This is the second story resulting from our recent Cruise Outlook Survey, taken by cruise-selling travel advisors in early July. Readers can see the first article here.
It's been a challenging year for many travel advisors, so, where would cruise-selling travel advisors go on vacation right now if they had the chance?
Travel Agent put that question to 60 advisors from 19 states in a "Cruise Outlook Survey" in early July. Certainly, there's a strong loyalty to cruising, as at least half the advisors said they'd head for water (ocean or river).
Where would you (as a travel advisor) prefer to go if you were able to take a vacation right now?
- Ocean cruise – 41 percent
- Road trip/National Park getaway/travel close to home – 24 percent
- River cruise – 12 percent
- Visit relatives or friends – 10 percent
- Land tour – 9 percent
- City stay/getaway – 4 percent
Showing Sales Mettle
In our survey, 53 percent of travel advisors also said they hadn't changed their sales mix—most with cruise as a strong part of their sales mix, or, in some cases, nearly all of their sales mix.
But many advisors also showed their sales mettle by adapting as needed for their business in the face of tough times. Thus, 43 percent of advisors have adapted their sales mix right now to help fill the coffers. For the advisors who have changes their sales mix, we asked what they are selling more of this year than a normal year. Here's what they said:
- City getaways/hotel stays – 54 percent of advisors cited this as their top addition to their sales mix
- All-inclusive resorts – 21 percent listed this as the number one addition
- Road trips/National Parks/close-to-home travel – 19 percent cited this as their top sales addition
Client visits to see family/friends in a different locale, beach stays and small group tours comprised the remainder of additions to the sales mix.
Looking to Improved Revenues
Peering into their own crystal ball, 2 percent of travel advisors who took our survey said their cruise revenues remained the "same" or were normal this spring/summer. Some 98 percent of travel advisors, though, reported a drop in cruise revenues this year versus the norm. So, we asked, "When do you think cruise revenue for you personally as a cruise seller will return to more normal levels?"
- Sometime this year – 2 percent
- First quarter 2021 – 12 percent
- Spring/summer 2021 – 26 percent
- Fall 2021 – 22 percent
- Winter 2021-22 or beyond – 31 percent
- Other – 5 percent
In an upcoming, story, we'll look at what specific tips, creative ideas and other activities cruise sellers have undertaken or plan to implement to keep the revenue flowing and maintain communication with customers.