Council to Advise Co-op’s New Cruise Division

Leisure Travel Group gathers cruise-only agencies to help develop exclusive programs and promotions to increase sales

Spurred by interest from disenfranchised cruise-only agencies, Leisure Travel Group has completed its formation of a cruise division.

According to Michelle Morgan, executive director of LTG, about 18 months ago the organization began receiving inquiries from cruise-only agencies that had been involved in various franchise organizations.

“Our membership growth is fueled by word of mouth from satisfied members LTG does not have a sales force or a dedicated member recruitment department,” Morgan said.

Based on the calls from these cruise-only agencies and the interest they expressed in becoming part of LTG, the organization’s board of directors created a new division.

Morgan said that in the past 14 months, more than a dozen high-volume cruise-only agencies have joined the Marina del Rey, Calif.-based co-op.

To shape its cruise division, the organization recently created the Cruise Council, whose members will assist in developing and testing new programs.

The council members also previewed LTG’s new cruise-only Web site, which provides members with a variety of options to customize their consumer sites. Member cruise Web sites can be segmented by destination, cruise line or a combination of both. Other custom links include Our Hottest Deals, Deluxe Cruise Options, Hosted Sailings, Cruise Guides & FAQs and Browsing Ship Profiles. Key suppliers loaded into the site include Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival and NCL.

Enhancements to the 2003 portfolio of cruise product will include exclusive cruise/land/air packages utilizing net pricing, commissionable sightseeing options and private label pre- and post-hotel stays.

These new programs augment LTG’s current cruise product that features value-added amenities such as bonus miles (free miles on AA, DL or UA) and complimentary private car and driver shore events.

LTG’s cruise help desk dubbed the Cruise Action Bureau provides sales support for frontline agents, including customer service for supplier-related issues and the Cruise Price Match program, which guarantees LTG members will not be undersold.

Adventure Travel JDS Africa Middle East JDS Destinations