As this issue goes to press, the cruise sales season is well under way. Unfortunately, at the same time, we’re seeing plenty of signs of rough waters ahead in our economy. Both of these factors make the timing of this issue’s cover story, Keeping Current
, especially appropriate.
Without a doubt, river cruising is one of the hottest forms of travel in the industry today. It seems as if nearly daily we hear about a new company getting into the business, whether traditional cruise lines or tour operators. There are plenty of reasons for the popularity of this product starting with the quality of the experience but these days one factor should be foremost on agents’ mind.
Given the low value of the dollar against other currencies, and the high prices of hotels and other services abroad, river cruising offers clients an economical way to travel this summer. This is an important point to keep in mind this wave season in particular. When your clients are constantly being bombarded by concerns over the housing market, the stock market and more, it might seem like a difficult time to sell them on the idea of a cruise. The savvy agent, however, will focus on the value of the product. That, along with the enormous variety of itineraries available, should help clients realize that the right trip is available for them at a price they can afford. And, if Congress passes the current plan being discussed, clients might even be able to use their “economic stimulus” rebates, set to arrive in early summer!
On another topic, while we enjoyed providing our readers with the latest river cruising news in this cover story, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention our monthly River Cruising e-newsletter. By signing up for this newsletter, developments in this crucial industry will be delivered to agents’ inbox each month. Readers can sign up for this newsletter by visiting TravelAgeWest.com and clicking on “Sales Tools” on the home page.
With river cruising so hot right now, you really can’t afford not to take advantage of every chance you have to learn more about this important product. K.S.