Celebrity Cruises will focus on Generation X holidaymakers – not millennials – following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research carried out for the line during lockdown found that those people born between 1965 and 1980, between baby-boomers and millennials, were a prime target – and not just because of the pandemic.

Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said: “We’ve really taken this pause and timeout as an opportunity to reflect on our brand; the place it has in the travel community and industry, and the vacation market, and how we strengthen that even further.”

Explaining she had engaged a British company called ‘Luxury Branding’ to carry out the research, she said: “Believe it or not, it was not related to the situation we’re living through right now and perhaps the slightly older clientele being nervous about cruising.

“It was about where does the brand fit into the world; who is the best and most appropriate guest for your brand; and where is it that you should strengthen your brand, and I will tell you, it was not the millennials!

“I know we talk about them a lot in this industry and everybody holds these seminars and does all this research, but it’s really the Gen X-ers who are our target. You’re going to see us doing a lot more in that space.”

Lutoff-Perlo added that the brand experts were also due to be working on the line’s next generation of ships, but that the pause in operations had given Celebrity the opportunity to review everything it was doing.

“We were going to talk to them about our next generation of ships, whenever that might be, and how we up our game even further from Celebrity Edge,” she said. “Then we thought maybe this is a good opportunity to have somebody else take a look at our brand and say, here’s what we think you’re doing really well and these are the things that you should think about strengthening even further.

“We still have three more of these beautiful ships coming into the market. And so as we think about where our real growth opportunity is, and where is our sweet spot.

“It was really accelerating what we’ve been trying to do for a really long time and maybe taking a step back and looking at our messaging, and looking at our itineraries, and looking at how we segment and who we’re really targeting in a powerful and meaningful way.”

Lutoff-Perlo explained that brand purpose was something that would become increasingly important.

She said: “It’s something we have always struggled with. How do we bring that more to the forefront of our messaging without going too far with it, because you always need a good balance with that. But also, how do we appeal to younger people because our purpose is even more important to them; different generations.

“One of our purposes is that we are a brand that opens up the world. People want to travel again; they want to go to all these amazing places again, and that’s what our brand is built on. And so how do we strengthen that messaging for all the pent-up demand?”

Lutoff-Perlo added: “We’re not meant to live like this, are we? In these rooms, in front of monitors, for months at a time. So what I’ve realised, again a silver lining in this, is that what we do is really special, how we take people around the world is really special, and how we introduce them to each other and make the world a little smaller is really special. So we think we have a great opportunity coming out of this too.”