CLIA view March 2017
JOEL Katz, managing director
Boost your cruise sales
The cruise industry is growing at an incredible pace and on a global scale. For that reason, the research that CLIA conducts assists agents to gain the best understanding of the attitudes and behaviors around travel, and particularly around cruise travel.
The recently released CLIA Cruise Travel Report offers a revealing look at the travel preferences of cruisers and non-cruisers. The report delves into a variety of topics ranging from travel planning and the use of travel agents to destination preferences. A key highlight of the US study defines a new “Cruise Generation,” outlining the growing number of Millennials and Generation Y travellers embracing and enjoying cruise travel.
This generation rates cruise travel as the best type of vacation compared to other land-based holiday options. Ninety per cent who have experienced cruise travel say they will continue to cruise. Similar trends are being reported in Australasia.
Given the fact that cruising has consistently proven itself to be one of the fastest growing and most profitable segment of the leisure travel industry, travel consultants looking to significantly move their cruise sales needle forward should be taking advantage of the all the opportunities available. Here are two ways to do it:
1. Sharpen your skills . Make certain to renew your CLIA Membership for the coming year, so you can access the definitive industry training.
Take advantage of CLIA’s online courses and other professional development opportunities, including CLIA research into cruise trends and behaviors. Learn about the newest ocean and river cruise ships and their onboard features and amenities. Gain a solid understanding of up-and-coming ports of call, along with any unique shore excursion opportunities they might offer your clients.
Learn about that cruise line you are not currently selling, but want to sell. Communicate your CLIA member status to your cruise line BDMs and inquire about any upcoming seminars at sea or FAM trips. Reach out to participate in any ship inspections in your area, or Webinars run by CLIA.
2. Leverage your loyal clients, who already know that you are great at what you do.
Ask them if they would act as an advocate on your behalf, sending referrals and endorsing you through testimonials and holiday snaps that you can post to your social media platforms.
While you must always demonstrate your value, leveraging those who have experienced your great work firsthand, who are happily willing to share their experiences, multiplies the extent of your market reach and establishes you as a cruise travel authority.
Your CLIA membership is about being part of a global community of professionals who drive the cruise industry forward and prosper as a result. Please deepen your level of involvement this year and be an active participant in CLIA as we continue to advocate, educate, and promote for the common interests of the cruise community.
If you are not yet a CLIA member or you have not yet renewed your 2017 membership, it’s not too late — sign up via the CLIA website at www.cruising.org.au