A survey of Your Travel & Cruise travel agent clients has found that while there is a definite desire to cruise again, Australians are calling for changes to be made in the industry.
COVID-19 left a negative impression of cruising on only 28 per cent of those surveyed, with 42 per cent still holding a positive view of cruise holidays.
It is little wonder then that nine out of ten Australians would consider a cruise in the future - on the condition that stricter health and hygiene measures were in place, the poll revealed.
“I feel the cruise industry needs to convince the travelling public that they have made significant changes to ensure passenger safety”, one respondent told the company.
Another suggested that cruise lines needed to “employ more doctors and nurses per ratio of passengers and crew”.
Comments from respondents suggest that cruising, like other travel, will likely start small and local, with travellers carrying good travel insurance.
Your Travel & Cruise managing director Les Farrar said he hoped the survey results would buoy the besieged cruise industry.
“The cruise industry has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus, with many questioning how it will bounce back,” Farrar said.
“These results show that most Australians aren’t giving up on cruising and have faith that cruise lines will make the necessary changes to ensure they can once again enjoy a holiday at sea.”
The survey also revealed that beyond the 62 per cent of those wanting to travel locally this year, 85 per cent of respondents said they would be happy to holiday in the South Pacific region before a COVID-19 vaccine was developed.
But 56 per cent of respondents said a vaccine would need to be found before they even considered travel to destinations in Europe or the USA.
Travel agents and destinations should consider reaching out to consumers now, as 71 per cent of respondents said were happy to receive travel marketing now.
“This survey shows that travel is going to bounce back quickly and in a big way, starting with our backyard,” Farrar said.
“Now is the time to talk to clients about taking that trip to Queensland or hopping across the Tasman to explore all that New Zealand has to offer because Australians’ love of travel hasn’t waned amid the pandemic and most of us are ready to pack our bags and go as soon as we have the green light.”
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