I was speaking to a reporter this week who was a complete novice in all things cruise, who was rather amazed at quite how significant the size our industry is; and indeed how successful it is.
With 1.8 million Brits taking a cruise each year; with massive investment in new ships, ports and experiences; and with an active, energetic and experienced UK travel agent community we are incredibly well placed to continue to be a major part of people’s plans for their holiday time each year.
And as a nation we really value that holiday time as an important way for us to finally get the ‘out of office’ switched on, and to rest and relax in an otherwise incredibly busy schedule.
In our own research conducted over the festive period, it seems that millions of us are keen to improve our work/life balance in 2017. 28 per cent of those surveyed admitted that regrettably, their personal lives can get neglected due to work commitments, and as a result, 37 per cent confessed that having too much on at work causes them a great deal of stress and that a holiday is key to reducing this.
So it should be no surprise that when it comes to planning a 2017 holiday getaway, 60 per cent of respondents are prioritising time to relax and unwind from the stresses of work. There is little wonder therefore that Brits up and down the country view that main holiday as so important – either to spend more time with family or to spend time with close friends, or to simply explore and try something new.
It is all too easy to forget that cruises are, simply, a type of holiday. We talk a lot about the fantastic opportunities that cruising offers – from on-board entertainment, enrichment, service and dining, to multiple destinations and unpacking once – but we should always have in mind that for many people cruises are a fantastic way to simply switch off and relax.
Like everything else, cruising is well placed to help customers get the best from their valued holiday time. A cruise is very inclusive, taking away that worry of counting money during the stay; and the crew are perfectly placed to assist with everything – from dining reservations, to evening shows, from baby siting to onward travel.
And a ship is perfect too – everything you need for a relaxing, fun, enjoyable stay all in one place. And what a place – the modern cruise ship brings you some of the most exciting, innovative and inspiring places to holiday anywhere in the world.
During this important booking season, take the time to really get to know your customers. After all, based on our research figures, chances are that achieving a better stress/life balance will be up there on their list of priorities for the year ahead.