Over 50 percent of travel agents are reporting that they've already sold more vacations at sea than in 2011, and 64 percent of them are expecting cruise booking volume over the course of 2012 to increase over last year, according to a new survey of members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The online survey reached out to over 300 CLIA-member agents and was conducted in early July, measuring major aspects of the cruise industry from the agent perspective, including consumer confidence and attitudes toward cruising, popular cruise destinations, passenger demographics and booking patterns.
The study also showed that 24 percent of agents expect a 10 percent or less increase in 2012 bookings, while 25.4 percent expect increases of 11-15 percent and 14.8 percent are looking forward to even greater rises. At mid-year, 24.7 percent of agents report cruise sales (in number of cruises sold) similar to 2011, but 51.9 percent of agents report that they are doing better than last year.
CLIA also announced the launch of its Specialty Cruise Collection initiative, which will support and promote small ship, river, coastal, luxury, adventure and sailing ship member lines. According to CLIA, the initiative will enhance the marketing anc communications reach of 13 CLIA member lines. The program is designed to heighten consumer and trade awareness of the exceptional and growing diversity of specialized cruise experiences offered throughout the world by CLIA member lines.
The Collection will be featured in CLIA communications such as the CLIA Today newsletter and will have its own landing page on the new CLIA website. Public relations activities will include a Specialty Cruise Collection press kit, news and feature releases focusing on the unique character of specialty cruising and the products offered by cruise line members of the collection.