Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

"Reservations are increasingly made at the last minute"

Pierre-Yves Canton, CEO of Cruise'nFly

Written by Christiane Navas on Wednesday, March 27th 2013 à 15:34 | Read 590 times

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A specialist in cruise sales in Monaco, Pierre-Yves Canton, CEO of Cruise'nFly, gives his opinion on the market.

Pierre-Yves Canton (photo JDL)
Pierre-Yves Canton (photo JDL) Are cruise prices still generally falling?

Pierre-Yves Canton: Yes, that is the current situation. There are several reasons for this. The ever-increasing size of the boats creates pressure for companies to reduce prices in order to fill them. The diversification of distribution channels has also been a factor, with the involvement of online brokers, leading to the dumping of tickets.

This is why the big companies are now trying to take back direct control of distribution. The fall in prices has made cruises more affordable for more people, however, companies seek to compensate for enticing offers with on-board sales, taking advantage of a captive clientele. But there again, faced with passengers on tighter budgets, companies have to be increasingly imaginative.

What is the profile of the clientele?

P-Y.C.: The senior category remains the largest; there is also a growing proportion of families, as children under the age of 18 years can travel free in their parents' cabin.

The Costa Concordia only had a temporary effect on sales

Is there a demand for theme cruises?

P-Y.C.: Theme cruises are a niche market and are rarely offered by the companies themselves, they are usually organized by external service providers who reserve the boat and create a package. They tend to be on smaller boats, this is true for example for musical or gastronomic cruises, but are nevertheless in decline, because prices are still high, considering the services offered.

And business tourism?

P-Y.C.: Cruises are still popular as an incentive to reward sales managers who have met their objectives. But not many large companies are currently offering cruises to their employees or customers because of the economic crisis. The organization of trade shows and product launches on cruise ships is also a niche market.

Is there still growth in the cruise market?

P-Y.C.: The Costa Concordia accident only had a temporary effect on sales. They are now rising again. Since 2008, except for very specific products, cruises around the world and seasonal destinations, reservations are increasingly being made at the last minute to take advantage of special offers, and so there is a lack of visibility that makes it very difficult to anticipate market trends in 2013.

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