Destinations a key focus at Clia RiverView this March

Travel agents will have the opportunity to learn about key river cruise destinations at Clia’s 10th RiverView Conference this March. The conference will take place in Budapest for the first time this year, and will run from March 20-22.

“Budapest is a significant port of call for river cruising on the Danube,” said Andy Harmer, managing director at Clia UK & Ireland. “Destinations are a really key component for a river cruise holiday – we have a specific breakout session on destination knowledge for all delegates where we’ll go through some of the key attractions and selling points for some of those big rivers.”

Since travel has been off the cards for the past couple of years, focusing on the experiences available is even more significant, said Harmer, and boosting destination knowledge and insights will be a vital way for agents to attract new customers to cruise.

And with the conference taking place on the Danube, it’s also attracted some different ships to those that have previously been at the event.

The ships on show will be A-Rosa Donna, Amadeus River Cruises’ Amadeus Silver III, AmaWaterways’ AmaVerde, APT Travelmarvel’s Vega, Avalon Waterways’ Avalon Envision, CroisiEurope’s Vivaldi, Emerald Cruises’ Emerald Sun, Scenic’s Scenic Amber, Tui River Cruises’ Tui Skyla and Uniworld’s Beatrice.

Speakers will include Kristin Karst, co-owner of AmaWaterways, and Ellen Bettridge, Uniworld’s president and chief executive, with the rest yet to be confirmed.

Harmer added that the 10th RiverView Conference would provide a chance to explore what’s changed in the river cruise sector in the past decade. As well as destinations such as India and the Snake River in the US having opened up for river cruising, there’s also been huge investment in the Nile in the past 12 months.

While interest has grown from agents looking to sell river cruises, tour operators have expanded into the sector. “A new operator joined the rivers last year, Tui River Cruises, so I think we’re seeing that diversity and choice for customers,” said Harmer.

Agents will also hear from river cruise leaders at a pivotal time for the industry, as we move forward from the pandemic. “The opportunity for entire fleets to restart again is a really important moment,” added Harmer.

“The industry will be ramping up ahead of the summer season. It’s a key moment.”

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