Friday 4 May 2018

Sven Lindblad: expedition travel demand is 'unprecedented'

#expeditioncruising .

Sven-Olof Lindblad - 'Every human being now has the capacity to be a communicator,' and people have a 'burning hunger ... to explore and share'

'Demand and interest in expedition travel is unprecedented,' the venerable Sven-Olof Lindblad of Lindblad Expeditions said Thursday as his company reported a strong first quarter profit and outlook.

A burning hunger to explore and share

'People are becoming more and more aware that the environment matters,' so there's an intellectual interest in this type of travel, he said. Thanks to handheld devices and social media, 'every human being now has the capacity to be a communicator,' and people have a 'burning hunger ... to explore and share.'

With everyone now in 'storyteller' mode, what could be more compelling than sharing the wonder of destinations like Antarctica and the Arctic?

Plus, family travel is on the rise, exposing new generations to new horizons.

'So there are many compelling reasons expedition travel is growing as it is,' Lindblad said.

Lindblad Expeditions, he added, has the advantage that it's not following a trend since the company has driven this segment for decades. (Lindblad's father Lars-Eric is credited with pioneering the expedition travel category in the 1960s.)

The focus continues to be providing 'authentic, meaningful and responsible access' to the world's incredible places.
Supply booming, but growth is on a small base

Expedition cruising is one of the strongest trends in the travel industry, but its growth is on a small base, Lindblad said in response to an analyst's question about supply growth—a concern for investors across the cruise spectrum.

As Lindblad sees it, supply growth and 'more noise' about expedition travel is good: 'It gets people jazzed.'

Lindblad Expeditions is participating in the building boom, having introduced coastal ship National Geographic Questlast year, with sister National Geographic Venture to follow in the fourth quarter and a bluewater newbuild, the high-ice-class National Geographic Endurance, to come in early 2020.

- Anne Kalosh - US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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