The need for flexibility in booking and reservation policies, plus reconfirmation of strong demand in the market place for future cruising, have been highlghted in recent research. ‘Viking’s annual industry survey conducted across New Zealand and Australian agents is designed to establish how agent partners are faring in the current climate and how
best the company can service their needs,’ says Michelle Black, Viking ANZ managing director.
‘In 2020 due to the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on the entire travel industry, this tool has never been more important.
‘The launch of our Risk-Free Guarantee, at the beginning of this global crisis, offering travellers the freedom to change their booking up to 24 hours before departure has proved to be a game-changer with more than 94% of responses in Australia and 100% in New Zealand stating that this policy was a major factor in helping secure bookings through 2020
and into 2021.
‘Unsurprisingly when asked what information or marketing nmessages would assist in influencing a client’s decision to book, health and safety protocols came out on top in both markets, followed by flexibility of cancellation policies, special offers and pricing and the size of the ships with smaller ships, in terms of passengers numbers, being more
‘Interestingly the demand for cruising differs between Australia and New Zealand with 36% of Australian respondents saying there is demand for cruising anywhere and everywhere once cruising resumes, and 39% still keen to with 39% interested in domestic cruising only, 32% close to home cruising and only 14% prepared to go anywhere and everywhere,’ says Black. cruise but closer to home.
‘In New Zealand, the interest is much more regionally based with 39% interested in domestic cruising only, 32% close to home cruising, and only 14% prepared to go anywhere and everywhere,’ says Black.
(Source: TRAVELink MEMO 26 January 2021, issue 2161)