If you’re a cruise specialist, you could be missing the boat if you’re not actively marketing shipboard and destination weddings. Yes, it’s a major market segment and one that is growing rapidly in the cruise industry.
“It’s definitely an emerging market and a great area for agents to specialize in, because it’s unique,” says Vicky Garcia, COO of Cruise Planners-American Express. “We’ve done a lot to focus and train our agents on it. We have a whole romance channel at our online university with five webinars and course work just on romance travel.”
Cruise Planners has also partnered with a third-party company to coordinate destination weddings. The commissionable program includes wedding packages in more than 20 ports.
Janet DeVito, a CruiseOne franchise owner from Freehold, N.J., says that roughly half of her business is wedding/honeymoon and romance travel, a segment that developed naturally. “When my five kids were younger, I was mostly doing family travel, but as everyone got older, I started doing more weddings.”