Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cruise Industry Is Targeting Families

Now 'family' ropes in the relatives, too

Cruise-A-Thon, a conference that brings together the cruise industry and those who sell the products it creates, was held in Vancouver this year.

It was clear at this conference that the fastest growing target demographic in the cruise industry is families -- and a good percentage are multi-generational.

That means not only mom, dad and the kids, but also grandparents, friends and a scattering of uncles and aunts --add it up and you might be looking at a group ranging from six to 26.

If multi-generational families are the hot demographic, its equivalent in destinations is Europe.

Europe as a cruise destination will see double-digit percentage increases this year. When a cruise line launches a new ship in the spring or summer, it struts its stuff in Europe before we see it in North America.

Most attractive for the consumer is the fact that when you pay for your cruise in Canadian or U.S. dollars, that means that your accommodation and food bill are in your home funds.

Now and in the future:

- More mega ships and more personal-sized ships will offer a less crowded itinerary.

- More adjoining cabins for family and friends.

- Pay more to upgrade to the next service level (same as the airlines).

- More kids' facilities. Those facilities will lead to more adult-only areas.

By: Phil Reimer
The Province; May 25, 2008