Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the cruise industry has played a major role in the global economy through job opportunities and high growth rates in terms of financial performance. After nearly a two-year drought, cruise lines are embarking on international ports of call, despite some obstacles, such as the emergence of new strains of the Covid-19 virus and its variants.
“CLIA (Cruise Lines Industry Association) forecasts passenger numbers will not only meet but exceed pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023. And according to Cruise Industry News' cruise ship orderbook for ocean-going vessels, nearly 40 new ships are lined up to debut this year alone, with more than 75 vessels on order through 2027,” according to CNN.
Cruising is undoubtedly back, albeit with a somewhat revamped look and feel. In addition to the ongoing pandemic-driven protocols, such as proof of vaccination or fulfilling testing requirements before and after embarkation, there will be several slightly different approaches to ensure the wellbeing of everyone onboard, and by extension, the population of all the destination spots.
Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, spotlights the top five cruise trends to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Enhanced Contactless Experience
Now, more than ever, digital experiences are vital for the future of cruise lines as we emerge from the COVID pandemic. Granted, cruise lines have already begun employing the use of technology onboard, such as touchless payments and QR codes for menus.
Before embarking, you can expect to check in for the cruise ahead of time. Boarding passes will be available on your phone, and in combination with staggered arrivals, this will help speed up the boarding process.
“Smartphones and wearable tech like bracelets or medallions now commonly double as boarding passes and keycards; some wearable devices even allow guests to track traveling companions onboard,” according to CNN
Most, if not all, major cruise lines feature their own mobile apps. The more modernly designed apps offer key cards for cabin unlocking capabilities, tracking devices for kids, real-time visibility into venues.
Select cruise lines now feature numerous booking options to reserve dining and shore experiences, as well as booking spa treatments, shows, and activities with the tap of a screen.
Unique Cruise Opportunities
Recently, there’s been an increase in the cruise industry offering unique cruise experiences. Women-centered cruises are largely becoming common, with activities ranging from panel discussions to visiting businesses operated by other women.
“Women can travel in many ways, some of which include themed cruises, singles cruises, LGBT cruises, luxury cruises, party cruises, and relaxation. Although they are unique options available to women-centered cruises, these themed options are offered generally as well,” according to CruiseBooking.com.
Solo trips are increasingly common, and for solo cruisers, it definitely costs a pretty penny, which can make it difficult when you have a tight budget. In response, cruise lines are offering special discounts and are even now designing a stateroom for one.
Food and Beverages
This rising trend stems from focusing on dispersing cruisers to dine throughout the ship, which in this new era, future cruisers can expect to see an emphasis on. Majority of newly designed ships provide a wide range of venue choices, which will now include more specialty restaurants that either have a set per-person price or are available a la carte.
“The dining packages, which will vary in price and options across cruise lines, allow the cruisers to prepay for the specialty restaurants, to avoid the stress of paying the bill at the end of a relaxing venture.,” according to Travel Weekly.
Cruises are stepping up to the plate with healthier options on the menu that offer everyone something to enjoy. “The goal is to emphasize wellness and healthy eating, while cutting back on unnecessary fats and calories.,” according to CruiseBooking.com
Passengers can expect the self-service buffet to be replaced with a staff-served buffet, and many even offer a variety of complimentary locations on the ship!
The luxury expedition cruising market is expected to have its most successful year this year. Even before the pandemic, data shows that cruisers demonstrated a strong preference for a smaller and a more intimate ship experience.
Although this option is on the pricier end, these smaller vessels can visit exotic, must-see destinations, otherwise inaccessible to larger cruise ships.
This is great news because this means smaller expedition ships will account for fewer crowds, which will keep port cities steady afloat and mitigate over tourism.
In addition, future cruisers can expect more “cruise line private island calls and off-season destination options,” according to Travel Weekly. Get ready to show off your hot vacation spots this winter.
Array of Onboard Experiences
In recent years, large cruise lines have perfected the superior experience: a ship-within-a-ship! This concept combines the lavish and cozy atmosphere of small expedition voyages with the attractions of big commercial cruise liners.
Features can include private sun terraces, garden rooftops, pools and decks, bars, restaurants, and lounges with round-the-clock butler service reserved just for passengers staying within. Most of these exclusive ship areas are built with keycard access-only. As mentioned earlier, all this is dependent on the ship and the cruise company itself.
For those who are just looking to build excitement for their first cruise, you can expect an infinity pool on almost every cruise line! Some ships will even feature a cantilevered pool, which refers to a pool that just out over the edge, which in this case is a ship.
“Other onboard activities will expand to entertain passengers with trivia nights, cooking classes, wine-tasting, rope courses, etc. Select lines are looking to arrange conferences and seminars.,” according to CruiseBooking.com.
