As we reach the summer months, a large portion of the British population will seek sunnier climes and pure relaxation. Many of those will be embarking on a cruise; some for the first time, whilst others may be more experienced. Either way, it’s important to establish the reasons why people have decided to embark on a cruise and how those reasons can be translated into future sales.
Whilst it is paramount that every customer be treated as an individual; we've put together a range of statistics that depict what gets people ticking when it comes to cruising. Extracting data from CLIA's Cruise Review 2014 (released in March 2015); Cruise Franchise takes a closer look at the importance of each factor of a cruise holiday.
Each passenger who took the survey was asked to pick three principal reasons for choosing to take a cruise.
Despite seeing a considerable 20% drop from 2013, location remains the most important factor when it comes to cruising. 51% (down from 71%) of people surveyed placed itinerary and destinations as the reason behind booking their latest cruise.
The second most important factor relates to the cruise line, with 39% of cruisers basing their holiday on the fact they’ve cruised with a certain cruise line before. However, this is also down 17 % from 2013 (56%) and 25% down from 2011 (64%). So whilst destinations and cruise lines are still the main factors in booking a cruise – there has been an evident shift in market trends.
This could be down to the current economic climate, which would explain why 34% of stated price/value for money as the main factor behind booking their latest cruise. It could also accumulate for the new to cruise customers who have discovered the world of cruising and the value for money it offers when compared to other holidays.
As a new option to be added to the survey, it is impossible to compare this factor with previous years. But with one in three people on average placing cost as the main reason behind their latest cruise, it cannot be ignored and could be a rising trend in the years to come. Cruises with all-inclusive deals, added extras and excursions included in the price could be the key to the hearts of new-to-cruise customers. This idea is also emphasised when taking into account a collective 22% (11% each respectively) based their cruise around a special offer or the all-inclusive nature of the package.
Perhaps the reason for fewer people selecting cruise line as the main reason could be down to more cruisers seeing importance in a particular cruise ship. As another new option to be added, 21% of people based their last cruise on the fact they had previously sailed on a particular cruise ship.
This could be down to previously new-to-cruise customers, who may have sailed on amazing ships such as Anthem of the Seas, or discovered the elegant world of river cruising and immediately fallen in love with the world of cruising. Contrastingly, it could also account for experienced travellers who have established what they like the most.
Finally, more emphasis in 2015 and 2016 sailings have been placed on being able to embark from your local port. This is reflected in the survey, with 16% of people placing it as the most important reason and an additional 19% selecting ‘No flight’.
Factors such as the time of year and duration have become less important over the last year. The length of the cruise was only selected by 12% of people; whilst the departure date was selected by 23% (down from 38% in 2013).
As emphasised by the number of people who chose a cruise based on local departure port and no-fly cruises; the importance of flying from a local airport has continued to drop. Only 7% consider the importance of flying from a local airport when booking a cruise, which is down 15% from 2011.
Perhaps the most surprising of all is the low number of people who booked a cruise following a recommendation. All three fields of recommendation (peers, travel agents, literature) saw a dip in percentages.
The responsibility of GoCruise Specialists to ensure customers are placed on the right cruise for them is as important as ever. For tips on how to win over cruise sceptics, read our step by step guide. Likewise, considering the popularity of departures from UK ports, check out our interactive map which lists all cruise ships departing from the British Isles over the summer.
|Cruised with this line before||64%||55%||56%||39%|
|Price/Value for Money||N/A||N/A||N/A||34%|
|Cruised on this ship before||N/A||N/A||N/A||21%|
|Local Departure Port||N/A||N/A||N/A||16%|
|To try another cruise line||9%||17%||16%||11%|
|All inclusive nature of the package||N/A||N/A||N/A||11%|
|To try another ship||10%||9%||10%||8%|
|Flights from local airport||22%||13%||12%||7%|
|Personal recommendation from friends and family||9%||6%||8%||4%|
|Pre and post land stays||N/A||N/A||N/A||3%|
|Travel Agent Recommendation||4%||5%||3%||2%|
|Recommendation from web, review, blog||4%||2%||3%||1%|
Taking into account the rising and falling trends depicted in the table above and applying it to your sales technique could make all the difference over the next year or so. As stated previously, though, each customer should be treated as an individual. Listen to their needs and establish a cruise that is right for them. Get it right and they’ll come back to you time and time again.
If you love travel and want a rewarding and successful career within the cruise industry, why not consider becoming a GoCruise Specialist? Join our growing family of specialists from across the country and our dedicated support team will assist every step of the way.
Contact us via the Freephone Number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.