Clia Cruise Forum 2017: ‘Travel agents must not ignore technology when selling cruise’

Clia Cruise Forum 2017: ‘Travel agents must not ignore technology when selling cruise’

Travel agents selling cruise holidays need to introduce technology to their in-store experience or risk being cut adrift, says Deloitte’s lead partner for travel.

Alistair Pritchard warned delegates at the 2017 Clia Cruise Forum it would be a “failure” if agents did not look at how technology could help their business.

He said: “Cruise is a type of holiday that needs agents to help the consumer understand what is the best cruise for them, what is going to be the best experience for them.

“But you cannot get away from stats that say the consumer is continuing to get more digitally savvy.”

Earlier this year, Pritchard highlighted the dangers of cyber crime at the Advantage Travel Partnership’s conference in the south of France.

Speaking on stage today he suggested a customer’s phone could be scanned as they enter a travel agency and that information from that scan can be sent through to the travel agent which would allow them to be prepared when the customer approached them in the store.

“If I was an agent I would be doing it,” he said, adding: “If I was a cruise line I would be doing it.

“There is the technology there. There can still be that human interaction which allows technology to be used.”

Pritchard also spoke about the rise of luxury business trips but also how the consumer is searching for better value for money.

He added: “With the cruise industry you get much better value for money and people are leaning towards all-inclusive because they know what they are going to spend on board.”

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