Small cruise agents join forces to combat undercutting

Small cruise agents join forces to combat undercutting

Small independent cruise agents are looking at the possibility of setting up a mini-consortium or campaign group to help each other compete against their larger rivals.

In recent weeks, agents have hit out against Complete Cruise Solution for offering exclusive deals to large agencies and failing to support small independents, which report customers being lured away by rock-bottom deals and free extras offered by their rivals.

Jersey-based travel agency Keith Prowse Travel consultant Colin Baird said agents should combine forces. “All small agencies should form a group so we could combine our booking volumes and compete against the multiples,” he said.

Holiday Answers general manager Joanne Crawford said lobbying CCS had paid off. “After 18 months of putting pressure on CCS, we have access to these deals.”

CCS head of sales Mark Pilkington said consortia members already have access to special departure deals and should check with their head office. “If not, we are willing to speak to anyone interested in proactively selling cruise,” he said. “However, I make no apology for our policy of rewarding successful agents.”

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