The verdict is in and according to new research commissioned by Amadeus, Brits LOVE to cruise! Drawing on responses from 2000 British adults, the study revealed that more than 40% of respondents would consider a cruise holiday in the future. Furthermore, 30% maintained that they would be open to swapping an all-inclusive land package holiday for a cruise getaway of equal value. For travel agents and cruise companies this is a fantastic opportunity to tap into a changing market, monopolise on changing perceptions and expand Britain’s cruising customer base.
What attracts British cruisers?
When questioned on main concerns respondents identified choice, flexibility and personalisation as top priorities. 31% maintained they’d be more inclined to book a cruise holiday if it offered unique, interesting, or hard-to-reach destinations, 19% revealed that small cruise ships were a major draw card while on-board activities were also a key factor. The opportunity to travel with like-minded individuals was identified as another perk of cruising, as was highly personalised service.
What’s not to love?
So what didn’t respondents like about cruising? 44% were put off at the idea of being stuck on a ship for an extended period of time, 38% didn’t like the thought of being forced to holiday in close proximity to other passengers while 29% shied away from the lack of flexibility when it comes to setting itineraries. Unsurprisingly these are all largely misconceptions that the industry is working hard to reverse. In fact, today’s ships offer passengers more space, flexibility and on-board excitement than ever before. Larger ships are more than capable of providing deckchairs for all while their small scale counterparts offer a luxuriously intimate experience.
Rose Fernandez, Director of Marketing at Amadeus UK and Ireland explains, “Defying outdated pre-conceptions about cruise travel will continue to be a crucial success factor in how the industry engages with modern travellers and particularly with the growing proportion of millennials willing to try a cruise holiday.”
Taking the plunge
As for the booking process… Consumers place a huge amount of value on high quality service, tailored travel options, up –to-the-minute information on all the latest deals, expert advice on destinations and fast-tracked responses to questions and inquiries. Hello Cruise 1st customer service team!
“There is a clear opportunity for travel sellers and cruise providers to communicate the breadth of product, wide range of experiences and terrific value that cruise holidays offer to new and existing customers in 2015,” says Fernandez. She recognises that tailored service is set to play a vital role in driving Britain’s cruise trend and “tapping into this huge market of consumers who, until now, haven’t traditionally opted for a cruise.”
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: IoW_Sparky, Scott Anderson