The heads of cruising companies across the industry shared their views on the resurgence of cruising post Concordia in a General Session at Cruise3Sixty in Fort Lauderdale last month.
With the main message at this conference being that safety has always been and will continue to be of paramount importance to cruise lines, company heads including Dan Hanrahan and Rick Sasso expressed their belief that 2012 will represent a stellar year in sales for agents.
“The level of cruise rejection didn’t change (post Concordia). We didn’t get people who were cruisers before saying they wouldn’t cruise again,” Celebrity Cruises president and CEO Dan Hanrahan said.
Confirming that the industry as a whole pulled the plug on advertising post Concordia, Mr Hanrahan and Mr Sasso assured agents that the industry is back and committed to highlighting the benefits of cruising to consumers with their focus being on promoting bookings through travel agents.
“I could not imagine a cruise industry without a travel agent,” MSC Cruises president Rick Sasso said to a rousing applause.
“Travel agents are a brand just like we are. But you are the key brand. You’re the ones who make it all work. Cruise lines are successful because of your brand.
“So I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if we all did direct business and we didn’t have our travel agents supporting us…you’re going to always be the dominant place where cruise sales take place.”
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A