River Cruises Survey: Destination, Price Could Convince Travelers

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Posted Jan 03, 2017

One of the growing trends in the travel industry, according to Skift, is the concept of river cruising. River cruises offer more specialized destinations, smaller boats and many of the same amenities as traditional cruise lines. But with only a few major river cruise lines operating, there may also be room for newcomers in the industry. So how many consumers are interested in river cruises? We asked 1,000 respondents about their travel habits and their thoughts on this growing trend.

river cruises

Travel Habits

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 8% of respondents said they’ve traveled in the past week. 11% have traveled within the past month. 15% have traveled in the past three months. 19% have within the past year. 7% have within the past two years. 17% said it’s been more than two years since they last traveled. And 23% said they aren’t travelers at all. Overall, 58% of travelers said they’ve visited domestic city destinations. 47% have gone on road trips. 26% have gone to domestic rural destinations. 19% have gone to international destinations. 17% have gone to resort destinations. And just 10% have gone on cruises.

Future Travelers

Looking forward, 59% of respondents said they’re at least somewhat likely to travel within the next five years. 58% of those respondents are likely to take road trips. 57% are likely to visit domestic city destinations. 31% are likely to visit domestic rural destinations. Another 31% are likely to visit international destinations. 29% plan on going to resort destinations. And 20% said they’re likely to go on a cruise in the next five years. When considering those travel decisions, 43% said that the actual destination is most important to them. 37% of travelers said they consider price to be the most important determining factor. 12% consider safety to be most important. Just 3% care most about the mode of travel. 2% look for attractions. 2% value convenience above all else. Another 2% care most about the travel brands.

River Cruises

More specifically, 48% of respondents said they are interested in taking a cruise at some point in the future. 51% said they would be more likely to go on a cruise if it was more affordable to do so. Just 20% said they would be more likely to go on a cruise if they could go on a smaller boat. And 41% would be more likely to go on a cruise if they could choose more specific destinations.

Key Takeaways

Cruises in general still aren’t as popular with travelers as things like road trips. But almost half of respondents said that they would be interested in going on a cruise at some point. So if river cruise lines can call attention to some of their unique destinations, they might be able to convince more consumers to go that route instead of choosing a traditional cruise line. In addition, while cruises aren’t exactly known for being inexpensive, they tend to include a lot of expenses that travelers would have to pay for separately when going on other vacations like road trips. So doing some price comparisons in marketing materials to position cruises against other types of vacations could potentially make consumers see cruising as a more affordable option. And that could convince even more people to try both traditional cruises and river cruises in the future. You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.Photo Credit: Sumida River Cruise by Takayuki Miki under CC BY-ND 2.0What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on December 26-January 1 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

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