According to Dave Lucas, president and CEO of Cruise411.com, cruise travel is on the rebound, up 30% to 40% in the first few weeks of 2002. Cruise411.com reports that overall demand for cruises has increased significantly over 2001.
“Leisure travel is back,” says Lucas. “Consumer confidence has improved markedly during the past few weeks, and we are experiencing tremendous demand for cruise vacations for all ports of call.” The online sector of the market is leading the rebound, with fully automated transactions accounting for almost half of Cruise411.com`s total business. This growth in online sales is due largely to the ease-of-use of the company`s proprietary BookItNow!(TM) Cruise Reservation System, which provides real-time booking and tracking capabilities for cruises worldwide.
“Customers are coming back, and they`re coming back stronger over the Internet than anywhere else,” says Lucas. “We`re witnessing a revolution in consumer adoption of technology, which we think has shortened traditional economic cycles.” The return of cruisers comes at a particularly opportune time for Cruise411.com. The company`s Affiliate Cruise Partner Program, which launched in November 2001, has attracted more than 100 partners worldwide, who are now marketing Cruise411.com`s online booking engine over the Internet. “We`re seeing a convergence of trends, which bodes well for both our business and the travel industry as a whole moving forward,” says Lucas.