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Ferry Fortunes in 2017 and beyond

Once again Pharos Data has analysed ferry and travel sales data to show market trends and predictions. During 2017-2019 three trends will be shape our industry:

  1. The traveller’s journey doesn’t end at the ticket purchase
  2. Mobile will account for more than 40% of online revenue in 2 years time
  3. Ancillary revenue, 10 years ago a €1.9 billion market, is now a €63 billion market

 

1 The traveller’s journey doesn’t end at the ticket purchase.

Priceline may have been among the first to prove that travellers don’t just need the transportation ticket to a destination. They also need accommodation, things to do while they are there, dinner reservations, ground transportation – so they built this empire consisting of Booking.com for hotel reservations, Opentable for dinner reservations, Rentalcars.com for ground transportation etc.

In December of 2016 Ryanair announced their entry into the packaged tours market: You can now book flights + 1 week’s accommodation in Sicily for €201 during April 2017, including transfers. The trend is: The first point of contact wants to keep the client and benefit from the entire journey.

Conclusion: If you are the first point of contact, keep the customer in your own eco-system. At the same time, make sure other first points of contacts are technically and commercially capable of selling your services on top of theirs!

 

2 Mobile will account for more than 40% of online revenue in 2019

Euromonitor International has breaking news for all of you, especially if your customer base includes Sweden, Denmark and Greece: Blame it on a combination of thinly spread population combined with rugged landscape, but the research experts in Euromonitor predict that in only two years 47% of all Swedish, 44% of all Danish and 41% of all Greek online travel revenue will be generated via the mobile channel.

Conclusion: Be it directly via your own website, or that of a large travel agency – make sure your distribution channels are optimised for mobile – or be prepared to lose revenue to your competitors and other means of transportation!

3 Ancillary Revenue is now a market worth €63 billion.

Ten years ago this was a €1.9 billion market, in 2010 it was worth €20.7 billion. Most ferry operators know very well the value of meal sales, cabin upgrade sales etc.

But airlines have mastered ancillary sales : Passengers are charged extra for seat reservation, checked luggage, credit card payments, lounge access or on-board Wi-Fi as well as the sale of third-party travel products such as accommodation and ground transportation.

Conclusion: Some ferry routes are an excellent travel ancillary product for airline and accommodation booking services, e.g. ferry routes connecting two large and exciting cities – or an exciting island with a larger city for a weekend break. At the same time ferry operators could become even more creative in selling their own on-board ancillaries – they all can be booked and paid for along with your ticket sales via the Pharos ferry distribution system.

So there we have it: Not only are these the 3 top industry-shaping trends for the period 2017 to 2019 – they are also not stand-alone, they are interdependent, they come as a bundle – no matter if your business is ready for them or not.