Site Index: Focus on Cruises for Incentive Travel

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Site International Foundation, in cooperation with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released the results of its latest Site Index study, Focus on Cruises for Incentive Travel.

The study is aimed at gaining insight into the use of cruises as an incentive travel tool and to assess where cruises fit into the incentive travel industry of the future. The study mainly focused on compiling data demonstrating:

  • Familiarity with various aspects of the cruise industry
  • Llikelihood of recommending cruises as a meeting or incentive travel venue
  • Overall perception of the cruise industry

“Understanding the popularity and awareness of cruising as a motivational tool, and the overall perception of the cruising industry is vital to incentive travel planners and industry partners,” said Jane Schuldt, CITE, CIS, 2013 President of the Site International Foundation. “It is important to understand the challenges and concerns, as well as the motivation driving the use of cruises, so that we may better position this growing segment of our industry.”

Key Findings

  • Research study participants were asked to rate their familiarity with various aspects of cruising. Approximately 50% of respondents indicated that they had advanced knowledge in the field, and over 30% indicated that they had intermediate knowledge.
  • While study results indicated fewer respondents were likely to recommend cruises as a meeting venue, only 4.9% indicated that they would never utilize such a cruise ship venue.
  • Perception issues are the primary concern relating to cruising. 32% of respondents indicated that they were unaware of meeting space on cruise ships, and only 21.4% indicated that they were aware of private venues on cruise ships. These findings indicate a great opportunity to provide education on ship features.
  • Cruise length is an important factor in choosing ideal cruises. For groups, four or five night cruises are favored, while longer six to eight night cruises were favored for individual incentive travel.
  • Buyers were more impressed with hands-on familiarization opportunities than office presentations and webinars when learning about cruise products. Familiarization trips and in-port tours of ships appear to be the most effective methods.

The findings of the research report indicate great opportunity for both meetings and incentive travel planners and cruise lines. To download the full report, click here.

The Site International Foundation wishes to express its appreciation to the Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) for its cooperation in this study. Thank you to ALHI (Associated Luxury Hotels International), Holland America Line, IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group), Silversea Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Seabourn Cruise Line for their support of this Site Index Report. This survey received 735 responses. Most respondents represented travel agencies (31%), incentive companies (24.2%) and ground logistics (15.8%). The survey was supervised by Scott A. Jeffrey, Ph.D., Monmouth University and Marion Joppe, Ph.D., University of Guelph.

About the Site International Foundation

The Site International Foundation has provided research and educational programs that assist business executives, practitioners, and professionals since 2006. The Foundation is the research arm of Site, a membership community that represents 90 countries and nearly 2,000 professionals who deliver best-in-class solutions and insights to maximize the business impact of motivational experiences regardless of industry, region or culture.