Trend Watch: April 26, 2010

New Agent Survey Upbeat on 2010 Cruise Sales

Higher cruise prices, increase in bookings and new opportunities in land sales are among the results from CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.’s joint Quarterly Trend Survey. The survey polled franchise owners and agents on key industry issues. Indications of a promising start to the year include consistent increases in booking volume and cruise prices.

CruiseOne has nearly 600 independently owned cruise travel franchise locations and Cruises Inc., more than 550 agents nationwide. The companies are part of World Travel Holdings.

New Ships Rake It In

Given the buzz around the launch of new mega-ships by leading cruise lines, agents were asked if the buzz translated to increased bookings.

They were asked to compare their bookings on Carnival’s Dream, NCL’s Epic and Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas vs. Q4 2009 (graph to the right).

Agents Find Peace of Mind With Spa Travel

Travelers are seeking whole-body health and wellness as well as fun and relaxation on their spa vacations, reports Amadeus, adding that the prediction of a “spa hybrid” trend has come true.

The wellness trend has piggybacked onto medical tourism, a $20 billion market that’s estimated to grow to $100 billion by 2012, Amadeus says, citing data from the Medical Tourism Association (MTA). Around 1.3 million Americans went abroad for health care and medical procedures in 2008, with the number expected to double this year.

Consumers Engaged Via Social Media More Likely To Buy

A study involving more than 1,500 consumers by research firms Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found that 60 percent of Facebook fans and 79 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend those brands since becoming a fan or follower. And an impressive 51 percent of Facebook fans and 67 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.

With 400 million-plus Facebook users, the opportunity is great for social media marketers.

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