Ensemble Insights survey indicates strong 2013 with sales to soar for members in 2014

Ensemble Insights survey indicates strong 2013 with sales to soar for members in 2014COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — According to a recent survey of Ensemble Travel Group members in the U.S. and Canada, 2013 will be a banner year for overall travel bookings with nearly 60% of respondents expecting an increase compared to 2012.

And while the outlook is certainly upbeat, 2014 appears to be even better as more than 85% forecast an increase in travel sales next year.

The findings are part of Ensemble Insights, an annual survey released each year during the organization’s conference that analyzes the sales performance and projections of its North American membership. The 2013-14 Ensemble Insights Survey, conducted in early October, reflects input from more than 1,700 Ensemble Travel Group agents, managers, and owners in the U.S. and Canada, representing a cross-section of business models and customer databases.

According to Ensemble executives, this fall’s survey results certainly capture the essence of the conference theme, ‘Soaring to New Heights’. From cruises and Europe to land and insurance, travel bookings across the board are truly taking off for Ensemble members in both the U.S. and Canada.

“Based on this feedback and other critical business indicators, we’re pleased with 2013, but extremely encouraged by how 2014 is shaping up,” said Ensemble Co-President Lindsay Pearlman. “And, while the economic recovery is certainly fueling our positive forecast, Ensemble’s new technology platforms and marketing initiatives should also go a long way in turning those projections into reality for our members in the coming year.”

In the cruise segment, nearly 60% of the respondents expect an increase in overall bookings in 2014 compared to 2013, with the largest growth expected in the premium and luxury categories, at 53% and 36%, respectively. And helping members close those cruise sales are the Ensemble Hosted and exclusive cruise amenities, as indicated by 90% of the respondents. River cruises will continue to be hot as 88% of the members surveyed expect bookings to increase in 2014.

In the land segment, 77% of members surveyed expect 2014 bookings to be up compared to 2013, with the largest growth expected in FITs and groups at 46% and 35%, respectively. Nearly 70% of respondents said the Ensemble Hotel & Resort Program and associated exclusive amenities help them close a sale and add to their agency’s bottom line.

In other survey results:

  • Regarding Europe 2013 compared to 2012: 45% expect an increase; 17% a decrease; and 38% unchanged. For 2014 compared to 2013: 64% expect an increase; 4% a decrease; and 32% unchanged;
  • Regarding travel insurance 2014 compared to 2013, 65% expect an increase; 9% decrease; and 26% unchanged;
  • Regarding marketing effectiveness, the top three most valuable marketing tools for reaching clients (except for client referrals): e-mail, print magazine/publications, and agency website/direct mail (tie).

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