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Destination is deciding factor in cruise holiday bookings

Destination is the most important consideration for holidaymakers when they book a cruise, according to new research from TNS Travel and Tourism.

The results of the survey, conducted on behalf of Travel Weekly, suggest 49% of people booking a cruise said the most important factor is a ship’s ports of call.

The second most important factor is the overall cost of the cruise, with 15% of holidaymakers citing this as important. Discounts and special offers make little impact on the choice of cruise, with only 3% claiming they are significant, while 25% say a discount is the least important factor.

Service is an important consideration for 13% of holidaymakers, while only 7% make the choice based on the ship and even fewer at 5% choose according to a specific cruise operator.

When it comes to tipping, two-thirds of Brits said they preferred to tip staff who have done a good job rather than be subjected to automatic tipping.

It is good news for cruise staff as 46% of people believe 10% to be appropriate compared to only 28% who prefer tipping at 5%. Almost one-fifth of holidaymakers believe 15% or more is appropriate.

TNS head of travel and tourism Tom Costley said: “What is counter-intuitive from our research is the apparent lack of loyalty to specific cruise operators, especially in a market where there appears to be a significant degree of repeat purchase.

“Also unexpected is the apparent lack of appeal of discounts and special offers – particularly in an industry that is dominated by deals like these.”

The survey of 2,059 respondents was conducted face to face among representatives of the UK adult population, between May 30 and June 3.

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