Cruis­ing growth soft­ens

Travel Daily - - News -

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 re­search@trav­el­daily.com.au.

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