Cruise represents a ‘sleeping giant’ that needs to be woken up, members of Hays Travel Independence Group have been told.
Hays Travel’s head of cruise Catriona Parsons urged IG agents to sell more cruises as they increase in demand and become more popular in the late sales market.
Speaking at the Hays Travel IG 2022 Conference in Tenerife, she said: “Cruising is getting ready for the bounceback. You need to be part of it. I want you to embrace it.”
She added: “I am talking about a sleeping giant. Everyone can book a cruise. You are missing an opportunity.”
She said there was “no reason” not to promote cruise with more product now on sale, innovation and investment by cruiselines to cater for everyone from single travellers to multigenerational groups.
Currently, IG members sales represent 12.91% of overall sales of cruise by the Hays Travel group. They represent 12.71% of Hays IG’s current sales mix.
The number of new-to-cruise customers has grown in the pandemic thanks to seacations while the group has negotiated higher commission levels with suppliers and is one of only eight travel agency groups in the UK now selling Saga’s cruises, she said.
“We negotiated [the Saga deal] on your behalf. We need your support,” she told delegates, adding: “We are doing more campaigns and incentives than ever. Hays IG should be a force to be reckoned with on cruise.”
She said short cruises of three to five nights were increasingly popular as were ex-UK sailings.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Cruises key account manager Adam Morris urged agents to take part in the line’s new Royal Pitch, giving them an opportunity to bid for a share of £200,000 in marketing funds.
Reggae Reggae sauce inventor Levi Roots gave a video message to delegates urging them to seize the opportunity. Morris added: “We would love to see someone in this room win some of that cash.”