The new owner of cruise retailer Imagine Cruising believes its latest acquisition will allow it to develop online sales to a wide audience through Travel Republic.
Emirates-owned dnata, which owns Travel Republic as well as operators such as Stella Travel Services and Gold Medal, completed the acquisition of a 51% stake in Imagine Cruising on Monday.
Iain Andrew, divisional senior vice-president of dnata’s travel business, said Travel Republic boasted a “remarkably diverse” customer database which offered an opportunity for Imagine’s bespoke Masterpiece Collection as well as regular itineraries.
Robin Deller, managing director of Imagine, added: “The deal gives us the opportunity to sell cruise to Travel Republic customers. We have done a little testing and the results were what we wanted, so we can now do something more significant.”
Asked about Travel Republic’s traditional focus on beach holidays, Deller said: “If you don’t have the skills [to specialise], it’s best to stay out of it, which is what Travel Republic has done to date. Now, though, we can bring that expertise.”
Andrew said the Imagine Cruising deal completed dnata’s immediate ambitions in the UK. “I wouldn’t say no to more product but I’m not actively looking for anything else at the moment,” he said. “I’m a big fan of the UK travel industry but we have a fair amount now.”
He added: “We’ve had a busy 12 months with seven or eight projects such as Gold Medal and Stella Travel and we’ve still got a couple of other exciting projects in other parts of the world.
“We now need to sit and absorb it all.”
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