Exploring the Outlook for Cruises with Financial and Industry Experts
Written by: Guest on October 29, 2020
KHM Travel Group recently hosted two webinars to help travel advisors understand the outlook for cruises and prepare for the return of sailings.
Current State of the Industry & Beyond
Vince Ciepiel from Cleveland Research Company joined our Director of Education and Programs Bill Coyle first. They discussed the cruise lines’ financial picture and what to expect when cruising returns.
Key insights shared by Cleveland Research Company:
- In the unlikely event that sailings are delayed and assuming no additional equity funding, the major cruise lines are financially secure enough to last until the middle of 2021.
- Future Cruise Credits (FCCs), often with bonus value, have been instrumental for cruise lines. Over half of cruisers are opting for an FCC over a refund for cancelled itineraries.
- September has been the best month for new bookings since the start of the pandemic. New bookings are largely from repeat cruisers.
- Pent up demand will be a driver for 2021 volume. There were close to 10 million travelers who were likely but unable to cruise this year.
- 2021 will be a linear build as cruises begin to resume service and sail safely.
“If you want to be on a sailing in April or May of next year, you’re probably better off booking something now because availability is likely to be pretty constrained if everything goes well.”Vince Ciepiel, Cleveland Research Company’s Senior Research Analyst
Instilling Confidence in Travelers
KHM Travel Group next partnered with CLIA for a session with Vice President of Industry and Trade Relations, Charles Sylvia, ECC.
In his webinar, Sylvia explained the adoption of core industry safety elements. Elements include 100% testing of passengers and crew, mandatory mask-wearing whenever physical distancing can’t be maintained, and customized response plans for each ship.
Sylvia echoed the data that backs the demand for, and value of, travel advisors.
“Clients who book their cruises through travel advisors have 10% greater satisfaction with their total cruise experience.”Charles Sylvia, ECC, CLIA’s Vice President of Industry and Trade Relations
He added the need for travel advisors to “own the narrative.” Sylvia also feels advisors should focus on people who love cruises over first-time cruisers.
KHM Travel Group will continue to share information through our Travel Advisor Today newsletter, including more on the outlook for cruises, as leisure travel begins to rebound. Sign up here to receive the newsletter.
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