Norwegian Cruise Line has grown its total travel agents business by double digits on the back of the line’s introduction of Premium All-Inclusive, write Sam Ballard
The numbers, which were revealed to cruise adviser by Nick Wilkinson, the company’s vice-president and managing director, relate to the total number of agents that NCL is working with, rather than bookings. The new rate was launched 12 months ago.
“According to Abta’s Holiday Habits Report, 18 per cent of the market took an all-inclusive holiday in 2016 and 23 per cent took an all-inclusive holiday in 2017,” Wilkinson explained. “There is a consistent trend of consumers looking for an all-inclusive opportunity.”
Premium All-Inclusive, aimed at British travellers, is a higher price which includes more expensive drinks such as wine by the glass, cocktails and speciality coffees, 60 minutes of wi-fi per day and gratuities.
“The Clia statistics for 2017 show that the cruise market didn’t grow and that’s because there was no late capacity available last year. The cruise pool isn’t growing as much as the all-inclusive pool,” Wilkinson said.
“We saw an opportunity in the market place to break down the barriers between those two worlds. It’s part of our strategy. Our competition is no longer the other cruise lines, it’s the land-based resorts. Premium All-Inclusive has broken down those barriers.”
Andrew Todd, sales and marketing director of Jetline Cruise, added: “The introduction of Premium All-Inclusive has allowed us to offer a clear value message to our customers when enquiring or booking an NCL cruise. Jetline also has a large land holiday database that is predominantly made up of all-inclusive holiday booking customers, so we have been able to offer them a similar package as an introduction to the cruise holiday market with a like-for-like board basis comparison at the point of sale.”
Catriona Parsons, cruise business development director at Barrhead Travel Group, said: “The industry is ever-changing and the needs and requirements of potential and existing cruisers follow the same route .
“Last year, NCL made the bold move to go Premium All-Inclusive following feedback from customers and agents. Customers had long voiced their concerns about the extras on board and the unexpected charges. This move has made it easy for Barrhead to sell NCL to new-to-cruise as everything is packaged into the price. It really helps our customers plan and budget for their holiday and they are happy to pay the Premium All-Inclusive price.
“Feedback from customers is that it is great value for money and a great weight off their mind in terms of budgeting.”