Cruising growth softens
AUSTRALIA’S travel agents continue to enjoy healthy sales in the cruise sector, but have revealed a marked slump in growth in this year’s Travel Daily/ Cruise Weekly cruise survey.
Conducted last month, the survey shows 64% of travel agents believe the ocean cruise market has grown in the past 12 months, down considerably from the 83% reported last year and the 85% shown in 2016.
About 29% said the ocean cruise market had remained the same as last year, while 6% reported that it had contracted.
Confidence in river cruising also slipped, with 33% of agents reporting growth, down from 42% last year and 46% in 2016.
The river cruise market had remained the same according to 52% of respondents, while 14% said it had declined.
The results are in line with the most recent Cruise Source Market Report issued by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, which showed the Australian cruise market grew by 4.4% in 2017, down from the 21% growth experienced in 2016.
Despite a softer market, agents appear less concerned by outside threats than in past years.
Only 45% said they were “extremely” or “very” concerned about losing sales to overseas agents, down from 51% last year.
The number of agents who were “not at all” concerned increased from 9% to 12%.
Those reporting a loss of sales to direct bookings has remained the same for three years at 53%, but the number of agents who said they don’t lose sales to direct bookings lifted from 14% to 25%.
See Cruise Weekly for more details, or to request the entire cruise survey, conducted by StollzNow Research, email email@example.com.