Sitting, ice cold beer in hand, enjoying the remains of the summer sunshine on what is being billed as the last weekend of the summer I took time to reflect on the year that is currently flying by.
2013 really has proven to be quite a year already… A Brit won Wimbledon, a Royal baby was born, the sun came out and the UK slowly pulled its way out of a ‘recession’.
Employment in the retail industry has spiked to its highest point since 2011 boosting the Great British high street as consumers dust of their wallets and step back out into the market.
And this reignited consumer confidence is not just confined to high street spending it is spilling over into the big purchases as the housing market also looks set to make a comeback. House prices are increasing and mortgage approvals are the highest they have been for the last five years.
Feedback from our travel agent partners has already shown that holidaymakers are starting to plan ahead again by investing in 2014
The cruise industry has looked at these growing trends and really pushed the boat out (excuse the pun!). A whopping seven ships were launched in 2013 (including a new Royal baby for Princess!) and there are at least another nine ships on order due for delivery over the next two years. If this doesn’t show a real confidence in the growth of the cruise market and consumer spending power then I am not sure what does.
Feedback from our travel agent partners has already shown that holidaymakers are starting to plan ahead again by investing in 2014 and not just looking for a last minute holiday option. Cruise lines, Princess included, are launching post-summer campaigns with the emphasis on booking early for itineraries departing in 2014. The booking early message has always highlighted the benefits for getting the itinerary and stateroom of choice for the best value and these campaigns give a little bit extra. At Princess our Cruise Extra campaign is now live and runs Friday 30 August to Thursday 31 October 2013. Cruise Extra offers consumers the choice of additional benefits either free car parking, free coach travel or on board credit. All of these new campaigns are giving travel agents more tools to grow their cruise business at a time when consumers are looking to make that commitment to their next holiday.
And this is the time for the travel agents to grab this opportunity with both hands and show consumers that there has never been a better time to book a cruise holiday.
Look out 2014 here we come…