With 22 new vessels launching in 2023, more itineraries and a “ship to suit everyone”, there has never been a better time to sell cruise. That was the key message to agents from CLIA UK & Ireland Managing Director Andy Harmer at The Advantage Travel Partnership’s Back on the Water conference.
“There are two types of customers, cruisers and those yet to cruise,” he told the 200-plus agents that attended the convention on Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady. “One in ten of every package holiday sold in the UK is a cruise. For every customer you work with there’s a cruise for them and the opportunity to sell cruise has never been greater.”
Opening the conference sessions, Harmer highlighted recent CLIA research that revealed 66% of those questioned who had never been on a cruise said they would consider one if they could find the right sailing. He urged agents to maximise on these potential sales by boosting their cruise know-how through training courses, webinars, reading trade press, visiting the CLIA website and upping their knowledge on cruise destinations.
“There is also no such thing as a typical cruiser,” he said. “In fact, only 30% of cruisers are couples. Five per cent are singles, 15% are parties of three and 20% are parties of over six, and under-35s are showing a great interest in cruising.”
The conference, where agents sailed from Ibiza to Barcelona, also included updates on Advantage’s renewed focus on cruise and speed networking with more than 20 supplier partners