The luxury cruise market has significant potential for agents providing they are confident enough to sell it.
That was the message from the Association of Cruise Experts’ first expo in Dover last week.
ACE business development director Andy Harmer said UK passenger numbers travelling on luxury ships had increased 25% year on year for 2006 to 2007 but still only makes up 1.8% of the UK’s total cruise business.
He said: “It’s growing considerably and there is great potential.”
“A year ago ACE only had two luxury cruiselines as members and now we have nearly all of them. They are keener to work with a growing number of agents now through ACE, not just their key partners,” added Harmer.
Regent Seven Seas UK sales manager Anthony Daniels said agents had to overcome fears of selling luxury cruises that tend to be less discount-driven and less aggressively-priced.
He said: “The luxury market has massive potential but it’s about agents having the confidence to promote it because it is expensive and can be daunting to sell, especially for young agents.”
Oceania sales and marketing director UK and Europe Bernard Carter added: “The parts of the luxury sector that is going to grow are younger customers and people moving up through the ranks of cruising.”