This is perfect for networking opportunities and elevating your education if you love to travel, but can’t seem to stay away from work or school.
By Rania Perales at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Ever wanted to go camping but don’t really like the idea of having to get down in the dirt and leaves? Then glamping might be the perfect activity for you. Glamping stands for glamorous camping and it allows you to enjoy nature without foregoing many of life’s everyday luxuries one normally would for traditional camping.
“A market research report by Grand View Research shows that the global glamping market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9 percent from 2022 to 2030, after being valued at USD$2.35 billion in 2021. Just this year, it’s expected to hit USD$2.74 billion.”
Glamping has expanded to include glamorous camping options in treehouses, yurts, teepees, RVs and of course, a traditional tent with a luxurious bed inside. Allen Marketing Communications Inc, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, spotlights the latest trends in this up-and-coming market.
Extreme glamping is an over the top glamping experience such as staying in a yurt and eco friendly pod. It takes glamping to the next level, with some resorts clocking in at over $2,000 for a minimum two-night stay. However, these stays definitely give you a lot of bang for your buck – they often integrate all the best parts of nature with the comforts of hotel luxury.
From king-sized beds, to heat and air-conditioning, to hot baths, extreme glamping does not skimp on the luxuries one normally finds at high-end hotels – what you normally don’t find at hotels, though, are breathtaking views, immersion in nature, and the ability to fall asleep under the stars. That’s an experience you’ll never forget.
If you want to go glamping but don’t want to be tied down to one place, getting an RV might be the right choice for you. Some luxury RVs nowadays are nicer than homes and can cost between $1 and $3 million dollars.
Don’t think you’re paying for nothing, though. “These RVs come with luxe kitchens, slide-out-all-around windows, expansive floor space, and some even come with in-unit washer and dryers and LED TVs,” according to Business Insider.
A big appeal of glamping is the incorporation of natural elements with the luxury of where you’re staying. Forms of glamping that aim to integrate nature with the living environment to maximize sustainability include domed pods such as those that Kachi Lodge and Ecocapsule offer.
“These eco-friendly pods can sleep two people and include a kitchen, toilet, shower, and lounge area. Ecocapsule uses wind turbines and solar panels to make the pods 100 percent self-sufficient in a variety of environments,” according to Business Insider.
In fact, Kachi Lodge runs their camps using sustainable energy with the goal of leaving minimal impact on the environment.
Glamping under canvas can come in many different shapes and sizes, from tepees, to canvas cabins, to covered wagons such as the ones used in the 19th century. Inside, however, these dwellings look nothing like they did in the 19th century.
Complete with air conditioning, a king-size bed, twin bunk beds, and private bathrooms, the covered wagons are definitely a step up from how the pioneers lived in them. Tepees come with cedar floors, custom-made furniture, wool carpets, a kitchenette, and a fire pit. The canvas cabins, ranging from 790 to 1,300 square feet, are equipped with gas stoves, multiple bedrooms, and soaking tubs as well as private bathrooms.
Under the Stars In A Treehouse
Want to be able to see the stars as you fall asleep? Glamping spots such as the Bangkok Treehouse in Thailand or the Elephant’s Eye in Zimbabwe offer open space for you to watch animals roam at sunset and enjoy the sky at bedtime. Don’t worry about getting eaten by the bugs, as there is a netting draped over the bed to protect you from getting eaten alive.
Whether you prefer a more relaxed glamping vacation, one more in-tune with nature, or one on-the-go, there’s an option for everyone. Stay abreast with travel trends from our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
By Marley Merrihew at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Generation Z, or Gen-Zers, are people who are born between 1996 and 2010 and range in age from 10 to 25 years old. According to Forbes, “Gen-Z comprises 40 percent of total U.S. consumers, which amounts to a staggering $143 billion in spending power.”
Gen-Zers are the key to the future in more ways than one, and it’s important to know how to market to them to keep businesses healthy and the market strong. This generation is
tech savvy and they have grown up with smartphones, tablets and the internet.
Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, shares key insights for marketing to Gen Zers.
What to Know About Gen-Z
How to Reach Gen-Z
According to Forbes,” about half (49 percent) of Gen-Z gets the majority of their news through social media apps, as opposed to 12 percent who get it from TV.” So if you’re looking to get some news out to this generation, putting it on television is not the way to go.
Social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube Twitter, and TikTok as marketing tools are the best and most efficient way to reach an audience such as Gen-Z, who is constantly using social media.
“Emphasize eye-catching visual content. When it comes to social media, 81 percent of Gen Z say Instagram and YouTube are their preferred social networks of choice. And when asked which networks Gen Z wants to see brands use more of, 56 percent said Instagram while 38 percent pointed to YouTube.” (Source: Sprout Social)
How Will Gen-Z Help the Travel Industry?
