Cruising is the fastest growing segment of the entire leisure market. Since 1980, the industry has had an annual growth rate of eight to ten percent. Market analysis indicates that there is significant growth potential as more new people are experiencing the magic of a cruise vacation. In 2007, an estimated 15 million guests will enjoy a cruise.
Since 2001, 62 innovative new cruise ships have been built. These super-liners have been designed with a wide range of amenities catering to a very diverse customer base. Cruise guests now encompass every age group and lifestyle including families, singles, couples, honeymooners, “baby boomers”, and seniors. In fact, the average age of cruise guests has dropped from age 50 in 1990 to approximately age 40. Because most cruise lines are “all-inclusive”, cruising has also become one of the most affordable vacations, making it even more appealing to a greater range of people.
Cruise vacations also enjoy the highest satisfaction rates of any vacation, with 87% of guests surveyed giving a cruise top marks. Additionally, market research shows that more people than ever are interested in taking a cruise vacation. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA):
• 60% of all adults surveyed would like to cruise.
• 35% say they will probably or definitely cruise in the next five years.
• 67% of past cruisers will probably or definitely cruise again in the next five years.
It is always important to take into account your customer’s personality and lifestyle when recommending the cruise experience that best suits their needs. Consider the onboard atmosphere and dress code, level of service, size of ship, onboard activities, dining options, and other amenities. The right cruise is the one that fulfills their vision of a dream vacation.
Cruise customers now enjoy a great variety of choices, from resort casual to sophisticated luxury, a yacht-like experience to the grandeur of the biggest cruise ship ever built.
Cruising offers excellent value When comparing an all-inclusive land resort with a cruise vacation offering the same amenities, the cruise will usually cost less than the land package.