Demand for cruise travel and travel agents continues to be strong, according to the just-released third Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016 from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
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.
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 percent expecting 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.
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 percent reporting that luxury cruise clients most valued a unique travel destination.