Site International Foundation, in cooperation with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released the results of its latest Site Index study, Focus on Cruises for Incentive Travel.
The study is aimed at gaining insight into the use of cruises as an incentive travel tool and to assess where cruises fit into the incentive travel industry of the future. The study mainly focused on compiling data demonstrating:
- Familiarity with various aspects of the cruise industry
- Likelihood of recommending cruises as a meeting or incentive travel venue
- Overall perception of the cruise industry
“Understanding the popularity and awareness of cruising as a motivational tool, and the overall perception of the cruising industry is vital to incentive travel planners and industry partners,” said Jane Schuldt, CITE, CIS, 2013 President of the Site International Foundation. “It is important to understand the challenges and concerns, as well as the motivation driving the use of cruises, so that we may better position this growing segment of our industry.”
- Research study participants were asked to rate their familiarity with various aspects of cruising. Approximately 50 per cent of respondents indicated that they had advanced knowledge in the field, and over 30 per cent indicated that they had intermediate knowledge.
- While study results indicated fewer respondents were likely to recommend cruises as a meeting venue, only 4.9 per cent indicated that they would never utilize such a cruise ship venue.
- Perception issues are the primary concern relating to cruising. Thirty-two per cent of respondents indicated that they were unaware of meeting space on cruise ships, and only 21.4 per cent indicated that they were aware of private venues on cruise ships. These findings indicate a great opportunity to provide education on ship features.
- Cruise length is an important factor in choosing ideal cruises. For groups, four or five night cruises are favored, while longer six to eight night cruises were favored for individual incentive travel.
- Buyers were more impressed with hands-on familiarization opportunities than office presentations and webinars when learning about cruise products. Familiarization trips and in-port tours of ships appear to be the most effective methods.
The findings of the research report indicate great opportunity for both meetings and incentive travel planners and cruise lines. To download the full report, click here.