CONTRIBUTOR: Tammy Marshall
THE FUTURE OF CRUISE – THE LOW DOWN
Recently, I delivered a keynote presentation entitled “Designing for tomorrow” at the national conference of the Australian Cruise Association (ACA) and, in preparation for that presentation, The B Hive conducted a Consumer Survey that also looked at the future intension to cruise. What came out of that research was some very interesting insights and a great snap shot of the Australian cruise industry that I thought I might share with you.
A SHIFT TO THE ASIA-PACIFIC
The Australian economy is very competitive by global standards and it will continue to drive domestic cruise demand. What we’re seeing is a marked shift in where future growth is expected to come from, with Australia and the rest of the Asia-Pacific responsible for the largest growth from a regional perspective.
AUSTRALIAN TOURISM GROWTH
Tourism growth in Australia has outpaced the economy for some time and we expect this trend to continue as a result of booming inbound tourism.
CONSUMER TRAVEL TRENDS
There are a number of key consumer trends that have emerged relating mostly to technology and its impact on both consumers and the experience itself.
- Consumers are welcoming when it comes to technology and they see it as an enabler of a seamless experience. In fact, passengers prefer fewer human interactions and rate their experience higher when more automated services are used e.g. self-service when it comes to check-in, bag drop, boarding or passport control, etc.
- Non-travel specific technology is expected to drive change in years to come from greater automation to personalisation – 80% of travellers are expecting to encounter robots frequently by 2020, as part of the experience delivery. And, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to deliver massive leaps when it comes to access to information and personalisation of products and services for consumers.
- Technology does influence the in-transit experience and drives consumer satisfaction – throughout each step of the journey, customer satisfaction rates are much higher when technology is involved.
- Millenials are driving changes in expectations – they travel 5 times a year, own 4+5 tech devices, more than 50% are influenced by online reviews and word-of-mouth and less than 8% book via a travel agent.
Key trends point to more cruising experiences…..
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