Midlands Co-op Travel’s Holidays-Direct has reported a massive increase in cruise bookings since the launch of a dedicated cruise website, cruises-direct.co.uk, in December last year.
Although the increase is from a small base – around 650 bookings – the growth of 94% over the same period last year is encouraging for Midlands Co-op Travel’s online arm.
“Even though we have only recently launched, we are already working on a number of initiatives which will give our site increased competitive edge when it comes to booking cruise trips,” said Midlands Co-op Travel head of Holidays-Direct Neil Smillie.
The site includes a comprehensive guide to cruising with access to over 30 operators, and up-to-date prices including exclusive deals and offers.
Enquiries and bookings are made through a team of 20 home working cruise consultants and the company’s call centre staff.
Although an option for consumers to book online will be introduced shortly, Smillie is adamant cruise consultants will still have a vital role to play.
“With cruise there is still value in getting customers to talk to an individual consultant. We’ve worked extensively to train the consultants and to get them on cruises – which is not easy when you are based in the Midlands,” he added.
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