Awareness and positive impressions of cruise travel among Millennials continue to grow, according to the latest EquiTrend Study from Harris Poll.
The study, which measures brand health over time, shows that cruise lines’ brand equity among Millennials increased 3 points compared to the previous year. Equity among travel brands was stable overall, although airline brand equity was up 4 points and hotels saw a slight gain of 1.3 points. Since brand equity tends to resist movement, the equity gains and declines among travel categories is significant, Harris said.
"When we consider where Millennials are in their lives, we can understand why they are having such a positive impact on brand health in the travel industry," said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at The Harris Poll, in a written release. "The oldest Millennials are approaching 40 years old with their prime earnings years still ahead of them. They have the disposable income to indulge their desire to experience the world while exploring their aspirations for luxury.”
Royal Caribbean had the highest brand equity among cruise lines in the latest poll, while American Airlines was named the best full service airline and Southwest Airlines was named the best value airline.
The EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors—Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration—that result in a brand equity rating for each brand, Harris said. The latest study is based on a sample of 102,617 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between December 30, 2016 and February 21, 2017.
The report is the latest sign of growing awareness of cruise travel among Millennials and more generally. In its Cruise Travel Report released earlier this year, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) called Millennials a new “Cruise Generation,” noting that Millennials rated cruise travel as the best type of vacation compared to land-based vacations, all-inclusive resorts, tours, vacation house rentals, and camping. In CLIA’s first Cruise Industry Consumer Outlook of 2017, the organization found that 64 percent of study respondents said that their awareness of cruise vacations has improved within the last two years, and, in the last four months alone, 30 percent of respondents said that their awareness of cruising and ship-based excursions “increased greatly” compared to a year or two ago.