Agents should stress all-inclusive value and in-depth destination experiences
If agents are not already familiar with the river cruise product, they should educate themselves – the all-inclusive pricing in river cruises provides a great deal of value both for clients and for the agents themselves in terms of commission. Demand is growing and operators are adding new vessels.
A river cruise workshop in New York last week highlighted the attractions of this fast-emerging sector for travel agents, not least because agents earn commission on every part of the holiday, even on shore tours, food and drink. Executives at the workshop suggested that agents should concentrate on selling the value of an all-inclusive holiday rather than on the relatively expensive price. There are no onboard bills for clients to be wary of.
Agents should also be aware of the type of traveller who may be interested in a river cruise – those who have already been on an ocean cruise, experienced travellers and those interested in the culture of a particular destination. Younger people are becoming intrigued by river cruises too, as they offer a wide variety of experiences, from onboard lectures and local cuisine to biking at the destinations. Agents should also be knowledgeable about the destinations, since passengers spend much more time touring ashore than on an ocean cruise, and they should be able to describe life onboard, which often includes local musicians and folkloric groups.
Travel Market Report
[pictured: cycling during river cruise in Thailand, Manohra Cruises]