CLIA has released its 3rd Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016, with the key takeaway that as the demand for cruising continues to grow, travel agents are playing an increasingly important role in the consumer planning and booking process.
The ongoing quarterly research study is designed to forecast trends in the cruise industry among the travel agent community. “The Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook enables us to identify key trends using the insights of travel agents,” said Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA President & CEO. “A key finding from the report is that, as people continue to travel the globe, travel agents are playing a vital role in matching travellers’ desires to the right cruise experience both near and far.”
According to the report, cruise travel continues to be popular among all types of travellers across all cruise segments. Of these, river cruising shows the most growth with 64% of travel agents expecting to sell more river cruise packages this year and 21% expecting significant growth in river cruise sales. Aside from river cruising, more than half (54%)of travel agents expected to see growth in the large ocean ship segment.
The report found that continued cruise popularity also brings in steady sales growth. Nearly 3 out of 4 travel agents expect increased overall sales this year while 15% expect no change. Broken down further, 27% of those travel agents are anticipating sales increases of 10% or higher.
“The steady rise in sales speaks volumes to the vital role of travel agents in the consumer travel experience,” CLIA says.
Travel agents participating in the report also stated that clients are looking for all-inclusive cruising options, especially on luxury cruises. 2/3 agreed that all-inclusive options were very important for their clients booking luxury cruises.