Cruise Demand Increases Amid Pricing Drop

Cruise pricing dipped in May compared to April, but was offset by stronger demand, according to the latest travel agent survey from Bank of America. Bank of America analyst Michael Savner writes: "Although a pickup in pricing is yet to materialize, promotion-driven demand has increased enough to prevent further revenue erosion." Savner also writes that booking windows have shortened, reflecting willingness by consumers to wait for close-in deals. Said one travel agent polled by Bank of America: "Discounting in Caribbean is helping fill rooms, especially Carnival." One travel agent said clients are disenchanted with the bigger ships. "The larger ships are not what the clients want," the anonymous agent said. "Many can't afford to cruise on the lines with smaller ships, thus they book a land-based vacation."

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