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Cruise lines should offer tailor made packages to attract UK first timers

Cruise lines should move away from traditional all-inclusive pricing and instead draw up tailor-made packages to attract new passengers, according to Alistair Pritchard, Deloitte’s lead partner for travel.

Talking to Travel Weekly, he said that Millennials and single parent families were much more “cost conscious” than traditional cruise customers. Lone parent travellers, which amount to 1.9 million of the 4.8 million families with dependent children in the UK, are not “particularly well addressed” by the travel industry, Pritchard said.

He also said the added challenge of having just one income made single parents more focused on what they could afford. Speaking at Abta’s Attracting First Time Cruisers Conference on Wednesday, he told delegates that the consumer should also be able “to choose what is all inclusive”.

He was quoted as saying: “If we move forward a few years it is going to have to be a very different product to what it is now.

It is going to have to be much more tailored to people. It isn’t just everyone gets all-inclusive drinks, all-inclusive food. People are going to want to be able to pick and choose what is all inclusive. Some people might want alcoholic drinks included, some people won’t be interested in that at all and may want a daily spa treatment.”

Pritchard said it was important for the cruise industry to show people “the flexibility of pricing”. Going on a cruise would become “much more the norm” in the next few years, Pritchard argued, adding “there is a tipping point to come”.

He also suggested virtual reality devices would help travel agents offer passengers a “try before you buy” experience in stores in the future. “How do you bring the product to life for the consumer?,” he said. “Virtual reality is something that can be used in that way.”