The top reason for choosing an ocean cruise is value for money, according to new trade research.
Clia’s first Travel Agent Research Panel Questionnaire found the value of a cruise was ranked first, ahead of itineraries and standards of services. More than 75% of respondents said customers spent more on ocean cruising in 2016.
High standards of dining and promotional offers were ranked fourth and fifth as key reasons in choosing an ocean cruise.
Clia surveyed just under 100 agencies from the high street and online, as well as homeworkers.
Almost 75% of agents said the industry had grown in the past year, the biggest increase being sales from couples, followed by families.
The survey’s results were released at Clia’s cruise forum in Windsor this week, where it also announced that Royal Caribbean’s vice-president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Stuart Leven, will succeed Lynn Narraway, managing director of Holland America Line and Seabourn, as chairman of the association.
Andy Harmer, director of Clia UK and Ireland, said: “I don’t think it’s a surprise that customers are choosing cruise for value for money.
“People are more conscious of not only a holiday’s price, but what they spend during the trip.
“More people want to go all-inclusive. Cruise is the best value for money because so much is included.”
Phil Evans, managing director of agency Cruise Nation, said: “Consumers take everything into account including spending and activities. This is why families are a massive, growing market segment.”
The key factor in customers choosing a river cruise was destination, followed by standards of service and value for money.