Travel agents and cruise lines were the winners from the Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA) recent week-long National Cruise Vacation Week (NCVW) promotion, with CLIA reporting an expected $55+ million in sales.
The results include NCVW events during the period October 17-23 and virtual promotions throughout October, generating over $7 million in potential commissions.
The estimate is according to a post event survey of the CLIA agency members participating in 2012 NCVW events.
“CLIA member travel agencies and consumers across North America have responded strongly to NCVW, the cruise industry’s largest annual promotion, and to the many outstanding offers from CLIA member travel agencies and cruise lines,” said Bob Sharak, CLIA’s executive vice president, marketing and distribution.
“This is a strong signal that the innovative vacation experiences and remarkable value offered by the cruise lines, combined with the marketing and promotional efforts of CLIA member travel agencies result in a successful sales formula. The result is a win-win-win situation for cruise lines, travel agents and, especially, the traveling public," Sharak said.
Participating CLIA agents reported that over 55,000 consumers attended physical NCVW events held by 1,049 CLIA agencies this year. The events were diverse and held in travel agency offices, hotel ballrooms, restaurants, corporate offices and other venues, CLIA reports.
The travel agent survey reveals that agencies offering such physical NCVW events have already generated, or anticipate generating, a total of 29,000 bookings for an estimated $32 million in sales, potentially yielding more than an estimated $4.2 million in travel agency commissions.
Over 90 percent of agents who registered to participate with a NCVW event indicated that they did so, a similar participation level as 2010 when a one-day World’s Largest Cruise Night was held, CLIA reports.
CLIA introduced a Virtual or online component to the promotion in 2007, providing a month-long sales opportunity this year. Almost 4,400 agents registered with CLIA to conduct a Virtual NCVW event this year – up from 3,200 in 2010 – sending email communications to consumers inviting them to visit individually customized NCVW web sites with cruise line videos, agency contact information and special offers.
Agents surveyed project nearly 23,000 bookings and over $23 million in actual and future sales as a result of the leads and contacts generated through four weeks of Virtual NCVW participation. According to participating CLIA travel agencies, CLIA’s 2011 online and traditional NCVW events combined are projected to generate nearly 52,000 bookings and as much as $55 million in sales, resulting in more than $7 million in potential travel agency commissions.
“CLIA’s travel agent members and the cruise lines responded to NCVW like never before, recognizing the opportunity to build the foundation for a highly successful year ahead. It is obvious that their promotions and NCVW marketing initiatives resonated with a huge, untapped desire on the part of a broad range of consumers to take a cruise vacation,” Sharak added.
In its first year, 2005, CLIA’s World’s Largest Cruise Night promotion attracted 25,000 consumers to 400-plus agency events, generating an estimated 7,273 bookings, $9 million in cruise sales and $1.2 million in travel agency commissions.