LONDON, England – New figures released today by Amadeus show that there are great opportunities ahead for travel agents to capitalise on UK travelers’ appetites for cruise holidays, with many being tempted by far-flung destinations and the thought of exploring the world. The representative survey of over 2,000 UK adults was conducted in May by YouGov on behalf of Amadeus UK and Ireland.
Opportunities for agents look significant in 2013 and beyond, with 8% of UK adults reporting that that they may book a cruise holiday in the next 12 months. There are further indications that travelers could be tempted to swap their land-based holiday for one at sea. A third of people (32%) would be tempted to go on a cruise holiday if they were of lower or comparable cost to an all-inclusive holiday.
Media coverage of recent incidents involving cruise liners, such as the partial sinking of the Costa Concordia in 2012 and sporadic yet well publicised outbreaks of norovirus, has had little impact on the majority of holidaymakers. Just over two fifths (41%) of people who hadn’t ruled out a cruise holiday beforehand said the media coverage hasn’t put them off and they would still consider this a holiday option.
However, price is a key issue: four in 10 (40%) people surveyed said that they perceive cruises are too expensive, and this puts them off going on a cruise holiday.
Nearly half of people (46%) think that a cruise holiday is most suited to older people aged 65+. 29% think that cruise holidays are most suited to couples without children; just 6% think cruise holidays are most suited to a family with children.
Rob Sinclair-Barnes, Director of Marketing for Amadeus UK and Ireland, said: “These findings should make for very pleasing reading for the UK’s travel agents and cruise providers, as they show there are enormous opportunities to sell cruises in 2013 and beyond.
“However, there are still plenty of opportunities for cruise providers and sellers to communicate the various offerings more effectively: there’s still a perception that cruise holidays are for the older traveler, and that they’re expensive – despite sustained efforts by the industry to broaden its appeal to a younger clientele, where value for money is a key criterion.
“That’s where we see huge value in providing smarter technology, such as the new Amadeus Cruise Shop. It has been designed to help cruise sellers clearly communicate about what is available and tailor the shopping experience based on the diverse needs of individual travelers.”