Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released today the third Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016, revealing that as the demand for cruising continues to grow, travel agents are playing an increasingly important role in the consumer travel process. The report is the third installment in an ongoing quarterly research study from CLIA, 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, president and CEO, CLIA. “A key finding from the report is that, as people continue to travel the globe, travel agents are playing a vital role in matching travelers desires to the right cruise experience both near and far.”
Key findings from the third Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016 include:
Cruises Continue to Gain Popularity
According to the report, cruise travel continues to be popular among all types of travelers across all cruise segments. Of these, river cruising shows the most growth with six out of ten (64 percent) travel agents expecting to sell more river cruise packages this year and 21 percentexpecting to see significant growth in river cruise sales. Aside from river cruising, more than half (54 percent) 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 three out of four (73 percent) travel agents expect increased sales this year while 15 percent expect no change. To bolster this finding, 27 percent of those travel agents are anticipating sales increases of ten percent or higher. The steady rise in sales speaks volumes to the vital role of travel agents in the consumer travel experience.
Luxury and Inclusivity
Travel agents participating in the report also stated that clients are looking for all-inclusive cruising options, especially on luxury cruises. Two-thirds (66 percent) of agents said that all-inclusive options were very important for their clients booking luxury cruises followed by 58 percentreporting that luxury cruise clients most valued a unique travel destination.
Travel professionals in the cruise industry can have their voice heard by joining the CLIA Travel Agent Research Panel. To join, email[email protected].
The full report is available at: http://www.cruising.org/TA-Outlook.