contacted byCruise Week reported high satisfaction levels with volume for the last week of January, an unusual level of agreement.
"Our Wave Season picked up with a vengeance," commented one veteran retailer
For an in-depth perspective on one factor – weather -- Cruise Week turned to Carol Lekki, the long-time president of Carol's Travel, in Tinley Park, Ill., for her views on the topic.
"Throughout all the years, the trend remains the same. Bad weather in our area gets the phones ringing. The callers don't necessarily want to get out of town and away from the cold and snow 'right now,' although some do."
Lekki believes bad weather stimulates vacation planning for the year ahead. "In my opinion, it's a bit of a curiosity that bad weather brings on thoughts of travel," says Lekki. "It must be like a cup of hot chocolate…just something to warm and excite them…a cozy feeling."
This year in particular she saw a sharp change with the weather: "It's great for us sellers of travel, and even though we don't care much for the extreme cold and snow, there's an excitement because you know it's good for business."
"Travel could be for the spring, summer, or fall, there just seems to be a strong need to know they have a vacation in the future," continued Lekki. "And, it can be to anywhere, not just a sand & sun trip. Europe, Alaska, River Cruises are all popular inquiries right now."