Why Do Cruisers Use Travel Agents?
Written by: Sydney M Crago on October 25, 2018
All October long, we have been celebrating Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) #ChooseCruise campaign to share the experiences and perks of taking a cruise vacation. This month, CLIA shared that over 70 percent of cruisers use a travel agent to book their cruise vacations. Why is that percentage so high? Here are four reasons why cruisers love working with travel agents.
1. There’s a cruise for everyone, but which one?
Google is an amazing tool, but it provides results based on just a few words or a phrase. A search for “Caribbean cruise” turns up 124 million results, which is enough to overwhelm any traveler. When searching for the right cruise, travelers soon discover the diverse range of itineraries and ships offered by cruise lines. Add to that the variety in sailing lengths, the different amenities on board each ship, and the range of costs and suddenly finding the right cruise seems even more intimidating.
Drawing on your travel agent education and personal experience, you can ask their clients questions to find the right cruise line, the right ship, and the right destination.
2. The service is personalized.
Every cruiser has a different reason for loving to cruise. Some are drawn to the convenience of seeing many of their dream destinations in one trip. Others enjoy onboard activities, dining, and entertainment that make cruising one of the most exciting ways to travel between locations. Cruising also offers something for all ages, so the whole family can find fun and relaxation on the same vacation.
Travel agents know that all clients are different, and their value really comes into play by being able to craft the perfect getaway for each client. By booking excursions in ports-of-call, help with adding pre- or post-stays, and schedule airfare to and from the port your clients will have their perfect vacation. As a travel agent, the personalized service your offer clients helps them create memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives, which is a reward in itself!
3. Using a travel agent skips the stress.
What time will the ship leave? How long does it take to get from the airport to the port? How do you read a deck plan? What is the difference between an ocean view cabin and a veranda cabin? What is a berth? Do I need a passport?
The list of questions that go with booking a cruise, especially for new cruisers, can be long.
Fortunately, as their travel agent, you have the answers! You can find your clients an ideally located cabin, away from the late-night theater and close to your favorite onboard restaurant. You’ll help your clients plan their arrival and departure time using industry information and your firsthand experiences. You can walk clients through the ins and outs of cruising and can answer the questions they have even before they ask them.
4. Travel agents add value, not dollars.
A travel agents’ goal is to help their clients get the most out of their cruise. One way they achieve this is through agent-only incentives and specials that are not offered to consumers booking directly. This allows you to be a valuable resource for cruisers who want to have the best vacation possible within their budget…which is most clients!
Through your knowledge and connections, you can also help clients should something pop up, like a missed flight connection or an overbooked hotel. So, not only can you find clients a great value, but you act as a safety net for their vacation. You also know how to accommodate travelers, like those who follow special diets or have mobility concerns, to transform an okay vacation into a truly remarkable experience.
KHM Travel Agents have the opportunity experience cruising from the West Coast with Princess Cruises during our 2019 Crystal Conference and Awards! If you’re a KHM Travel Agent and would like to learn more, visit www.TravelAgentMeeting.com for more details and to register.
If you are passionate about helping others experience the thrill of cruising becoming a travel agent could be the career for you! KHM Travel Group can provide you with the education, resources, and support to launch and grow your travel business. Find out more by filling out the form to the right or giving us a call at 1-888-611-1220.