The cruise industry is widely recognised as one of the fastest growing travel categories in recent times. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has projected that over 30 million people globally will take a cruise in 2019, an impressive 69% increase in just 10 years. Cruise lines success in attracting first-time cruisers, combined with the fact that travellers who take cruises often tend to repeat means that demand is at an unprecedented high. Florida Caribbean Cruise Association suggests that nine out 10 luxury and premium cruisers have sailed more than once.
With that in mind, it’s worth remembering that the majority of cruise passengers also need flight arrangements to reach the cruise embarkation port and often require accommodation for the nights preceding and following their cruise. This leads to a distinct market opportunity for cruise packages that include air, hotel and other travel components. The challenge many travel businesses face is that the process to build a cruise package can be complex and time-consuming as they are combined manually by an agent, using multiple systems.
For example, many travel agents still use various cruise line sites to research and book cruises for their clients. Then to add flights, this involves either contacting an air product team to bundle in the right flights for a particular cruise or they need to start the search themselves. Common queries like, “What’s the closest airport to the ship departure port?”, “How far is the airport from the cruise port?”, “Will the passenger need pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodations?” can lead to an agent spending over an hour creating a complex itinerary for their client.
The Techy Bit
As cruise became more and more popular and this arose as an increasingly common pain point amongst agents, it wasn’t long before innovative technology companies began developing cruise booking software to dynamically package these components and streamline the entire process. A dynamic packaging engine can give both agents and online consumers the ability to price as well as package cruises, airlines, hotels, and other travel products in real time.
With Traveltek’s forward-thinking cruise booking software, travel businesses and online consumers receive comprehensive ship descriptions, detailed cabin information and the all-important supporting images to help the agent or customer select the right cruise product. Traveltek’s experienced content team ensures the database of available cruises is up to date and accurate on a daily basis, giving users of the technology the commercial edge over their competitors.
Traveltek’s advanced packaging module goes one step further and allows users to present multiple flight, hotel and transfer options to customers after they have picked a cruise. This appeals to the modern traveller’s preference for personalisation. These bundles are loaded into the system so that, when an agent or online consumer inputs their criteria, our platform conducts live searches to retrieve the available options before presenting the results on screen as one single packaged price.
Predicting the cruise boom many years ago, Traveltek capitalised on an early-mover advantage in the development of its cruise reservation platform and now offers the most robust solution on the market, providing aggregated content from over 190 of the world’s leading cruise lines.