Published on Monday, June 17, 2013

Cruise industry rides the storm of bad press

Bad press over the Costa Concordia disaster, outbreaks of norovirus, onboard fires and other cruise-related incidents have not deterred British holidaymakers, according to Amadeus.

The travel technology provider has produced a report on the cruise market based on the results of a Yougov survey of 2,000 people in May.

Rob Sinclair-Barnes, director of marketing for Amadeus UK and Ireland, said agents and cruise lines should be heartened by the findings.

"I'm delighted for the cruise industry that the general public are hardy and have recognised that these incidents shouldn't tar the whole industry and that cruise lines have taken action to improve safety," said

But he said the survey did, however, highlight that cruising is still struggling with perceptions of being too expensive and not for families.

Some 40% of respondents of the survey said cruises are too expensive and only 6% think they are most suited to a family with children.

"The cruise industry still has a significant way to go when it comes to highlighting its appropriateness for families. There is still a perception that cruise holidays are for the older traveller, and that they're expensive - despite sustained efforts by the industry," he said.

Here are some of the survey's other key findings:

8% of UK adults said they may book a cruise holiday in the next 12 months

41% of people who hadn't ruled out a cruise holiday beforehand said the media coverage hasn't put them off and they would still consider this a holiday option

8% of all UK respondents said they weren't aware of any media coverage of issues on cruise holiday

32% would be tempted to go on a cruise holiday if they were of lower or comparable cost to an all-inclusive holiday

46% think that a cruise holiday is most suited to older people aged 65 plus

9% think that cruise holidays are most suited to couples without children

29% of people would expect to pay more than £1,000 and up to £1,500 per person for a 7 night cruise to the Caribbean

38% think that a Mediterranean cruise costs more than £500 and up to £1,000.

Explaining the purpose of the report, Sinclair-Barnes said: "We wanted to get a piece of very clear independent research, not from a cruise line, which would then stimulate discussion between agents and cruise lines.

"We all know cruising is quite complex and it takes a more experienced agent to book a cruise. We also know that some cruise lines have not been as supportive of the travel trade recently."

He said Amadeus's newly-launched initiative, Cruise Shop was designed to help cruise agents compare and contrast cruises and to make it easier for them to book and upsell.


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