Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released its most recent Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report. The report looks into travel trends from a travel agent’s perspective and is part of an ongoing research study from CLIA intended to forecast cruise industry trends.
One of the most standout findings was that more than 80 percent of travel agents say their cruise volume has increased in 2017, and three-quarters say their clients are spending more this year on cruise tourism.
The study also found that Alaska is currently seeing the most growth (51 percent), followed by Caribbean / Bermuda / Mexico (42 percent) and then Canada / New England (31 percent). Staying closer to home might impact travelers' decision, according to some agents.
Value and service are the most important factors in driving cruise guest satisfaction, according to travel agents. Almost all customers (98 percent) say service is “very” or “extremely” important to their guest satisfaction, and (96 percent) report the same about value. These factors are followed by comfort (94 percent) and amenities / activities and destination (90 percent). Less important, but still essential, are price transparency (83 percent), return on experience (81 percent), culinary options (80 percent) and security (79 percent). Entertainment (67 percent) and enrichment opportunities (47 percent) scored lowest, but still provide value for some travelers.
Additionally, 62 percent of travel agents say their clients are becoming more interested in expedition or adventure travel than in years past. This kind of travel is coming from a range of groups including friend (62 percent), couples (61 percent), solo travelers (50 percent) and multi-gen groups (46 percent) Agents in adventure also report 76 percent “more” or “some” interest in Alaska, 49 percent in the Galapagos Islands and 33 percent in the South Pacific.
For more information, the full report is available here.