Australian cruise retailer, CruiseMart has entered into a deal with North American specialty travel agency, Cruise Holidays to become Australia’s first master franchisor, with hopes of improving the efficiency and direction of cruise consultancy.
Cruise Holidays Australia managing director Les Farrar said the new partnership will bring a new level of sophistication to the way cruise holidays are sold in Australia.
“The number of home-based travel professionals within Australia will continue to grow. As cruising continues to grow in popularity with Australians and cruise lines commit more resources here, there is increasing opportunity for a dedicated network of home based cruise specialists.”
Mr Farrar said the CruiseWeb platform is the reservations system that Cruise Holidays employs.
“Being built specifically for cruising, it makes our consultants so much more efficient than previously, and our marketing will be targeted to our customers in a manner which is simply not available through any 'off the shelf' system.”
The franchise deal promises to bring a new level of focus and commitment.
“Not only will our agents receive all the support expected, such as in house accounting, tech support, local area marketing, services of a BDM etc, they will also receive a level of 'on your behalf marketing' which will surpass anything currently available,” Mr Farrar said.
“This includes their own website with live booking capabilities, a full time cruise product manager and regular email newsletter and direct mail pieces sent to their customer base, all with their own contact details and at no extra cost outside of their standard franchise fee. They will also benefit from the strong relationships we have with all the major cruise lines in Australia and worldwide.”
Mr Farrar said CruiseMart brings extensive retail experience that will assist franchisees to build their own businesses and succeed.
“CruiseMart already has a national customer base, with a strong online presence and the two aforementioned retail locations. The agreement will lead to a more expansive network of cruise specialist agents, more equipped to handle the complex questions and details that often go along with booking a cruise holiday.”
“With the Australian cruise market booming, it’s important for Aussies to have access to world-class cruise experts so they can make the most of their vacation investment,” Cruise Holidays vice president and COO Mark Schiffner said.
“The partnership between CruiseMart and Cruise Holidays provides that.”