With such great spending power, Gen-Zers are also posed to reinvigorate the travel and food and beverage industries after they both tanked during Covid. According to FINN Partners, “nearly two-thirds of Gen Zers are planning “revenge travel,”’ and as the generation least concerned with Covid, they’re most eager to get back on planes and trains.
Though Gen-Zers have the most spending power as a consumer as a whole, their individual spending power as a young generation is limited, meaning they’ll be looking for discounted and more affordable travel options. In addition, Gen-Z is concerned with the impact of travel on the environment, so they’ll also be looking for more sustainable and environmentally-friendly travel options.
“Contiki published a survey last year to determine the travel habits of Generation Z. They had 1,200 participants ranging in age from 18 to 35. Let’s take a look at the most relevant results for 2022:” (Source: Moonstride) Here are highlights from the survey
How Will Gen-Zers Help the Food and Beverage Industry?
As for the food industry, staying in touch with younger consumers is the key to keeping business growing into the future. Nutrition Insight calls Gen-Z the “lifeblood of the future,” as marketing to younger consumers are what keeps F&B (food and beverage) brands in business.
Gen Zers are influencing the food and beverage industries with these developments.
Our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals are here to help savvy marketers reach Gen Zers who are coming of age. Give us a call.
By Marley Merrihew at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Snapchat is among one of the most popular social media platforms for Gen Zers. Snapchat enables users to send pictures, videos, and texts to a friend or even a group of friends, post a picture or video to your story (or a private story for your closest friends), and even keep up with the latest news.
“Snapchat has more than 306 million daily users,” according to Hootsuite. Snapchat is the ideal social media platform to reach Gen Zers since “18 to 24 year olds are the largest group that use Snapchat, followed by ages 25 to 34 and ages 13 to 17.” (Source: Hootsuite)
Snapchat has come out with some new ones that are worth checking out. Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, spotlights the top five latest Snapchat features.
Shared Stories launched earlier this summer and is similar to the Custom Stories feature that allows users to add friends to the story who can then view and contribute to it. According to TechCrunch, “Snapchat wants to make it easier for everyone to get in on the fun with Shared Stories.”
Similar to regular Stories, Snaps sent to Shared Stories still disappear after 24 hours. Unlike Custom Stories, however, Shared Stories gives those who’ve been added to a Shared Story the option to add their own friends as well, creating a community of friends to share memories.
In addition to Snapchat’s new Shared Stories feature, they recently launched a Dynamic Stories “feature which allows publishers such as CNN, Bloomberg, and ESPN to automatically create Stories on the app’s Discover page based on news they publish online,” according to TechCrunch.
Snapchat is not just an app for talking to your friends anymore – “Whether it’s breaking news from credible sources on the war in Ukraine or the latest in pop culture or fashion, Dynamic Stories helps Snapchatters learn about the world as it happens,” says TechCrunch.
Snapchat is further developing its AR experience through its introduction of Custom Landmarkers, which allows Lens Creators (of which there are 250,000) to design and create Lenses and anchor them to local places they care about to showcase the landmark’s culture and history.
“This development is part of Snapchat’s effort to let their Lens Creators tell richer stories about the communities they care about,” according to TechCrunch. Snapchat moderates all AR content to ensure it supports the well-being of its users.
Snapchat is much more than just trying to keep a Streak (though that can be fun, too) – with its new features, you can find almost everything you need in this one app, from friends, to news, to even a new reality, Snapchat has it all.
Snapchat officially launched their new subscription service this June, allowing subscribers access to exclusive in-app features such as custom app icons and profile badges, data insights, and display tools.
The service costs $3.99 a month, hopefully allowing Snapchat to make up some of the revenue they lost this year from the recent economic state. There are also 6-month and 12-month subscription options, which offer discounts of nine percent and 16 percent, respectively.
Another feature the service offers is the ability for users to choose who shows up as their #1 best friend in the app, something we all wish we could do when someone climbs to that #1 spot we don’t want there.
Snapchat has finally followed sites such as Instagram and Twitter and has brought its features to the web more than a decade after its creation. Currently, only Snapchat+ subscribers have access to Snapchat for Web, but eventually it will be available to everyone.
“At the moment, the version supports messaging and video calling, but the company hopes to implement its augmented reality lenses and the ability to send photo and video Snaps in the near future,” according to engadget. There are also some key privacy features offered that are key for internet safety, such as the blocking of detected screenshot attempts.
Find new updates on social media platforms from our team of social media and influencer marketers at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
By Marley Merrihew at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.