FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Avoya Travel shares booking insights from its 2019 Wave Season Survey. Avoya asked top producing Independent Agencies in the Avoya Travel Network to forecast sales and booking trends for 2019 Wave, and the overall outlook is very positive.
Avoya reports that 100 percent of survey respondents predicted 2019 Wave sales would be the same or better than Avoya’s record-breaking 2018 Wave and sales year. As a comparison, in last year’s survey over 80 percent predicted 2018 Wave would be the same or better. This 2018 Wave prediction was spot-on as the 2019 survey confirmed more than 80 percent of participants reported same or better results for Wave 2018. The survey data validates the forecast of continued sales growth for the Avoya Network.
The most common reasons given by Independent Agencies for why 2019 Wave sales will be even better included:
- The trend of a great 2018 Wave season and strong sales throughout the year will continue
- Increased inventory with new itineraries and innovative ships, such as AmaWaterways AmaMagna, Celebrity Edge, Carnival - Panorama, and continued buzz for Norwegian Bliss and the Norwegian Joy refurbishment
- A strong economy and low un-employment are driving consumer confidence and spending
- Retirement of many Baby Boomers who want to and can afford to travel
- Individual Independent Agencies feel more prepared and organized going into Wave
“In 2019 I have a better plan in place to maximize my time and really make the most of the busy season,” said Maree Corrone of Oceans To Outback Travel when explaining why she predicts sales will increase. Abundant Journeys, LLC’s RaShonda Gibson adds, “With the help of Avoya’s Mastermind Program, I have better focus and the ability to handle more business during Wave and all of 2019.”
Both Corrone and Gibson are members of the Avoya Mastermind program and their sentiment was a popular response among surveyed Independent Agencies. Many credited the Avoya Mastermind Academies and Avoya’s other optional professional development programs for their business’ improved sales.
“I’m finding that a lot of people are retiring with disposable income and travel is on the top of the to-do list,” said Badonna Birdsong of Badonna's Travel World, LLC. Alice Rivera with AVR Cruises and Tours LLC added, “There is a bigger interest in upscale cruises that I didn’t see last year. I think that more Baby Boomers are traveling, and the cruise lines are catering to these new and repeat guests with new experiences, itineraries, and ships.”
Most Independent Agencies Avoya surveyed foresee growth along all product segments of the leisure travel industry. In particular, the upper premium and luxury cruise market and river cruises are projected to do exceedingly well, with over 70 percent of respondents expecting sales increases in those categories during Wave. Growth is also forecasted for ocean cruises and mass market and premium markets.
The top three destinations Independent Agencies expect to be best sellers in Wave are Europe, which garnered 80 percent of responses, followed by Alaska and the Caribbean. Avoya’s new investment in expanding its resorts portfolio and partnership with The Mark Travel Corporation are projected to drive more sales in the Caribbean as well as Mexico for the Network. In addition, AmaWaterways’ innovative twice-as-wide AmaMagna is expected to be a game changer in Europe and new cruise capacity on the West Coast and in the Caribbean is driving anticipated growth.
“Avoya Travel is looking forward to a great 2019 Wave season and supporting the growing number of Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network to increase sales, connect with more travelers, and plan more vacations at great values than ever before,” said Jeff Anderson, Executive Vice President, Avoya Travel. “There are many new advancements to be excited about for 2019 that we expect will benefit travel professionals and drive demand from customers in all travel segments, from Avoya Travel’s expansion into resorts and continued investment in growing its travel platform to more West Coast cruise capacity, the impressive recovery in the Caribbean, innovative new ships, and so much more.”
Avoya provides Independent Agencies unique and exclusive resources designed to support business success and above average incomes year-round. When asked which resources contributed most to their Wave sales growth and success, over 80 percent of Independent Agencies said Avoya Live Leads (new customers offered exclusively to their business) were the most valuable. Avoya’s patented Agent Power technology and exclusive group space on hundreds of sailings were also among the top three resources credited for driving the Network’s sales success.
Recently, Avoya shared Wave Sales Tips from Independent Agencies that participated in the 2019 Wave Season Survey.