Avoya Travel recently released booking insights from its 2019 Wave Season Survey in which they asked agencies within the network to forecast sales and booking trends for the busy booking period starting in January.
The overall outlook is very positive with 100 percent of survey respondents saying that bookings during 2019 Wave will be the same or better than last year, which was a record-breaking one for Avoya.
Here are some of the most common reasons for why 2019 Wave sales will be better:
-The trend of a great 2018 Wave season and strong sales throughout the year will continue
-Increased inventory with new itineraries and innovative ships, such as AmaWaterways AmaMagna, Celebrity Edge, Carnival Panorama, and continued buzz for Norwegian Bliss and the Norwegian Joy refurbishment
-A strong economy and low unemployment are driving consumer confidence and spending
-Retirement of many Baby Boomers who want to and can afford to travel
-Individual Independent Agencies feel more prepared and organized going into Wave
"In 2019 I have a better plan in place to maximize my time and really make the most of the busy season," said Maree Corrone of Oceans To Outback Travel when explaining why she predicts sales will increase.
Abundant Journeys, LLC's RaShonda Gibson added: "With the help of Avoya's Mastermind Program, I have better focus and the ability to handle more business during Wave and all of 2019."
Upscale cruising is top of mind for many travelers, Avoya agents indicated.
"I'm finding that a lot of people are retiring with disposable income and travel is on the top of the to-do list," said Badonna Birdsong of Badonna's Travel World, LLC. Alice Rivera with AVR Cruises and Tours LLC added, "There is a bigger interest in upscale cruises that I didn't see last year. I think that more Baby Boomers are traveling, and the cruise lines are catering to these new and repeat guests with new experiences, itineraries, and ships."
Agents foresee growth across all product segments of the industry but upper-premium and luxury cruise market and river cruises are projected to do exceedingly well, with over 70 percent of respondents expecting sales increases in those categories during Wave, which aligns with other findings.
The top three destinations Independent Agencies expect to be best sellers in Wave are Europe, which garnered 80 percent of responses, followed by Alaska and the Caribbean.
"Avoya Travel is looking forward to a great 2019 Wave season and supporting the growing number of Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network to increase sales, connect with more travelers, and plan more vacations at great values than ever before," said Jeff Anderson, executive vice president, Avoya Travel. "There are many new advancements to be excited about for 2019 that we expect will benefit travel professionals and drive demand from customers in all travel segments, from Avoya Travel's expansion into resorts and continued investment in growing its travel platform to more West Coast cruise capacity, the impressive recovery in the Caribbean, innovative new ships, and so much more."
In order to further assist agents in selling more this Wave season, the network also released Waves sales tips.
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