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In this issue’s cover story, “Cruise Industry Disrupters” (page 14), we examine some of the rebels who are bucking tradition and disrupting the status quo. In a field where so many inventive executives are constantly looking for ways to one-up the competition, there are a few game-changing companies that are going even further and challenging the basic assumptions of cruising.
And this market is strong enough to weather some disruption. According to the 2019 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report recently released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), cruising is expected to grow by 6 percent this year, with 30 million passengers taking to the seas. In the coming year, 18 new ships are on order from CLIA-member cruise lines, and a total of 272 CLIA cruise ships are projected to be in operation by June. Plus, more than eight out of 10 CLIA-certified travel agents are expecting to see a rise in cruise sales in the next 12 months.
The report also looked at some of the major trends in cruising, including Instagrammable Cruise Travel, Total Restoration, Achievement Over Experience, On-Board With Smart Tech, Conscious Travel, Access Is the New Luxury, Gen Z at Sea, Off-Peak Adventures, Working Nomads, Female-Centered Cruising and Going Solo. You can check out the report on the CLIA website (www.cruising.org), but these trends suggest a changing demographic looking for transformative experiences.
“The coming year’s trends truly reflect the intersection between the experiences travelers seek and the cruise industry’s innovations,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of creativity in the cruise business to keep travelers satisfied. It falls on advisors to keep pace with the energy of the industry and look for opportunities to target new cruisers.
With so many ships, attractions, itineraries and brands entering the market over the next few years, there are sure to be experiences that fit every client.
Agents just need to continue to educate themselves on all the options — the industry rebels will take care of the rest.