Sydney-based cruise agent consortium Cruiseco is opening a UK office and buying the high profile domain address www.cruising.co.uk.
Launched in 2000, Cruiseco is a large provider of cruise holidays in Australia and exclusively distributes through a network of 230 independent travel agent members. Following significant research and planning, a new UK office has been opened in Birmingham.
Cruiseco chief executive and founder Steve Lloyd said: “Cruiseco is a committed advocate of street-front ‘bricks and mortar’ agencies who offer the cruise lines exceptional and alternative distribution when brought together in a cohesive marketing group."
According to Lloyd, Cruiseco's Abta and Atol applications are "well advanced", and commercial terms have been agreed with a good base of cruise lines.
He added that the company has also paid a "significant sum" for www.cruising.co.uk to sit alongside its .com.au site.
The UK office is being run by Royal Caribbean International’s former head of sales Mark Walter, who is aiming for a November launch.
Walter, who is currently in discussions with a number of cruise lines and agents, said: “Cruiseco will bring a completely fresh approach to the UK cruise market by re-invigorating independent agents and offer cruise line partners new routes of distribution.”
A small team will be recruited in the coming months to support the business' reservations, operations, sales and marketing functions.
"It seemed appropriate to make these announcements on the eve of the ACE Columbus Day Convention being held in Birmingham," added Walter. "We are highly committed to our UK plan and I welcome the opportunity to talk with trade partners who share our vision and want to become part of something unique."
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