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2006 Cruise Holidays Travel Trends Survey Shows Longer, More Exotic Cruises Gaining Popularity



 
 
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 01:16 PM posted to rec.travel.cruises
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Default 2006 Cruise Holidays Travel Trends Survey Shows Longer, More Exotic Cruises Gaining Popularity

To Whom It May Concern:

We came across this information in the trades, in the form of a press
release, and thought it would be of interest to this newsgroup as well.


2nd Annual Survey also Reveals 'Emerging Destination' and Cruising's Younger
Appeal

MINNEAPOLIS, May 22 -- Today, Cruise Holidays -- the oldest and largest
cruise specialty retailer in North America -- announced the results of the
2006 Cruise Holidays Travel Trends Survey and for the second year in a row,
the Caribbean ranks as the top cruise destination. In addition, new industry
trends reveal a growing interest in longer cruises and more exotic
itineraries. This survey was conducted from March 20 - April 4, 2006, in the
United States and Canada, with 86% of the Cruise Holidays network
participating. The survey also found that cruising is increasingly appealing
to a younger and wider audience. Mature travelers (those 55 and over)
represent half or less of Cruise Holidays customers according to 63% of
respondents, while families now make up between 31-70% of customers for over
40% of respondents. "We're pleased that the results confirm the anecdotal
good news we've been hearing from our franchisees over the past several
months," said Peter Thomson, vice president and COO of Cruise Holidays.
"While the Caribbean and Alaska continue to be favorite destinations,
cruisers are looking for something new and different. They still want all
that cruising has to offer, but are interested in exploring ports of call
much further from home such as Europe, as well as emerging cruise
destinations such as South America and Asia." Additionally, Thomson pointed
to the extremely positive outlook Cruise Holidays stores have for the year
ahead. "What differentiates Cruise Holidays is the level of cruise expertise
that is recognized by our customers. In a year where most have conceded flat
cruise sales, we're proud that 77% of our franchisees told us that their
bookings are even or up over last year and 95% said they are optimistic or
satisfied about their business for the coming year." Top Cruise Destinations
Two distinct questions were asked regarding the top cruise destinations
Cruise Holidays stores are booking in 2006. One question asks for the
singular most popular destination being booked so far in 2006. The second
question asked Cruise Holidays stores to name a total of the five most
popular destinations their customers are booking this year. What is most
interesting about the second question is that cruising in the Mediterranean
is one of the five most popular destinations now being booked by over 84% of
Cruise Holidays stores -- up from a mere 54.5% last year. As with last year,
the Caribbean and Alaska continue to be ranked one and two, respectively, on
both questions. Also noteworthy: -- Itinerary and cruise line -- as opposed
to price -- remain the two most important deciding factors when customers
book a cruise -- Favorite European port: Rome (followed by Venice) --
Favorite Caribbean island or port: St. Thomas -- Emerging destination: South
America -- Cruise Holidays stores are selling more 8-10 day (38% compared to
27% in 2005) and 11-14 day cruises (8% up from 3% last year) -- The booking
window for 92% of the respondents is four (4) months or longer; it is six
(6) months or longer for 54% The following represents the questions and
answers received from 107 Cruise Holidays stores that participated in the
2006 Cruise Holidays Travel Trend Survey (unless otherwise noted): What is
the top cruise destination you are booking for 2006? (Select One) 2006
Ranking/Destination Percentage 2005 Ranking % 1. Caribbean 60.8% 1.
Caribbean (Western) 44.6% 2. Alaska 20.6% 2. Caribbean (Eastern) 18.8% 3.
Europe (Mediterranean) 5.6% 3. Alaska 12.9% 3. Mexican Riviera 5.6% 4.
Mexican Riviera 9.9% 5. Hawaii 3.7% 5. Europe (Mediterranean) 5.9% Please
choose the FIVE most popular destinations you are booking so far for 2006:
Five Most Popular: 2006 Percentage Five Most Popular: 2005 % 1. Caribbean
95.3% 1. Alaska 88.1% 2. Alaska 90.7% 1. Caribbean (Western) 88.1% 3. Europe
(Mediterranean) 84.1% 3. Caribbean (Eastern) 83.2% 4. Hawaii 58.9% 4. Europe
(Mediterranean) 54.5% 5. Mexican Riviera 37.4% 5. Caribbean (Southern) 49.5%
