Competition looks set to intensify in the cruise retail space, as TravelManagers confirmed its new CruiseManagers brand will kick off from April 1.
From that date, personal travel managers working under the new CruiseManagers brand will have full membership of Cruiseco, providing them with increased access to cruising packages. In addition, they will be able to access CruiseCo's cruise training scheme and range of offers which include fly/cruise holiday product and special group departures along with a reservations facility.
The home-based agency firm first revealed plans for the venture at its conference in Fiji in November, several months after the July announcement that US-based Cruise Holidays International would enter the local market via a master franchise agreement with Queensland-based Cruise Mart.
Michael Gazal, TravelManagers executive general manager, said the offer of full membership and all the "associated benefits" of Cruiseco would enable CruiseManagers to offer "an alternative and established choice" to the rival company.
"This is big news for TravelManagers, allowing its personal travel managers who are also cruise specialist to go the extra mile with information of offers for their clinets," Gazal said. "They offer access to an extensive range of cruises, on every manjor shipping line to every major cruisign destination with the option of competitive airfares, hotels and transfers."
Meanwhile, Gazal reported growth in cruise sales in excess of 65% in 2012 and said the sector constitutes a "significant portion" of the firm's sales mix.