A partnership with Bolsover Cruise Club, the acquisition of Bath Travel and new cruise packaging software have been credited for the growth of Hays Travel as a cruise retailer.
During the Hays Independence Group annual UK conference in Birmingham, John Hays said that cruise was an increasingly important part of the business as he revealed that the company's overall margins had "gone up" in the last financial year.
He also spoke about the group's partnership with Bolsover Cruise Club in creating exclusive cruise and stay packages.
"We're delighted that one of the UK's largest agents, Bolsover Cruise Club, has chosen to partner with Hays for our differentiated product", said Hays.
The ease of packaging cruise holidays has been simplified for IG members with the introduction of a new system. The technology, which assists agents with bookings for fly-cruise packages and complex itineraries, was demonstrated at the conference.
The system offers the option to build a bespoke cruise package or a 'quick package' and walks agents through the steps to make the booking.
Fly-cruise bookings automatically select flights the day before a cruise departure and accommodation is booked through Hays Beds.
Hays IG reported a 29% increase in profit in the year to March 31, as reported in Travel Weekly this week.
Hays said at the conference that the average transaction value per passenger had increased for the group from £754 to £770 in the financial year.
Hays Travel's own operator Htol (Hays Travel Operating Limited) was the fourth biggest supplier to the group in the period, after Thomas Cook, Jet2Holidays and Tui.
Ski specialist iSki, coach operator Bakers Dolphin, and agency Pebbles Travel were among the companies who joined as members of Hays IG in the past year.
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