Figures recently released by Amadeus show that there are opportunities ahead for travel agents to capitalise on UK travellers’ appetites for cruise holidays, with many being tempted by far-flung destinations and the thought of exploring the world.
The representative survey of more than 20,00 UK adults was conducted in May by YouGov on behalf of Amadeus UK and Ireland.
Opportunities for agents look significant in 2013 and beyond, with 8% of UK adults reporting that that they may book a cruise holiday in the next 12 months. The Caribbean is at the top of the list of dream destinations: asked where they would most like to go on a cruise holiday from a given list, if money were no object, just over a fifth (21%) chose the Caribbean; 15% the South Pacific and Australia; and 11% the Mediterranean.
However, there are further indications that travellers could be tempted to swap their land-based holiday for one at sea. A third of people (32%) would be tempted to go on a cruise holiday if they were of lower or comparable cost to an all-inclusive holiday. The survey indicates a clear desire amongst UK adults to wake up in a new place almost every day, with 29% selecting this as something that would tempt them to choose a cruise. Something agents can capitalise on as almost uniquely the domain of cruise holidays.
However, the research also revealed that price is a key issue, with four in ten (40%) people surveyed saying that they perceive cruises are too expensive, and this puts them going off going on a cruise holiday. Additional costs, such as drinks and tips for staff, were of concern to some.
Other key findings included nearly half of people (46%) think that a cruise holiday is most suited to older people aged 65+; 29% think that cruise holidays are most suited to couples without children; and 6% think cruise holidays are most suited to a family with children.
Respondents were also largely realistic when it comes to how much a cruise holiday costs: 29% of people would expect to pay more than £1,000 and up to £1,500 per person for a seven-night cruise to the Caribbean, whilst 38% think that a Mediterranean cruise costs more than £500 and up to £1,000.
The company's director of marketing Rob Sinclair-Barnes said: “These findings should make for very pleasing reading for the UK’s travel agents and cruise providers, as they show there are enormous opportunities to sell cruises in 2013 and beyond.
“However, there are still plenty of opportunities for cruise providers and sellers to communicate the various offerings more effectively: there’s still a perception that cruise holidays are for the older traveller, and that they’re expensive – despite sustained efforts by the industry to broaden its appeal to a younger clientele, where value for money is a key criteria.
“That’s where we see huge value in providing smarter technology, such as the new Amadeus Cruise Shop. It has been designed to help cruise sellers clearly communicate about what is available and tailor the shopping experience based on the diverse needs of individual travellers.”