This year will be ‘best-ever’ for river cruises, says AmaWaterways boss

AmaWaterways managing director Jamie Loizou has urged agents to learn as much as they can about river cruise as he declared 2023 will be the “best year ever” for the sector.

Speaking to more than 400 agents at Clia’s RiverView Conference in Vienna, Loizou applauded agents’ performance during the wave season which he said saw many trade partners report record booking days, weeks and months.

“We are in the midst of a fantastic wave period and river cruise is on the verge of something big, as 2023 presents the opportunity for river cruise to have its best year ever,” he said.

More: Two new AmaWaterways ships to offer river cruises in Colombia

Loizou commented on the results of a survey of agents in the room which revealed 52% of them have never set foot on a river cruise ship, a statistic he described as a “disgrace”.

He highlighted three key values in river cruising which agents can use to promote the holiday type: price, choice and industry support.

“Hotel prices in European cities have sky-rocketed in recent months so visiting those places on a floating hotel is far better value,” Loizou said.

“Compare a river cruise with 24 hours staying in a centrally-located hotel in Amsterdam, Budapest or Vienna including accommodation with a pool, meals, shore excursions, pre-dinner drinks and entertainment. The river cruise will set you back 30% less and agents can earn commission on every element.”

Loizou went on to encourage agents to “capitalise” on their time in Vienna by visiting six river cruise ships during the conference and networking with suppliers.

“Capture as much content as you can, take pictures and then show your clients to demonstrate your expertise and set yourselves apart from your competition.

“Some of us are guilty of getting home from a conference and life takes over, but you must take this opportunity and use your experiences, the conversations you have and the people you have met to grow and develop and create new business for yourselves.

“If you do, 2023 will be river cruises’ best year ever.”

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