6. Panama Canal 30.8% 6. Hawaii 33.7% 7. Europe (Baltic) 28.0% 7. Mexican
Riviera 28.7% 8. Bermuda 26.2% 8. Bermuda 17.8% 9. New England/Maritime 9.
Europe (Baltic) 15.8% Canada 8.4% 10. Europe (River Cruise) 7.5% 10. Panama
Canal 10.9% What is the top Caribbean itinerary you are booking for 2006?
Caribbean Itinerary Percentage 1. Western 45.8% 2. Eastern 38.3% 3. Southern
15.9% Most popular Caribbean island / port of call to visit via cruising.
(Write-in response from 101 stores) Caribbean Port Percentage 1. St. Thomas
51.5% 2. Grand Cayman 18.8% 3. Cozumel 7.9% 4. Aruba 5.9% 5. Private Island*
4.0% * Many cruise lines now have their own individual "private islands"
scattered in the Caribbean. For your customers cruising in Europe, please
name the most popular port of call. (Write-in response from 105 stores)
European Port Percentage 1. Rome 34.3% 2. Venice 25.7% 3. Greece/Greek Is.
12.4% 4. Barcelona 11.4% 5. St. Petersburg 5.7% What is an emerging
destination / itinerary with your customers? (Write-in response from 96
stores) Destination Percentage responded 1. South America 22% (21 responses,
includes 4 specifically for the Galapagos) 2. Asia 12% 2. Hawaii 12% 4.
Mexico 7% 5. Europe (Mediterranean) 6% 5. South Pacific/Tahiti 6% Comparing
your 2006 bookings so far to your 2005 bookings at this time last year,
which is true? (Based on 95 stores for 2006; removed 12 N/A which are new
stores to the system) 2006 2005 They are higher 56% 51% They are even 21%
24% They are lower 23% 25% Which of the following do you hear most often
from your customers regarding their reasons for taking a particular cruise
vacation? 2006 2005 Ranking Particular itinerary 89.7% 1 Particular cruise
line 85.1% 2 Price 80.4% 3 Accommodations - i.e. type of room 38.3% 5
Particular embarkation point 32.7% 4 Particular cruise ship 29.0% 6 Group
space 23.4% 7 Amenities - i.e. spa, gym or 15.0% 8 fitness classes, dining,
onboard activities Excursions 7.5% 9 Other 4.67% Regarding 2006 bookings to
date, what trends have you noticed? Clients are feeling more confident about
traveling farther from home 65.4% Europe bookings are up over last year
55.1% Clients are spending more per vacation 52.3% A majority of my bookings
include arranged transfers 51.4% Less than half of my bookings are luxury or
upscale cruises 49.5% A majority of my bookings include airfare 37.4%
Caribbean bookings are up over last year 29.0% A majority of my bookings
include pre / post hotel 19.6% Mexico bookings up are over last year 17.8%
More than half of my bookings are luxury or upscale cruises 9.4% A majority
of my bookings include shore excursions 9.4% What is the average length of
cruise vacations you've been booking for 2006? Length of Cruise 2006 2005
6-7 days 52% 68% 8-10 days 38% 27% 11-14 days 8% 3% Over 14 days 1% 1% 4-5
days 1% 1% Less than 4 days 0% 0% What is the average length of the booking
window (time between bookings and actual sail date)? Booking Window Length
Percentage 6-8 months 43% 4-5 months 38% 1-3 months 8% 9-11 months 8% More
than 11 months 3% Less than one month 0% What is your personal outlook on
your business for the coming year? Responses 2006 2005 Very optimistic 21%
28% Fairly optimistic 57% 49% TOTAL OPTIMISTIC 78% 77% Neither optimistic
nor pessimistic 17% 15% Fairly pessimistic 4% 7% Very pessimistic 1% 1%
TOTAL PESSIMISTIC 5% 8% What percentage of bookings are mature travelers (55
and over)? Respondents Frequency 91-100% 1 0.93% 81-90% 2 1.87% 71-80% 8
7.48% 61-70% 13 12.15% 51-60% 16 14.95% 41-50% 23 21.50% 31-40% 25 23.36%
21-30% 13 12.15% 11-20% 4 3.74% 10% or less 2 1.87% What percentage of
bookings are families? Respondents Frequency 91-100% 5 4.67% 81-90% 0 0.00%
71-80% 7 6.54% 61-70% 3 2.80% 51-60% 13 12.15% 41-50% 14 13.08% 31-40% 14
13.08% 21-30% 27 25.23% 11-20% 16 14.95% 10% or less 8 7.48% For more
information about Cruise Holidays or to learn about joining the Cruise
Holidays network, call 800-866-7245 or visit http://www.cruiseholidays.com/.
Cruise Holidays is the oldest and largest cruise-specialty retail franchise
in North America, with stores in both the United States and Canada. Founded
in 1984, Cruise Holidays was acquired in 2001 by Carlson Travel Network
Associates, Inc., one of the world's largest and most respected travel
franchisers and a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies. Brands
include: Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, Cruise Holidays, Results
Travel, SeaMaster Cruises, Carlson Leisure Travel Services, Carlson Vacation
& Business Travel and Carlson Destination Marketing Services. Source: Cruise
Holidays


John Sisker, Agency


 




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