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TRAVELSAVERS Launches Cruiseexpress Booking EngineSeptember 14, 2009 By: George Dooley
TRAVELSAVERS has launched a new, proprietary booking engine called cruiseexpress to help agencies throughout Canada and the U.S. to boost their cruise sales. The business-to-business cruise booking and management solution was developed exclusively for TRAVELSAVERS agencies.
“We stand apart from other travel agency marketing groups in the industry as the only one to make the commitment to both time and financial resources to build our own, proprietary cruise booking system,” said Jackie Johnson, executive vice president, cruiseexpress. “And we’ll continue to design and implement programs that assist our agencies in growing their businesses.”
The web-based cruiseexpress supports the group’s agents to market and sell cruises both online and offline by providing live access to the inventory of major cruise lines along with real-time booking and management capabilities.
Frontline agents can conduct quick searches by: cruise line, cruise ship, date range, destination, embarkation port or port of call, departure date, or length of cruise.
Agents can then compare the statistics, itineraries, services and prices of various cruises; create a personalized e-mail; and send it off to their target client. At that point, the customer can select a cruise and advise the agent of their choice for the agent to book through cruiseexpress.
The flow and overall design of cruiseexpress is logical and intuitive, and the content is robust. “Agents will find it easy to move about the site, provide information to their customers and close the sale,” added Johnson.
Some of the system’s special features include:
* Port destination descriptions (both seaports and river ports), including Google maps and photos of the destinations.
* Option allowing agents to make important notes, i.e., the trip is a 50th anniversary gift so don’t call the client at home.
* Special icon alerting agents when additional charges for alternative dining restaurants apply.
* Streaming video capability to further drive home the appeal of cruising.
Cruiseexpress is currently completing the alpha test phase and is about to begin the beta test phase. The system will be fully operational in November. The technology now allows TRAVELSAVERS agencies to book individual cruises. In phase two of the project, cruiseexpress will handle group bookings, and an expert/educational component for travel agents will be added.
“Cruiseexpress is not a static technology,” said Johnson. “It’s a dynamic, live, robust content booking tool that will continue to grow and improve not only in the product itself but also in the cruise lines that we bring to it.”