The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) UK announced it would be holding a river cruise conference in Vietnam next year.
The body, which oversees the major cruise lines, will be hosting the event in April 2018 following the ‘burgeoning’ demand for Asia river sailings.
CLIA will be holding the event in Ho Chi Minh City on April 10, 2018 and it will be followed by a cruise on the Mekong River for attending travel agents.
Andy Harmer, the senior vice president for membership and director for CLIA UK and Ireland told Travel Weekly UK that there is a surge of cruise ships being built for Asian rivers.
“With a whole host of state of the art ships launching last year and another 13 ships on their way in 2017, not to mention the wide variety of excursions and on board amenities including, pools, cinemas and cookery schools on offer, agents selling cruise can really benefit from the variety of holiday choices on offer for their customers.”
Mr Harmer said a big part of the conference was the sailing down the Mekong to allow agents to experience and differentiate between the types of river cruising.
“In many ways forming differentiation of sailing and line types is where ocean cruising developed in its wider understanding.
“River also has its own certain types of product available so it is our chance to bring river cruising up to date and showcase it in its own event.”
The conference will focus on identifying potential cruise customers and learn about what’s on offer during Asian river cruise holidays.
“The River Conference offers travel agents a fantastic opportunity to see first-hand so many different styles of river ship and to hear from key speakers on the latest industry developments,” said Mr Harmer.
“It is great that for the first time ever we are able to give agents and our trade partner delegates the opportunity to experience the burgeoning Asia river market for themselves.”