River cruise line Avalon Waterways is looking to achieve double-digit growth in the UK following a “flat 2015”.
The line’s managing director Patrick Clark said he believed the line could achieve strong growth in 2016, but admitted that this year had been flat and the UK market hadn’t grown.
Speaking at WTM, Clark said the business saw “quick and rapid” growth since launching in the UK in 2009 but explained that extra capacity and competition in the market had slowed growth this year.
“There is a lot of competition out there,” he said. “We used to do a very good job at encouraging people to book early because it was really essential if customers wanted to secure a cabin.
“Now there’s many more ships out there and people aren’t booking as early. The booking trend has changed and people book later for river cruise now and that’s due to more promotions and capacity.”
In the coming years he believes the line can achieve double digit growth annually.
Clark said the line had put a lot of emphasis on the trade this year and had hosted several fam trips, something he is keen to replicate in 2016.
This month also saw Avalon release its new Asia brochure featuring sailings on the Mekong and Irrawaddy with departures up until April 2017.
The launch coincided with the first sailing of Avalon’s new ship Avalon Myanmar (pictured).
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