Does you travel business offer cruise packages? If not - why not?
Last year, a record 6.6 million Europeans went on a cruise holiday, a rise of 200,000 passengers on the previous year, according to new figures by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Since 2008, the European cruise market has grown by an astounding 49%. This continued growth proves the cruise industry's resilience to economic downturns and the value provided by a cruse holiday, claims CLIA.
It's hard to argue with them.
In the ten years to 2014, global cruise vacations grew faster in popularity than global land-based vacations by a 20% margin, as per a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.
"Cruising is a fantastic holiday choice, and every year more and more people realize the great value and amazing experiences offered by a cruise holiday," said Kerry Anastassiadis, CEO of Celestyal Cruises and member of CLIA Europe's Executive Committee upon the release of the new figures in March.
He added that as an industry "our opportunities to grow in Europe and elsewhere in the world have virtually no limits".
If you're yet to sell cruise packages, there's no better time to start, it suggests.
Going on a cruise is no longer the realm of the retired – people of all ages are boarding ships, offering them a unique opportunity to see multiple locations, but they only have to unpack once.
Let's look at the reasons why cruising is proving so popular:
• Cruise ships cater to all ages
• Cruise ships offer a wealth of onboard activities
• Cruise vacations are easy to plan
• All mod-cons are included
• Makes far-away locations accessible
• It can prove a romantic way to travel
• Cruising is a great way to meet new people
• Cruise packages are invariably good value for money
It's these qualities that make cruising such an easy sell, and a trend that travel firms can't afford to ignore. If you want to expand your business to start selling cruise, take a look at our brand new cruise platform for 2016!