Posts Tagged ‘Specialty Travel’

Cruises Becoming Increasingly Popular Among Younger Holidaymakers

Zenith

Zenith (Photo credit: lotsemann)

A new study aiming to discover the holiday preferences among young Britons has revealed an increase in the popularity of cruises among young adult holidaymakers.

The research was carried out and released by www.bonvoyage.co.uk; the site polled a total of 1,647 UK adults aged 18-30 on their recent holiday choices. Of those questioned, 17% stated that they had been on a cruise holiday within the past five years. 61% of these people went on the cruise with their parents and other family members, whilst 22% cruised with a partner, and 11% went as a group of friends. 5% stated that they went on the cruise alone as a part of a solo travelling gap year or work experience.

When asked if they would go on a cruise holiday again, 88% said that they would do so, with 9% stating they had already begun the booking and planning process of their next cruise. When asked to choose the main reasons as to why booking another cruise holiday appeals to them, the top answers emerged as follows:

1.       The varied activities offered on board (62%)

2.       The money-saving aspects of an all-inclusive cruise (food/drink/entertainment etc.) (54%)

3.       Less stressful to organize and book excursions (44%)

4.       The opportunity to visit multiple destinations in one holiday (37%)

5.       More appealing than alternative holiday options (23%)

bonvoyage.co.uk also noticed a 38% increase in the number of 18-30 year olds booking cruises over the past year.

Steph Curtin, Cruise Development Manager at bonvoyage.co.uk, made the following comments regarding the findings of the study:

“I cannot say that I am at all surprised that the popularity of cruises seems to be rising among the 18-30s, who are clearly bored with the traditional types of beach holidays that seem to be associated with their age groups. The fact is, that for the same price as a 2 week self-catering beach holiday, someone could get a really great all inclusive cruise.”

She continued, “There may be some sort of stereotype that cruises are only for middle-aged and elderly holiday makers, but cruise companies are continually introducing new activities and forms of entertainment on board. There are also more excursions targeted at younger people being offered to customers on board many ships.”

Anecdotally, Cruise Market Watch expects the importance of reason #2 to grow as price of air travel and hotel have increased recently relative to the price of a cruise.

Best time to purchase a European cruise

Cruise prices vary not only based on destination, number of nights booked, cabin type and ship segment but are also dependent on the season you set sail and how far in advance you buy. The same cruise itinerary can cost you a lot less per person per day if you book your ticket for the right season and the right number of months in advance. This infographic* can help you figure out the best time of year to go on a European cruise by highlighting prices by season and how far in advance you should book to get the best deal. The "rule of thumb for a European cruise" graphic requires little additional editorial comment. The only question that remains is what you will do with the money you save?

* Cruise Market Watch total weighted average price (per day per person) across all cabin categories from 30 cruise lines and 163 ships representing over 8,500 sailings in northern and southern Europe between September 1, 2010 to November 30, 2013.


Cruise Ship Segmentation

Segmentation is happening all around us every day; SUV or economy? Soda or energy drink? VP or Junior Analyst?  Cruise ships are no different – they each have distinct characteristics which we mentally place into groups (large and small, luxury and well, yes cheap).  But what happens if we let the numbers speak for themselves?   Cruise Market Watch developed a statistical model based on similarities within three dimensions:

  • ~ average duration of cruise
  • ~ average price per person per day (weighted across all cabin categories)
  • ~ ship passenger capacity


From 221 different cruise ships accounting for over 9,000 sailings in the next 12 months, our model produced 10 distinctive cruise ship segments.

Each segment describes, based on the data provided, the “class” to which its members belong (naming the segments is, however, more art than science). Segment members are mathematically most similar to each other along the three dimensions, and most dissimilar to members of the other groups.

Interact with the graph below by clicking segment selector and discover each segment’s averages and ship members.  And yes, Oasis and Allure really are in a class all by themselves.  The math is un-biased, so don’t hate.



 

A picture is worth nine-thousand cruises

Use of the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words" is thought to have originated from a 1921 article by Fred R. Barnard in the trade journal Printers' Ink, where he advocated the use of images in advertisements on streetcars.

Our friends at Mavens of London continue the tradition of making communications smart and effective.  They created this really cool info graph with Cruise Market Watch data (from financial breakdown of typical cruiser and 2012 passenger sourcing by region) to represent, quite literally, over nine thousand cruises from around the world.  Click on image to enlarge.




 

 

Cruiseology 101

The Cruise Ship In Miami

The Cruise Ship In Miami (Photo credit: Stuart Herbert)

Seatrade's Cruise Shipping Miami conference is awesome!  Got some great feedback from the State of the Industry and Luxury Cruise conferences which certainly will find its way (cruise value) into this blog (cruise value).

I was introducing myself today as a "cruiseologist."  Why?  What is more memorable, "Hi I'm Dave" or "Hi, I'm Dave, Cruiseologist"?  Silly? Not really.  The marketing point is, when you have less than 1 minute to meet someone and make an impression, make it memorable.

Relax – Cruise lines can go after the spa business

In December, I posted Cruise Market Watch’s three New Year's resolutions.  One of which was to look at one specific market niche each month where cruise lines can increase penetration, grow market share and revenue.  This post is the first installment of that series.

Why look for opportunities to grow revenue from within the larger travel industry?

The cruise industry has only a 2% market share of the total vacation industry.  While ships are still going out full, the portion of repeat cruisers is up (i.e. former customers are taking advantage of the price discounts from what they paid last time).  But you can only increase past cruiser frequency so much.  That is not a sustainable model – there is a limit to the number of cruises one can take.

Nor is the best approach cannibalizing business from other cruise lines.  Or even worse, customers trading down within your own company brands from luxury to premium, or premium to contemporary.  And where will our industry be when fuel prices start to increase, severely limiting the ability to discount?

With more cruise ship capacity coming online, it is not why, but must.  Must prompt non-cruisers to try something different, of a greater perceived value than other related activities they are engaged in today.  Cruise lines have to change the game.

Ok, lets get to the meat.  Where and how?  The niche segment takeaway for the month is spa.  As the chart below illustrates, the more cruise lines can improve the perceived spa experience, the more they can enhance the price/value relationship relative to the competition, the more they will acquire share.

How much is out there?  The 18,100 spas in United States generate more annual revenue than ski resorts and nearly as much as movie box office receipts.  Of these, 77 percent are day spas, 8 percent are resort/hotel spas, 7 percent are club spas, 5 percent are destination spas, 3 percent are medical spas, 3 percent are mineral springs spas and just .3 percent are cruise ship spas.

  • The number of spa locations in the U.S. has grown at an annual average of 20% in the last eight years.

Spa Visits

  • There are more than 32 million active spa-goers
  • In 2007, there were 138 million spa visits
  • In 2006, there were 110 million spa visits

Revenue

  • In 2007, $10.9 billion of revenue was generated by the U.S. spa industry
  • In 2006, $9.4 billion of revenue was generated by the U.S. spa industry

Got your attention?  My blog posts over the next several weeks will be about how to get the “spa pod” chirping. To wet your appetite: about 60% of adult men’s bodies are water; babies are born at about 78%. Its not a cruise’s spa, its a spa on a cruise and like our bodies it is in water 24/7 – seems like the most holistic, natural and organic approach to healing.

Source: International Spa Association