Sustainability ‘top of mind’ for future cruise customers

Sustainability is ‘top of mind’ for holidaymakers interested in taking a cruise for the first time and they are willing to pay more for it, according to a ‘ground breaking’ survey of potential future customers.

The new report, which assessed the views of 2,000 UK consumers in February this year, highlighted the increased importance of the issue while also showing there was a lack of awareness of the elements involved in sustainable cruising.

The survey was conducted by MMGY Global’s market research arm MMGY Travel Intelligence in partnership with cruise body Clia and travel deals company Travelzoo into potential new-to-cruise travellers.

It showed 72% of ‘top prospects’ – consumers who said they were highly likely to take a cruise – felt sustainability was an important part of the booking conversation, with 67% of them willing to pay more for a sustainable cruise.

Cees Bosselaar, managing director of MMGY Travel Intelligence, said: “Sustainability is top of mind for these travellers. It’s a question mark as to whether they will actually pay more but at least they indicate they will.”

However, there was a general lack of awareness as to what specifically sustainable cruising entailed, he said, which cruise lines could use to their advantage.

He said: “This is an opportunity for the industry to communicate sustainable efforts when it comes to cruise. We have noticed that the willingness to learn more about sustainability is really high.”

In terms of the ages of potential future cruisers, the survey noted “surprisingly strong” demand among younger consumers to take a cruise.

The majority (64%) of 18 to 44 year olds surveyed described themselves as in the ‘top prospects’ category of those most likely to take their first cruise. This younger age group were also more interested in adventure and activity-led cruises rather than historical and cultural trips.

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