How about a cruise app to notify passengers about cruise events?
The roaming-charge issue certainly would be a barrier.
Nevertheless, nearly half of the travel agents in North America queried in an Amadeus North America-Cruise Lines International Association survey indicated their customers would likely take advantage of mobile apps which flagged them about cruise events, dining information and ship dress codes.
The online survey, From Likes to Leads: Cruise Agents, Social Media and the Impact of Emerging Technologies [pdf], queried more than 1,000 travel agents from North America in March.
Less than 40% of the agents responded that mobile apps would help their cruise business, but the younger the agents' customers, the more likely the agents were to indicate that mobile apps would benefit their business.
For example, 35% of the agents whose customers generally are 35 to 44 years old responded that mobile apps would be a plus to their cruise business, while only 28% of agents whose clients are 65 years old and older saw the upside of mobile apps.
When it comes to transactions, the agents surveyed weren't on board.
"Most cruise agents, however, regardless of the age of their customers, do not believe that their customers would be interested in mobile applications that enable them to transaction business with the ship cashier," Amadeus and CLIA noted.
The survey revealed that a majority (54%) of cruise agents in the survey use social media to generate leads.
In fact, 14% of agents reported that they get at least 30% of their cruise leads through various social media channels.
And, many of the agents active in social media find it to be an effective way to reach out to younger clients, with the possibility of building long-term agent-client relationships, the survey found.
For agents active in social media with customers under age 45, almost 20% of these agents reported that they generate in excess of 30% of their leads through social media.
Agents active in social media predominantly viewed Twitter and Facebook as vehicles for customer engagement (68%), advertising (43%) and promotion (39%).
Only 19% of agents active in social media find social media to be effective for disseminating travel advice or enabling customers to share their cruise experiences, the survey found.