British travel agents are feeling positive about the past year’s travel business and optimistic about the year ahead, according to research commissioned by Carnival Cruise Lines.
The nationwide poll found that 83% of agents feel positive about the health of the travel industry during 2014, with almost half (42%) of agents predicting strong numbers of cruise bookings in 2015.
When asked how good they felt about this year’s summer season, 83% claimed to feel positive, with 30% describing their mood as very positive and less that 1% feeling negative about the season.
The findings have been released as part of the line's fourth Travel Agent Mood Index – an annual poll that aims to gauge the level of optimism in the UK travel trade.
The survey also revealed that more than three quarters of British agents (77%) hit their sales targets during quarters two and three this year, and a further 84% predict they will hit their targets for the fourth quarter – up from 79% last year.
Findings also revealed that while agents reported feeling most confident about all-inclusives (67%) last year, cruises seem to be the safest bet this year (34%), with package holidays ranking a close second (30%).
When agents were asked about discounting in the cruise market, more than half (52%) said that there was a lot of discounting but that it had improved. A further 18% of agents believed that there wasn’t too much discounting in the cruise market.
Meanwhile, families have been keeping travel agents happy this summer, driving 33% of holiday bookings, but it is still mature couples creating the most demand (55%). More young couples have chosen to stay at home this year it seems, driving only 10% of bookings - down from 55% last year.
Adolfo Perez, the company's managing director, said: “It is really great to hear cruise bookings are playing such a pivotal role in UK agent’s success this year. We are pleased to see that families account a large portion of bookings in cruise, as the industry looks to reach out to the younger generations.”
The Caribbean sits in third place on the list of most popular destinations this summer, accounting for 12% of bookings – with Spain (37%) proving most popular and the US (24%) polling second.