Cruise ships have gotten a bad rep over the last decade. But the industry is responding. In a big way. Constantly evolving in a positive way.
And with tremendous success.
According to Bloomberg: “The cruise business occupies a small niche of the travel industry – about 2 percent of the global market – but its popularity is on a decadal upswing. Passengers increased from 17.8 million in 2009 to 28.5 million in 2019, generating about $45 billion in revenue. In China, passenger growth has exceeded 40 percent annually since 2006.”
While there is no specific data available for the Benelux, Paul Nuyens, CLIA manager Benelux & Frankrijk, adds that “holidays by cruise are increasingly popular amongst a wider public – with young families taking the lead.”
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First things first: are cruises sustainable?
Cruises are definitively more environmentally-friendly than before.
A growing number of companies are committing themselves to follow a more sustainable stream. “Our industry leads in environmental stewardship,” said Michael Thamm, Chairman of CLIA Europe, citing the increased use of energy-efficient LNG fuel and improved Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems.
6 cruise trends to look out for
The industry is constantly reinventing itself, finding new niche markets – such as river cruises – to expand.
At a recent ABTA conference, Alistair Pritchard, – lead partner at Deloitte travel – defined 6 key trends for the cruise travel industry. We present a short summary, you can read the longer descriptions on the ABTA website.
- Transformational travel
Today’s travel industry is all about unique travel experiences. And in that light, Peter Shanks advises you to “Choose one destination and become fanatical about it. If you become an expert in expedition cruising, you’ll be able to sell an expedition cruise.”
- Multigenerational travel
Family-travel continues to make up a large part of the cruise industry. Which is why cruise lines offer new family-sized cabins and cruise itineraries that offer fun for the whole family.
- Solo travel
Some eye-opening statistics in this category: 17% of people now go on solo cruises. And 85% of them are women. And they’re out for adventure – so don’t be afraid to spice it up.
- Luxury travel
Luxury travel has been a growing segment across the travel industry and it’s no different when it comes to cruises.
Some cities like Dubrovnik are working together with the cruise body in order to stagger ships. Alistair Pritchard believes that the congestion in historic European cities can also be solved by technology as there will be more apps appearing which will help to distribute people in cities so that they do not get too overcrowded.
- The rise of the travel expert
Good news: a “continued renaissance” in consumers wanting a real-life expert to ensure they make the right decision is happening. Over to you!
Never stop proving your value
The majority of travelers – rightfully – opt to book their cruise using travel agencies.
As you know and as confirmed by CLIA, customers can enjoy several advantages when turning to their travel agency for booking a cruise:
- Valuable insights thanks to the agent’s product knowledge and expertise
- Round-the-clock support
- Leverage if something goes wrong
- Access to exclusive offers
Offer a superior service to your travelers
Amadeus Cruise helps you better qualify your clients, identify their specific preferences, and provide specials based on their individual requirements. Get started here.