Carnival Cruise Line has partnered with Aviate to help agents dynamically package products including its sailings as it looks to expand its trade distribution.
Agents can access Carnival cruises, flights, transfers and pre- and post-cruise hotels via the trade-only Carnival Crew platform, which is run by flight consolidator Aviate under its Atol licence.,
Almost 50 agents have signed up at carnivalcrew.com since its soft launch a month ago, according to Carnival Cruise Line’s head of international sales, Luke Smith.
He added that 40% of the agents who had signed up were new to cruise, which suggested the line could increase the number of trade partners it worked with long term.
Smith said: “I set up this partnership because we noticed that there was a big shift in terms of the number of agents that were reluctant to dynamically package or take on an additional Atol licence.
“It has been a tough couple of years for travel agents. Carnival has supported our agents as much as possible but there have been a lot of agents hit by the pandemic.
“I feel that’s there’s a reluctance to take risks with packages unless they have to. Crew enables people to carry on doing what they do but also offer a Carnival cruise.”
Smith highlighted how agents benefit from having a dedicated UK call centre that is open during UK office hours and Carnival would gain from high level of awareness about Aviate among agents.
“The great thing about Aviate is most people will recognise it because of Virgin Flightstore and Lime,” he added.
Aviate took over the running Virgin Atlantic’s booking portal in 2015 and sister company Lime in 2003 to provide nett British Airways leisure and groups fares.
“Agents want that safety net and they will not want any stress,” Smith added. “If you’re a travel agent the best option is to go through Crew.”
All packages sold via Carnival Crew are full commissionable and during the launch period agents can earn 12% commission, rather than the normal rate of 10%.
Smith said the launch period would end on June 30, 2022.
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