River cruising has taken off in a big way for Australians, with thousands joining ships plying the waters of Europe and Asia. It’s clearly a lucrative market to tap in to so travel-bulletin got some hot selling tips from MTA travel expert Leon Bruggemann.
What are the main drawcards for Australians travelling on a river cruise?
The main drawcard is that travellers can experience a country in a relaxing mode of travel whether it be in Europe, Asia, China, or Egypt. We have large choices of itineraries and durations to choose from and a river cruise can easily be combined with land content such as car rental, coach touring and rail.
What kinds of travellers take river cruises?
Travellers in the 40+ age group, mainly couples who want a stress free experience. Unpack once and have an all-inclusive holiday with meals, with major sightseeing included.
Which destinations are the most popular?
Europe is still the most popular especially the Amsterdam-budapest route followed closely by France and the Moselle into Switzerland. Asia is also very popular, China, Cambodia, Burma and India.
Are there any routes that you consider must-do’s for river cruisers?
Europe is a must-do. Danube through to the Rhine followed by other alternative river cruises in Europe such as France and Spain.
What should an agent consider when selling river cruises?
It is important to know your clients’ needs and expectations and match them to the correct product. We now have such large choice of cruises and cruise companies and product training is freely available to learn about these different products.
What are the biggest challenges for agents in selling river cruise holidays?
The product choice we have and getting up to speed with each product. The Early Bird promotions with fly free can be confusing to the consumer especially, in the fine print.