Travel Leaders Survey: Consumers Like Agents and Cruising

Travel Leaders reports high consumer satisfaction with cruising, while 8 out 10 consumers polled have used a travel agent at least “some of the time” and nearly 44 percent use travel agents “all or a majority of the time” for their travel planning needs. The survey included 800-plus consumers.

“With terrific cruising innovations over the past five years, it’s no wonder our survey results show that 94 percent of previous cruise passengers would cruise again. Even more exciting for the cruise industry is that nearly 70 percent of ‘non-cruisers’ said they would consider taking a cruise vacation,” said Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group.


“The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) estimates over 14 million people will take a cruise this year, and certainly our own findings demonstrate that cruising remains among the most popular vacations our Travel Leaders are booking in 2010,” Block said.

 Key Findings:

  When asked, “Have you ever taken a cruise?” 69.3 percent of those polled said “yes” and of those consumers, 94 percent said they would consider taking another cruise vacation. (CLIA reports that approximately 20 percent of the American public has taken a cruise.)

  Those indicating they have not taken a cruise were asked , “Would you consider a cruise?” and 69 percent said “yes” while 31 percent said “no.”

When asked, “Which size cruise ship are you likely to enjoy most?” the responses included:


I prefer large cruise ships, but not too big.

38.7 percent

Mid-sized ships offer the right combination of size and amenities for me.

25.6 percent

The bigger the better – bring it on!

23.7 percent

I prefer smaller, more intimate ships.

8.8 percent

Forget ocean-liners, I like river cruises.

3.2 percent

When asked, “Do you use a travel agent?” 80.6 percent indicated they use a travel agent at least some of the time while 43.8 percent said they use travel agents “all or a majority” of the time.  Only 19.4 percent indicated that they “rarely or never” use a travel agent.


When asked, “What are the top reasons why you use a travel agent?” the top responses were:


“Their knowledge and expertise”

76 percent

“Assistance with complicated trips/itineraries”

63.5 percent

“Their ability to access inventory or discounts I wouldn’t be able to find”

61.1 percent

“Personalized service, not an 800 number”

55.4 percent

“Saves me time”

51 percent

“In cruising, even the most jaded of ‘do-it-yourself’ travel ‘experts’ recommend consumers use travel agents, who diligently help sort through the vast options on cruise ships, itineraries and shore excursions to make sure their clients’ expectations are met and then exceeded,” Block noted. “So it’s gratifying, even if not surprising, that so many of the consumers who completed the survey have used a travel agent in the past and that almost half indicated they use a professional travel consultant nearly all of the time.” 



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