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Expedia CruiseShipCenters Reports Growth, Offers WebinarsSeptember 25, 2008 By: George Dooley
Expedia CruiseShipCenters is offering a series of 30-minute webinars to promote opportunities for new agents. Upcoming webinars include October 1 and October 2. One-on-one presentations will also be available.
Since 1987, Expedia CruiseShipCenters says it has outpaced the industry by more than 3:1 with an average annual growth of 30 percent every year. The cruise and vacation sector continues to enjoy unprecedented growth with new ships, new destinations and the strongest consumer demand yet.
The vacation travel market, especially the cruise sector, continues to be robust for travel specialists, the company said after releasing second quarter sales figures that showed a 28 percent growth in bookings over the same period of 2007.
"Some of this growth can be attributed to the $13.5 million dollars in bookings we made during our One-Day Sale in June", said Matthew Eichhorst, COO "However, it is more likely a reflection of the fact that we continue to invest heavily in marketing and helping our agents grow their business."
Europe cruise bookings had the highest growth with a 44 percent increase, followed by the Caribbean at 32 percent and Mexico with 23 percent. The company also reports that their average commissionable fare for a cruise booking is up slightly to $1,325 per person.
This growth follows 2007 results, which saw Expedia CruiseShipCenters breaking the $300 million dollar mark in annual sales. President Michael Drever said CruiseShipCenters achieved a milestone by booking a record $13.5 million in cruises with its single day sale on June 14.
"The phenomenal growth at Expedia CruiseShipCenters is a clear indication that the cruising industry continues to grow," says Drever. "With 80 new ships scheduled in the next 10 years, and the increase in customer satisfaction, the forecast of the industry is robust. The demand is at its highest in our 20 year history. With over 1,900 trained Cruise Consultants and access to exclusive value priced product, our customers have the benefit of receiving outstanding customer service.”
Expedia CruiseShipCenters launched the One-Day Sale event in 2005 as a unique promotion to showcase that the world of cruising extends far beyond the Caribbean to nearly every continent, and to highlight the benefit of booking early with a fully refundable deposit of only $100. This year’s sale included worldwide departures up to Spring 2010 because Expedia CruiseShipCenters secures group inventory in advance, allowing agents across the country to take advantage of multiple benefits such as shipboard credits, group discounts and reduced deposit.