Clia has announced it will hold a river cruise conference in Vietnam in April 2018 following the ‘burgeoning’ demand for Asia river sailings.
The association will hold the event in Ho Chi Minh City on April 10 and it will be followed by a sailing on the Mekong for attending travel agents.
The conference will be dedicated to Asia river cruise and will run alongside Clia’s European river conference previously held in Amsterdam in November.
Andy Harmer, senior vice president for membership and director for Clia UK and Ireland, said: “In 2016 the cruise sector saw an 11 per cent rise in the number of UK passengers taking a river cruise holiday.
“With a whole host of state of the art ships launching last year and another 13 ships on their way in 2017, not to mention the wide variety of excursions and on board amenities including, pools, cinemas and cookery schools on offer, agents selling cruise can really benefit from the variety of holiday choices on offer for their customers.”
Harmer said it was important to allow agents to experience and differentiate between the types of river cruising, as with ocean, which will ultimately help the sector increase in popularity.
“In many ways forming differentiation of sailing and line types is where ocean cruising developed in its wider understanding.
“River also has its own certain types of product available so it is our chance to bring river cruising up to date and showcase it in its own event.”
Clia member travel agents will be able to take advantage of a trade fair and conference sessions which will focus on identifying potential cruise customers and learning more about the wide variety of experiences offered on the river cruise holiday, particularly in Asia.
Harmer said: “The River Conference offers travel agents a fantastic opportunity to see first-hand so many different styles of river ship and to hear from key speakers on the latest industry developments.
“It is great that for the first time ever we are able to give agents and our trade partner delegates the opportunity to experience the burgeoning Asia river market for themselves.”