Report: CLIA Cruise Forum
Cruise industry confident after buoyant 2014
A poll of cruise line and travel agent attendees of the CLIA Cruise Forum in Tilbury yesterday has indicated that strong performance seen this year will continue into 2015.
Of those that participated in the poll 56% said they felt very confident for the year ahead, while another 35% were somewhat confident. Around 88% expect business to grow in 2015 and 68% think that spend will increase.
The river cruise sector was cited as the area with the most growth potential by 47% of the respondents, and 35.8% said they would look to branch into this sector in 2015.
Asia and Australasia was highlighted as the emerging cruise destination with 48% expecting growth in the area, while 51.3% said they had already seen increased interest in cruises in the region. This was followed by Europe (19.2%) and the Caribbean (17.9%).
The figures came as a poll of the same audience found 66% had seen customers travel more and 64.9% witnessed an increase in spend. More than half (54%) said they had posted growth of 20% or more in 2014, while overall 89% said they have seen an increase in business this year.
A unique product offering was deemed as the most important tool, followed by increased marketing and social media use.
Narraway named CLIA chair
Lynn Narraway has been named as the new CLIA UK & Ireland chair. Narraway, who is UK managing director for Holland America Line and Seabourn, has taken over Celebrity Cruises’ Jo Rzymowska in the role, who had held the position for four years.
CLIA training numbers rise
CLIA UK & Ireland has seen a significant rise in travel agent members and users of its training modules, it revealed at the Cruise Forum.
Andy Harmer revealed agent member numbers have increased 44% this year to more than 2,200, and the number of agents accredited under its training scheme is up 29%.
The number of Cruise Masters in the training initiative has also nearly doubled (up 90%) with 26,000 courses completed this year, up 113%.
Its #lovecruise promotion on Twitter has also been deemed a success after being featured in 2,000 tweets and reaching 7.3 million Twitter users.
Harmer said the association is now undergoing consumer research to understand consumers and what drives them to take a trip. For agents its website will expand its resources with river cruise brochures, river cruise ship details and an increased amount of maps and port information.
CLIA Cruise Excellence Award Winners
Homeworker of the Year: Martin Hay, GoCruise
Young Travel Agent of the Year: Katy Porter, World Travel Holdings
Online Cruise Travel Agency of the Year: Iglu Cruise
High Street Travel Agency of the Year: Trailfinders
Innovation in Cruise: The Cruise Village
Travel Agent Business of the Year: World Travel Holdings
Rising Star: Cruise Nation
Outstanding Achievement: Michael English, Celebrity Cruises and Angela Flynn, Fred. Olsen