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UK cruise bookings soar 28% above year-on in latest week

UK cruise bookings have staged a strong recovery in latest week and year to date they lag 3% behind of the same point in time in 2011in the market in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster, Travel Weekly reports in an email newsletter.

“Sales of cruises for summer 2012 rose sharply last week, with industry analyst GfK Ascent reporting a 28% improvement on the comparable week a year ago. The surge in bookings followed a serious decline year on year during the preceding three weeks, despite some improvement at the start of February,” the report said.

“GfK Ascent recorded a 29% fall in cruise bookings year on year in the week immediately after the tragedy, and a 24% reduction in the week to January 28 which followed. Sales picked up in the third week to February 4, but remained 15% down on the comparable period in 2010.”

“Last week’s surge in bookings appears to signal a recovery, with the cruise market for the season to date just 3% down on the same time last year. The sector remains ahead of the summer 2012 holiday market as a whole, which GfK Ascent reports as 9% down year on year to date. However, the decline is in line with reduced capacity,” the report said.

Several cruise operators have offered incentives in the UK in the recent past to trigger new bookings in the form of free upgrade to balcony accommodation and  generous on board credit etc.

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