As the saying goes, a week is a long time in politics — so I’m really not sure what we should make of the last few weeks in the British political arena. We have witnessed the surprise decision to leave the EU, leadership campaigns starting in most major parties, and one of the shortest campaigns ever to find a new Prime Minister.
But whatever is thrown at us during these interesting times there is one constant — the resilience of the British, which is perhaps most apparent in our approach to holidays.
Of course, there are many challenges around the world beyond our Brexit vote, but research shows that demand for travel and tourism continues to be strong and is expected to grow by 4 per cent by 2020. And it seems we may be substituting one destination for another as a result of instability in certain regions of the world, but overall, and despite everything, we want to go on holiday and enjoy those great travel experiences they create. Little comes between us and our chance to explore, relax, discover and enjoy our well deserved breaks from work.
And a cruise holiday is the perfect choice for those wonderful memories and experiences. With the pound fluctuating from one day to the next, it also helps when selling a cruise to highlight that so much is included in the price. As we know, the cruise fare includes accommodation, dining, entertainment, great service, facilities and features for all ages and tastes and, of course, travel from one great port to another.
It’s hugely important that travel agents really get to know cruising and how to best sell each of the many different styles of cruise holidays – or specialise if that works better, perhaps in a particular sector, destination or cruising style. We recently held our first Clia roadshows in Ireland and agents were clear – they feel much more confident recommending certain ships or cruise lines when talking to customers if they have visited a number of ships themselves – and this is where the Clia training can prove invaluable.
Not only do we offer online training and incredible resources, but also many opportunities to get onboard ships during Clia events, including our Luxury and Discovery Expos; Cruise Sales Masterclass, Cruise360 Marseille and the River Cruise Convention all still to come this year.
With so much change happening in the UK the coming months will be very interesting, but we have weathered plenty of other storms and I am confident that with your help the cruise industry will continue to grow and provide your customers with unforgettable holidays.