Can America Afford to Vacation This Year? - Amazing Journeys
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Can America Afford to Vacation This Year?

Dec 10, 2008

Terry Dale, President and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has some poignant thoughts on this topic and I thought it’d be prudent to share them here. He states that Yes! Americans will continue to travel because for most people, leisure travel is considered less a discretionary expense and more of an expected lifestyle cost. There’s not doubt, however, that maximum value counts…and one of the best value-added vacation opportunities is definitely cruising.

There are many reasons why cruising offers outstanding value across all price categories. First and foremost is Inclusive Pricing–accommodations, meals, entertainment, use of most of the ship’s facilities, transportation from destination to destination and at times, complimentary wines and spirits means the consumer is already off to a great start in realizing value for money spent. Imagine having to pay your way for each of these vacation components, especially doing so in a country like the UK or anywhere in Europe where the dollar is weak. Cruising in these parts of the world are sold in US dollars, so even though you are touring and eating in foreign countries your dollar goes a lot further.
But, there’s more! The variety of cruises available–in every possible price category, length, size and type of ship–means consumers can easily pick a vacation at sea that matches their budget. And, with cruises sailing from more than 30 domestic ports, travelers can pick a cruise to drive to and save the cost of ever increasingly expensive airfare.
Its also worth mentioning that the price of your cruise is determined by the choice of accommodation you choose. Its so easy for vacationers to save by booking a less expensive (but still luxurious) accommodation and still take advantage of everything else the ship has to offer. Which is the same “everything” that those in the expensive suites receive too.
Finally, although you may not see it in the up front selling price, group travel is really the truest of bargains. While the price may look higher as compared to an advertised cruise price, group travel often incorporates most of the “plus plus” fees that individuals will pay along the way anyway (like onboard gratuities, taxes, government fees), and the customization of special events, private tours, hospitality, gifts, travel planning and VIP treatments makes the overall cruise price even a better value than an individual booking on a cruise.
Obviously, these are somewhat uncertain times economically, but the cruise industry, because of this very strong value message, is not only optimistic but thriving.
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