The Greek islands have been labeled as the second “up and coming” cruise destination in Europe for 2015 with a 21 percent growth compared with 2014, according to the results of the authoritative annual Travel Trends Survey of Travel Leaders Group.
The survey, based on actual booking data, was conducted by Travel Leaders Group from 11 November – 8 December 2014, and includes responses from 1,226 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents from the flagship Travel Leaders brand. Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generated gross travel sales of approximately $20 billion in 2013.
When asked for their expert findings, Travel Leaders Group agents nationally indicated the following as the “up and coming” cruise destinations within Europe: Croatia (25.2 percent), Greek Islands (21 percent), Iceland (17.8 percent), Czech Republic (10.3 percent), Portugal (8.8 percent).
Last year the top up and coming European destinations: Croatia, Iceland, Turkey, Czech Republic and Portugal, respectively.
Europe cruising on the up
“Internationally, while Caribbean cruising leads the way, Europe is drawing in Americans in the highest numbers we’ve seen this millennium,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.
Eight of the top 15 international destinations this year are in Europe and include London, European river cruises, Rome, Mediterranean cruises and Paris.
“The strong interest for those destinations plays a definite factor in our agents stating nearly 97% of their clients will be spending the same or more on their vacations in 2015,” Mr. Liben noted.
Travel Spending in 2015
Based on bookings-to-date for 2015 and conversations with clients, 96.5% of Travel Leaders Group agents surveyed say clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2015. That is up over the responses for 2014 (94.0%), 2013 (92.2%) and 2012 (91.3%).
Major Meeting for the Development of the Cruise Industry in Greece Scheduled for Monday
The developmental prospects of the cruise sector in Greece will be tabled at a meeting on Monday 22 December between Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni and Merchant Marine Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis.
According to an announcement by the Tourism Ministry, the meeting will take place at 10am at the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) located on Miaouli Coast.
The meeting will involve a lineup of sea tourism industry experts, tourism and maritime government officials, local authorities of port destinations and the coastguard, to discuss the development of a common strategy for Greek cruise, an important economic growth vehicle for Greece.