The UK director of Clia, Andy Harmer, explains why it is important that the annual celebration of cruise helps the sector reach out to new people
Clia Cruise Week plays an incredibly important role in the cruise promotional calendar as it harnesses the ‘power of community’.
It harnesses the combined strength of cruise lines, travel agents and our executive partners who include ports, destinations, airlines and technology providers, all working together to demonstrate the incredible experiences offered by a cruise holiday.
It’s great that many Clia travel agents are holding cruise events this week, an ideal way to highlight the great choice and variety of cruise holidays.
And it’s good to see that agents themselves are harnessing the heightened promotional and advertising opportunities that Cruise Week creates.
This year we have gone one step further and are taking to social media big style to amplify our message that there’s a cruise for everyone.
Social media naturally lends itself to reaching not only consumers who are new to cruise but also those travel agents who have yet to dip their toe in the ‘cruise’ water.
And what a story cruise has to tell.
We are an industry worth £2.5 billion to the UK economy, providing 70,000 jobs in the UK and a holiday choice for 1.73 million Brits.
A further 27 new ships will enter service over the next three years at a cost of €31 billion – each of them bringing new features and experiences, and at least two of them, Anthem of the Seas and Britannia, offering sailings from the UK.
It is a holiday choice that has demonstrated a level of investment and innovation unimaginable in other holiday sectors and it is truer now than ever that there really is a cruise for everyone.
And it is an industry where there is one constant message – we work within a sector that has outstanding opportunities for growth.
We know that when customers are matched to the right cruise line, the right ship and the right itinerary they will have a great holiday with a level of guest satisfaction far beyond that of other holiday types – it is just that many customers have just not had a cruise holiday offered to them.
Clia UK & Ireland is dedicated to providing the travel community with the resources, training and information that will make selling cruises even easier and we have been investing heavily to further enhance and improve our site at cruiseexperts.org.
During Cruise Week we invite you to join us in demonstrating to the rest of the industry and to holidaymakers across the UK and Ireland that we all #lovecruise.
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