Dwain Wall, whose departure from CLIA was recently announced, will serve as co-president and COO of WorldCruise.cn. WorldCruise.cn is a bilingual website that caters to Chinese-speaking travel agents and consumers globally.
When it officially launches in the second quarter of 2015, WorldCruise.cn, which is currently in beta testing, will serve as the country’s first online platform serving Chinese-speaking travelers and agents.
“There are currently more than 3 million travel agents in China, but only a few hundred sell cruise product,” said Wall. “According to China’s executive vice president of tourism, of the more than 100 million Chinese tourists who travel abroad each year, only .6 percent chose cruise travel in 2013. I’ve been astounded to learn how much opportunity exists for education and growth within the Chinese cruise sector."
WorldCruise.cn provides information from more than sixty cruise lines, real-time booking capabilities and extensive opportunities for the Chinese market to become better educated on cruising.
Chinese travelers can utilize WorldCruise.cn to search and book cruises, plan and book shore excursions, take advantage of chartered cruises and book air/cruise/land travel packages.
The first time the Chinese public will have access to a fully integrated travel planning platform, Wall says. WorldCruise.cn will feature a search engine, online booking capabilities, extensive research and FAQs on travel product, shore excursion options, ship reviews, destination backgrounders and limited-time special offers.
Chinese travel agents will be given a user name and login to access WorldCruise.cn. There, they can search live cruise and shore excursion inventory with real-time pricing and availability, booking their clients immediately for the first time ever. Agents can also, using WorldCruise.cn, create their own customized cruise packages and land tours, opening up booking to other agents and consumers directly, Wall says.
WorldCruise.cn is designed to let Chinese agents – again for the first time, according to Wall – load partial or full-ship charters, opening up their group space to other agents and travelers. The system creates a seamless way for agents to manage blocked space, availability and pricing, but it increases overall earning potential, allowing agents to book their clients into space blocked and posted by others.
WorldCruise.cn will also provide online training programs and business development strategies helping educate Chinese agents on what can be a complex segment of the travel industry. Offline training will feature sessions by senior managers from the world’s leading cruise lines, and service will be provided on the back end, to help ensure agent profitability, says Wall.
“While online cruise booking and online travel agencies have existed for some time in the United States, Chinese-speaking travelers have never seen anything like this. The best part is that WorldCruise.cn takes what we are doing well in the United States and layers on innovative, proprietary technology to advance the capabilities even further. This is the wave of the future for not only the Chinese cruise industry, but the cruise industry as a whole,” said Wall.
WorldCruise.cn was formed by Steven Donne (CEO & Chairman of the Board), Jessica Lee (Co-President, Sales, Marketing & Operations) and Evgeny Demchenko (Chief Technology Officer). The company is expected to make its public launch in Q2 2015. The site will also be mobile, with an iPad-friendly version and smartphone app. These platforms can be utilized for research and education, but also for real-time pricing, availability and booking.