Hays Travel branch manager on the value of family cruise demand and word-of-mouth

Martin Brown, the branch manager of Hays Travel's Carlisle branch, gave us an Agent Insight on the value of word-of-mouth and multi-generational demand for the branch's cruise sales over recent years.

"I have travelled on many a cruise ship over the years, experiencing a range of facilities and acquiring bits of cruising knowledge along the way.

"It’s always nice when customers come into our branch and I can use what I’ve learnt to help them find their perfect cruise, which is why I’m excited about what’s been going on in the cruise world. Over the past couple of years, cruising has become a more economical choice, particularly for families, with meals, entertainment and accommodation all included, and many cruise lines offering free places for children, some even up to age 18."

Made for the multi-generational

"In 2024, family-friendly cruises are increasingly matching customer demands for the perfect multi-generational holiday, providing more diverse facilities, destinations, and dining options – suited to a variety of ages – than ever before. With increased affordability and sailing options arriving, more and more families are experiencing cruise for the first time."

Word spreads

"I’ve found that interest in family cruising often stems from word-of-mouth. Customers, particularly those who want to try something new, want a smooth and reassured booking experience where queries are answered solidly and misconceptions are dispelled. Building trust in the first instance increases the chance of word reaching other families, who may not have realised how affordable cruising is.

"Former first-timers may wish to rebook: like one family who returned from their cruise and came to thank us in-branch – their four-year-old son even handed me some chocolate as a thank you present, which was so cute! A few days later, their friends came to see what all the fuss was about and became first-timers themselves."

Riding the wave

"On balance, I expect the family cruise market will continue to grow. We should look beyond the beach and embrace cruising, while continuing to keep pace with ship features and prices, so that more families can enjoy the perfect multigenerational holiday. And, of course, so that I don’t miss out on more chocolate!"

Martin Brown is the branch manager of Hays Travel's Carlisle branch.

Keen for some more Agent Insight on cruise? Find out why Not Just Travel's Gaynor Speakman believes agents have nothing to lose by selling cruise here.