Travel Leaders Group’s survey of its travel agent members revealed some interesting trends in fall travel — especially for cruises to Alaska and European river cruises and Mediterranean cruise vacations. Most significantly, 89 percent of respondents said their comparable cruise bookings are either higher than (48.2 percent) or equal to (35.5 percent) fall 2014.
In the domestic travel category, Alaska cruises accounted for 20.6 percent of fall bookings. Implication: Consumers are taking advantage of late-season deals on cruises to the Great Frontier as cruise lines continue to push the limits of the traditional Alaska season.
On the international front, Caribbean cruises are hot for fall travel (33.9 percent), maintaining their first-place ranking from 2014. European river cruises are the fourth most-popular travel choice for fall in 2015 (21.5 percent), up one notch from 2014. Nearly half of respondents said they were booking more European river cruise bookings in 2015 than in 2014.
Mediterranean cruises dropped to sixth place from fifth in 2014, but still accounted for 18.6 percent of fall bookings this year.
With the increasing focus on millennial travel, Travel Leaders Group travel agents were asked whether they have seen an increase in clients 30 years old or younger. More than 41 percent indicated that bookings for clients in that age range have increased, while 50.2 percent said millennial bookings have remained the same over the past year.
Travel Leaders Group is one of the largest consortiums in the United States, counting almost one-third of U.S. as affiliates and logging nearly $20 billion in gross travel sales in 2014.