Cruise lines certainly took the hardest hit during the pandemic, but the good news is that direct bookings are back on the rise. Before you breathe a sigh of relief, you may be wondering if travel agencies are also seeing more cruise bookings. Why is this an important indicator?
At the beginning of the pandemic, cruise line companies took care of customers who booked directly first. As a result, some who booked through OTAs and other travel agents waited a long time for however much of a refund they got. So it makes sense that direct bookings came back first. If anything goes wrong, travelers feel like they are better protected.
But getting comfortable booking with OTAs again is a sure sign that the industry is recovering fully. As a result, while cruises may not want to lose any of their direct bookings, as long as it means people are getting comfortable with travel again, they may not mind so much.
For now, we will have to wait and see what happens. But the good news is that vaccines and essential care products are making it safer to vacation on the water again.
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