Repackaging cruise bookings through the Advantage Travel Partnership’s in-house tour operator could boost members’ margins by up to 20%, according to chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said.
At its recent 40th anniversary Vivolution conference in Cadiz (17-20 May), the consortium announced it would roll out repackaged cruise fares through Advantage Holidays later this year.
The first phase in the autumn will focus on ocean cruise. Phase two (2020) will introduce river and luxury options.
Lo Bue-Said said members already packaging dynamically through Advantage Holidays were gaining 10-20% in margin. “You can get up to 20%. We know from our experience [of having] a flexible approach to how we dynamically package content that there is margin to be made.”
Lee Ainsworth, Advantage’s trading and product manager, explained repackaging cruise product under the consortium’s Atol rather than the cruise line’s gave members access to a wider range of hotel and flight options, such as using low-cost carriers.
The duo confirmed members would be able to repackage content from all key cruise partners, with “70% to 80%” of content currently being sold by members under partner Atols “in any volume” likely to become available through Advantage Holidays “at some point in time”.
Lo Bue-Said said while the capability was “already there” with larger cruise lines, river, luxury and more niche cruise options were dependent on product being supplied in a format compatible with Advantage Holidays’ systems.
She also added “making business compliant from a legislative point of view had come at a cost and eroded margin”. “Selling cruise well will definitely improve margin,” she said.
Repackaging through Advantage Holidays, Lo Bue-Said added, will also reduce risks arising from dynamic packaging and bring more members under the same legislative framework.
The 2020 Advantage Travel Partnership conference will be held in Madeira over 15-18 May.