source: e-Travel Blackboard
Cruise1st launched its entry into the Australian market last night with executives claiming its presence will stimulate Australia’s already mushrooming cruise industry.
“The more people that specialise in the cruise industry will only do good things for the cruise industry,” International Cruise Council of Australasia General Manager Brett Jardine told e-Travel Blackboard.
“Cruise1st is bringing a dynamic cruise packaging model to Australia and Australia is ready for it,” Cruise1st General Manager Sandy Greenwood told guests.
Held at Cruise Bar in Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, Cruise1st’s Australian launch was marked by all the kitsch and glamour associated with cruising, from sailor-suited students dancing to The Love Boat theme to lei-strewn guests sipping blue margaritas – all the launch was missing was someone smashing a bottle of bubbly against a wall.
The Cruise1st website enables customers to book a complete fly, hotel stay and cruise package in one transaction.
However, their direct to consumer website has not received a ready welcome by all, some fearing Cruise1st will poach business from established agents, reported local media.
“But that puts a ceiling on a market we know is growing rapidly,” Ms Greenwood said, dismissing the claim.
“We want to bring profitability to the Australian market,” she assured.
“If the product [travel agents have] on offer and the service [they] provide represents good value, at the end of the day industry growth will feed industry growth,” Mr Jardine said.
The launch of Cruise1st Australia, the first headquarters outside of the UK, marks the beginning of the company’s international growth.
In Australia for the launch, Cruise1st Founder and Managing Director, Dan Townsley told reporters of plans to crack a further six markets.
“Cruise1st is set to enter Germany by the end of year for launch in March 2011,” he said.
“Depending on funding we are also looking into Spain, Mexico, Poland, China and Brazil,” Mr Townsley told e-Travel Blackboard.
“We want to grow the cruise industries in these countries. We are looking for growing markets, not ones that already exist,” he said.
Guests of the Cruise1st launch were treated to fragments of a ‘flashmob’ – an impromptu performance in a public space – that greeted Sydney commuters at Circular Quay yesterday morning.