FCTG LAUNCHES BIG MOVE TO MAKE BIG WAVES
• FCTG will relaunch Cruiseabout brand in Australia, the fourth largest source market for cruise globally
• National retail shop network of specialist cruise experts, local call centre and online booking functionality signal distinctive offering for cruise customers
• Dedicated cruise wholesale business will provide unique cruise packaging for FCTG brands & the Australian marketplace.
Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) today announced strategic plans to grow market share in the cruise sector by bringing back its cruise brand, Cruiseabout, and reestablishing a dedicated wholesale cruise division.
The move will see the launch of a modernised version of Cruiseabout alongside a wholesale model to support the needs of Australian cruise customers; the cruise industry's fourth largest source market globally.
FCTG’s CEO of Leisure Brands, James Kavanagh, says reviving Cruiseabout will signal a distinctive offering in market for Australian cruisers.
“We’re able to offer a modernised and refreshed retail cruise brand to customers who have been missing out for years now. Our model, with its national footprint, Australian based-call centre and online booking functionality all serviced by specialist cruise experts, will be the only one of its kind in Australia,” Mr Kavanagh said.
CLIA’s 2023 Industry Report states the global industry is on track to carry approximately 31m passengers in 2023, growing to 39m by 2027.
"The global cruise industry is thriving once more, rebounding faster than international departures and arrivals,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“We know from research that cruise has a high return rate for travellers with ~85% of cruisers intent to cruise again and globally, there is approximately 4m worth of brand new cruise customers predicted to cruise over the next 18 months.
“We want to be part of the cruise industry’s growth story with our revived offering.”
The Cruiseabout brand aims to capitalise on this growth and complements FCTG’s diverse portfolio of leisure brands, including Flight Centre, Travel Associates, Scott Dunn, MyCruises and its fast-growing FCTG Independent division, all of which offer their own distinct product range in this growing segment. Primarily focused on the Fly-Cruise segment, Cruiseabout will offer tactical cruise deals and exclusive rates as well as exclusive product with key suppliers, all leveraged under the FCTG group position and global supply network.
“Our cruise customers – whether they book online, over the phone or through a cruise expert in-store – will have access to FCTG’s entire range of cruise options, as well as competitive bundled deals on airfares, hotels, tours and more, which is unrivalled in the Australian marketplace,” said Mr Kavanagh.
Customers will have access to deals via three core channels including centrally located concept stores, online’ bookability’ and a Gold-Coast based call centre. A new age cruise wholesale offering Alongside the launch of the customer-facing Cruiseabout brand, FCTG will also establish a dedicated cruise wholesaler to support the complex wholesale requirements of cruise packages.
FCTG’s CEO of Supply, Greg Parker said the wholesale offering would service the needs of FCTG brands as well as external independent agencies via exclusive pricing of unique bundled packages.
“We’re designing a new age trade B2B model to allow best-to-market product packaging and bundling that promotes added value for our partners and customers alike.
“We can offer exclusive pricing and product across airfares, charters, groups, nets and commits, and bundle these together with hotels, transfers and tours for an unrivalled partnering model,” said Mr Parker.
The wholesaler will also offer products and promotions on white label products and B2B sites. Cruiseabout’s Call Centre and online booking capabilities will launch towards the end of this year, with a retail shop to follow in early 2024. Recruiting for roles across the retail network, call centre and wholesale division will commence shortly.