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April 19, 2010 By: George Dooley

Luxury travel sales showed solid gains in the first quarter of 2010 among luxury-focused agency members of The company reports that 74 percent of member agencies recently surveyed said that sales are up 25 percent on average, with 23 percent reporting significant growth of up to 200 percent over this time last year. Another key finding showed that Europe was in the highest demand (92 percent), followed by Asia (30 percent) and Hawaii (18 percent).

Among this luxury segment, cruise vacations enhanced with additional components proved to be most popular. Agents reported that roughly 75 percent of their clients request hotel stays before and after the cruise, with private transfers and sightseeing activities included as integral components of their itinerary.

Survey results also spotlighted two other programs with high usage among luxury-focused agents: Hosted Vacation Vignettes and Engagement direct mail and e-mail marketing. Seventy percent of surveyed members have booked clients on a Vacation Vignettes itinerary, which enhances the cruise experience with a Concierge Host, Exclusive Shore Event and Private Cocktail Reception.’s Engagement marketing program was used by 75 percent of those surveyed to promote their business to their client base, resulting in increased customer inquiries during wave season.

“Because many of our programs are geared for the luxury market, agents have seen a higher overall demand from their upscale clientele for deep-water cruises, land vacations, river cruises and five-star hotel stays,” said John Lovell,’s vice president of sales and industry relations.



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