“The technology helps to simplify the cruise search so that we can focus on advising the customer and adding value in the sales process” Rolando Parera (Director of Oremar) at the Forum Travel Latam of the FIT (International Tourism Fair of Latin America)
IST AT FIT (International Tourism Trade Show of Latin America)
For the third consecutive year, IST was attended the FIT held in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in one of its most successful editions. This year the industry reached an absolute record of over one hundred thousand visitors, representing an increase of 8% over the previous edition.
In this context, IST’s team had the honour of interviewing Rolando Perera, Director of Oremar to jointly analyse the state of the cruise industry in Latin America. Oremar is one of the most relevant travel agencies in Argentina that holds the sales representations of several Cruise Lines around the continent.
IST’s team at FIT
The Cruise Industry : A booming sector
It is well known that the cruise business is a growing market. According to sources of Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) in 2019 the number of passengers is expected to reach already 30 million passengers, and a projection to get to 40 million passengers in 10 years.
Global Cruise Capacity and Passenger Growth (Source: CLIA)
The current cruiser seeks new experiences, access to remote and even newer destinations. In fact, there are already some cruise lines that have bought and built their own theme parks in several islands, and created an amazing port of call with lots of experiences for their passengers. The cruise passenger also looks for relaxing environments, disconnecting from the outside world, travelling consciously with permanent contact with local cultures and minimizing environmental impact.
In this sense, Latin America offers a wide range of opportunities for exotic destinations and remote expeditions. Moreover, the new generation Z is expected to overcome soon the Millenials and become the largest generation of consumers. Generation Z puts experience above material things, for example, music festivals on the high seas. Also, they like to travel alone thus connecting with other travellers during their experience.
Latin America : A market with a lot of potential
In the case of Latin America, we can see two different areas as main destinations: Central America – Caribbean and South America. The first one is seen as a consolidated market that already leaves earnings of more than US$ 400 million in sales. Cruise Lines are well aware of this and it is not surprising that the deployment of ships in the Caribbean is constantly growing, becoming the main destination with 34.4% – according to CLIA sources -. At the same time, cruise lines are strengthening these destinations with investments of hundreds of millions of dollars in ports.
On the other hand, South America scarcely represents the 3% of the global market in the cruise industry, so we can find a market with great growth capacity. The potential of South America is undeniable and in recent years the governments have already made investments and advances in port infrastructure to reach the growth ratios of other markets. Although there is still a long way to go, there are countries such as Uruguay or Brazil that have experienced an increase in their cruise offer compared to the previous season. For example, in the case of Montevideo, it becomes a good embarkation port.
How can travel agents embrace and use this growth?
There is no doubt that travel agencies are the main sales channel for this product. According to CLIA, 8 out of 10 cruise bookings will be made through travel agents, which turns the cruise product into a market opportunity for the thousands of travel agencies currently operating throughout Latin America.
The key to take advantage of this opportunity and embrace all its potential is to automate the search of the thousands of itineraries, and options available worldwide in order to invest time in actually informing and supporting the decision process of their clients.
IST’s team at FIT
In this sense, Rolando Parera, in Forum Travel Latam of the FIT, explained how the incorporation of technology for travel agencies is key to make the most of this situation:
“Travel agents must analyse how to add value to the sales process. If we don’t focus on understanding what the customer needs, we will never be able to compete with the ease of a click. Therefore, let technology simplify our product search and begin to focus on adding value to the sales process by advising the customer well and making sure they are satisfied with their decision”
IST interviews Rolando Perera en Travel Forum Latam at FIT
This is why, thanks to technological solutions such as those offered by IST, travel agencies can concentrate and converge the entire cruises offer in one place, see their inventory in real time, contract services and obtain information on user behaviour, as well as manage offers and promotions.
For 20 years IST has been bringing the most advanced technology to the sector, adapting to its different B2B and B2C business models with technological solutions that connect travel agencies with 33 cruise lines companies and 16,500 itineraries
¿Would you like to know how to take advantage of our technology to embrace and use this growth?
¡Talk with our team!