A new report from YouGov has revealed that cruise vacations, once seen as the holiday choice of the retired, are steadily becoming the intersection of experiential travel and innovation. Increasingly, cruise vacations are being viewed as a unique way to explore the world, while delivering a highly personalized experience via on-board smart technologies.
The research also reveals a strong appetite among Americans for this type of vacation. Three in ten (31%) US adults say they have been on a cruise before and one in six (16%) say they plan on cruising within the next year.
A YouGov spokesperson said: "The data reveals that a third of Americans have been on a cruise, but we can learn even more about the cruise industry by examining the general population’s cruising history against their intent to cruise.
"The profile of someone who is cruising for the first time looks different to that of someone who has cruised before. Cruise lines will obviously wish to market to people differently based on their cruising history."
The report data shows, for example, that nightlife is an important vacation influencer for both first-time and repeat customer groups. First-time cruisers (14%) and repeat cruisers (16%) are significantly more likely than leisure travelers overall (11%) to say that nightlife options — such as clubs, bars, and restaurants — factor into why they choose certain vacation types over others.
From a marketing point of view, the report reveals that online ads — particularly those on social media — grab the attention of people who go on cruises. While TV remains an effective advertising channel among first-time and repeat cruisers, nearly half in each group say online ads are another way to catch their eye. Surprisingly, 42% of first-time cruisers and 45% of repeat cruisers are millennials.
At a more granular level, both first-time cruisers (50%) and repeat cruisers (60%) are more likely than the average American (32%) to agree that they engage with ads on social media more than they do with ads on regular websites.