The effects of Cruise Webinars on Travel Agents in German

Art der Arbeit:





Bachelorstudiengang Cruise Tourism Management

Zusammenfassung der Arbeit:

More and more German holidaymakers spend their holidays on cruises. The source market has been growing over proportionally in the past years and the number of available cruise ships to German tourists has increased tremendously. As travel agents are the most important distribution channel for cruises in Germany, cruise lines have to train the agents regularly. To reach many travel agents within a short time at relatively low cost, webinars are commonly used as a training tool by cruise lines. This research aims to evaluate the effect of this type of training on the sales behaviour of travel agents. A survey was designed based on Kirkpatrick's four-level evaluation framework and the CIPP evaluation model. 147 German speaking travel agents answered the survey, of which 114 or 77,5% have participated in a cruise related webinar at least once. lt was tested, whether webinars lead to an increase in sales and further interest of an agent in a cruise line offering webinars as well as other trainings of that cruise line. The research identified, that cruise webinars polarise travel agents into supporters and adversaries, who either like to participate in cruise webinars or not. The results show that participation in cruise webinars, importance of cruises for a agency's revenue as well as frequency of cruise sales by a travel agent correlate significantly. The perceived difficulty of a travel agent to use webinar applications also determines the training success of a webinar. The level of cruise knowledge a travel agent has also influences the effects of cruise webinars in terms of recommendation of a certain cruise product to potential customers. The more knowledge a travel agent has about cruises, the less the improvement of recommendations and gained knowledge through cruise webinars. lt was found, that cruise webinars have more significant effects, in terms of recommendation to customers and perceived optimal length of cruise webinars, on travel agents with an affinity§ to cruises. The findings of this research have several implications for the practical use of webinars by cruise lines. They should make it as easy as possible to participate in webinars and try to individualise contents of webinars for different target groups, i.e. travel agents with different levels of cruise knowledge.