According to the Cruise Industry Trade Group, about 30 million people all over the world went on cruises in 2018. As this number is higher in comparison to statistics from previous years, it’s quite obvious that this niche can be profitable. If you’d like to learn how to make money booking cruises, we advise you to read this article.
Reasons to make money in the cruise niche
The cruise niche is highly prospective, which may surprise you. The fact is, the online cruise market is relatively young in comparison to its offline form, which is why you should pay attention to it. More and more people prefer to search the internet for information about their holiday options, including cruises. They’re looking to find the best ship, the best itinerary, and interesting promotions. Here are some benefits of making money booking cruises.
1. Cruise lines are ready to cooperate with specialists who are able to attract clients. For this reason, they offer a wide variety of bonuses and price reductions that you can use to make a profit.
2. Doing business in the cruise niche will allow you to work for yourself and be independent.
3. This type of activity will make it possible for you to work from home, booking cruises in a comfortable environment.
4. You can make money earning a commission for each of your clients.
5. It’s possible to get more freedom of action by joining an affiliate program; that way, you’re able to not just act as a travel agent but also sell cruises through your own channels, such as a website or a blog.
Challenges and difficulties
Planning a group cruise is a hard and demanding job, yet the potential is enormous. So, be ready to face plenty of problems with taking phone calls, dealing with selling cruises online in your spare time, and responding to emails, which can be exhausting, especially if you have a full-time job.
Prepare yourself to work even while you’re on holiday during your cruise, as you will have to help your customers find solutions to their problems. Every person in the group is unique, so you should always stay patient and find an individual approach for each client.
Although managing issues with each group cruise package may be difficult, this work is worth it, as it will earn you a high income.
Ways to make money by booking cruises online
If you’re interested in making cruise planners income, you should get familiar with the main marketing tools and strategies used by specialists in this field. This information won’t give you a direct answer to the question, “How much do travel agents make per booking?”, but it will certainly be useful for the money matter of your business.
Contextual advertising is a form of online advertising that allows you to place relevant ads on websites or in apps and to raise money buying cheap traffic. Search for cruise affiliate programs that will allow you to send your traffic to their websites. At this moment, the most popular advertising is the one from Google AdSense.
Another way to make money on contextual advertising is to place banners on websites and make people click on them, which in turn will help boost your income. To make this work, be sure that the traffic is cheap and targeted.
Contextual advertising in the cruise industry could be a good choice because one click could lead to revenue of over $1,000. This prospect makes this type of ad highly interesting not only for publishers but also for advertisers. That’s why it won’t be hard to find partners to arrange it.
Selling cruises directly
Despite the fact that more and more people are convinced that it’s better to book a group cruise tour or individual tour online, most are not ready to make a reservation without direct communication.
Thus, it’s a good idea to have online resources – a website or a blog where you can place relevant content about cruise tours and allow online visitors to contact you directly. Though having an offline office isn’t a “must” to start, if you feel that most of your prospective clients aren’t eager to purchase cruise tours online, you’d probably better have both online and offline resources.
Perhaps the easiest way to make money by booking cruises is taking part in affiliate programs. That’s because many cruise lines are ready to cooperate in this field. Moreover, affiliate marketing doesn’t demand much work. In a nutshell, the only thing expected from you is to place an affiliate link to your media channel or website, or share it on social media.
You can also post links that will motivate visitors to buy travel insurance, services, or goods on AliExpress and eBay. These are things that clients will need for their cruises.
How much money can you get?
To reply to your question, “How much do booking agents make?”, it’s necessary to think of all the factors that may influence your income: the cruise line, the country from which customers are sailing, the number of tours you sell, and the specific arrangements made between cruise companies and travel agents.
In general, the income of a travel agent may reach up to $1000 per month, which is based on commissions on cruise systems. A cruise line usually pays a percentage to the agent for each tour sold. The sum of this commission varies from 10% to 18% of the ticket cost.
Note that the cruise niche is more profitable than, let’s say, the plane ticket niche. That’s because affiliate rewards and the product cost for a tour are higher than they are for flights. For this reason, selling a cruise tour that costs over $1000 and getting a reward of 3% is better than making money on a $500 ticket with a commission of 1.5%.
Tips & tricks to make money booking cruises
1. Choose the right affiliate program.
Spend time doing some research online to find a convenient cruise affiliate program. Analyze top-performing affiliates and talk to affiliate managers who are dedicated to the niche and who will share useful information that would help increase your revenue.
2. Develop an efficient website.
Don’t neglect your website, as it may represent the main online platform on which you make money booking cruises. Pay attention to high-quality content creation, as well as constant development and optimization.
3. Use social media.
You can earn money vlogging – taking videos from a cruise, describing your journey. People are sincerely interested in a “live show” and not in a dull description from travel books. Posting such videos doesn’t demand any special resources– an Android or iPhone camera would be enough to build a trusting relationship with customers thinking about going on a cruise.
Another way to develop authority in the travel niche is by blogging. Share your tips by writing about your onboard experience on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or your website. Many digital sources, travel magazines, and websites will be ready to pay you for this in-demand content.
4. Keep in touch with your clients.
Email marketing is another way to make money in the cruise niche. Prepare a list of clients who travel quite often; keep in mind their preferences and habits. It’s a good idea to place a contact form inside articles that you publish on your social media and use the information you get to send personalized offers and promotions to your subscribers. This will allow you to keep up-to-date with their interests and make your presence constantly felt.
The cruise niche may open many prospects and help you earn a living. It’s all in your hands. Just delve into this process and be creative; no doubt, you’ll see how to make money booking cruises very soon.