Cruise industry must ‘overcome stereotypes’ to attract new customers, says Lutoff-Perlo

Cruise industry must ‘overcome stereotypes’ to attract new customers, says Lutoff-Perlo

Sector needs to show it can be as luxurious as hotels, agents told

Vice-chair of external affairs for Royal Caribbean Group Lisa Lutoff-Perlo has urged the cruise industry to work harder to “overcome the stereotype” of the sector being less luxurious than hotels.

Lutoff-Perlo told agents the hotel industry is “much better” at explaining the differences between luxury, premium and budget offers, which is something the cruise industry needs to improve upon if it wants to attract new customers and compete with land-based holidays.

“It’s important to continue to find ways to overcome stereotypes around cruising,” she told 750 delegates at the 2023 Clia Conference, held in Southampton, UK. “The hotel industry has done a much better job than we have at differentiating itself and helping consumers understand the difference between its products. We need to show people that cruising can be luxurious and we can compete with four and five star hotels around the world.”

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Lutoff-Perlo, who stepped down from her position as Celebrity Cruises’ president and chief executive on 1 May 2023, went on to encourage agents to take advantage of an increased interest in cruise holidays, referencing a recent Clia study that found 70% of those who had never cruised before would consider a cruise in the next few years, up from 68% a year ago.

Lutoff-Perlo added: "It’s a great time to be joining the industry because so many people are open to cruising right now so there is loads of opportunity out there. People are starting to understand the value in cruising – but it’s important to utilise that.”

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