Over 25 million cruise passengers traveled in 2018, reaching an annual growth of 6.7%. By 2030 the number will reach to 40 million. In a growing market with a wide variety of offer, travel agencies are challenged to prepare to expand their business, automating commercial processes is the key to being competitive.
A market of great loyalty and potential.
Some important facts that mark the growth of the cruise market:
- 48% of non-cruise passengers have considered cruising next year.
- 8 out of 10 reservations will be made through a travel agency.
- Between 2017 and 2026 more than 120 new ships will be built.
What should travel agencies do when facing the growth of cruises?
Given the growing demand for cruise travel agencies must increase their staff or automate their processes, so that they remain efficient and meeting the demand.
The cruise booking process is complex. There is a wide range of variables when making decisions: date and time, destination, port of embarkation, ship, category, deck, excursions, ships, cruising companies, etc. There are many options besides the necessary decisions both before and after the cruise, for example, flights, transfers and hotels.
Manuel Sardi, IST’s CEO, explains the challenges: “Each cruise line has its specificities and each one has developed its API independently. Therefore, open solutions (XML) and other “turnkeys” are needed for each type of distributor and its own objectives in the online booking. The way to increase sales and provide personalized attention to customers is by automating these processes.”
What solution exists to automate?
Through hiring a cruise browser service, you can centralize the entire cruise offer in one place, access each cruise line, view your inventory in real time, contract services, and other benefits. Thus, you will be spending time selling more cruises rather than browsing for them individually.
For 20 years, IST has been bringing the most advanced technology for the cruise business with its FIBOS and Cruise Browser solutions, becoming a strategic partner for travel agencies in their growth. More than 45,000 agencies from more than 60 countries use IST technologies to access the inventory of more than 30 shipping companies.