UK based travel technology specialist Inspiretec has added innovative cruise features to their travel platform. Despite the challenges our cruise industry has faced in the last year it is expected to return stronger than ever.
In fact, cruise executives report the high demand and even cases that outstrip what they have seen prior to the pandemic. Cruise Lines are offering some incredible deals and flexible terms which is having a great effect on the strength of bookings later in 2021 and into 2022.
Looking longer-term, the industry had already set a course far beyond the pandemic. Investment in future state-of-the-art capacity, reflected by CLIA’s recent 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report, highlighted its members plans to debut 20 new ships in 2021, with a projected 270 in operation by June.
However, the selling systems and customer experience tooling used by operators to sell and manage their cruise product portfolio have become reliant on inflexible, inefficient and out of date technology. If operators ever wanted to respond to this growing demand they would need a far more comprehensive solution.
Spotting how poorly the cruise industry has been serviced by technology over the years the Inspiretec team concluded that the industry deserved better selling experiences – geared to supporting the future growth of Cruise product, when, not if, consumer demand returned.
During the pandemic turbulence, Inspiretec invested in building out Cruise specific functionality into their best-of-breed Reservations and travel-specific CRM products.
Gareth Arnold, Cruise Relationship Manager at Inspiretec, said: “Operators and Agents are looking to at new ways to differentiate their cruise holiday offering, with a single place to manage the multiple components of that booking and improving efficiencies through the sales process”.
Inspiretec created new selling journeys allowing tour operators the ability to search, cost and compare cruise product supported by rich ship and itinerary content sourced through an innovative partnership with Widgety. Operators can then also leverage the power of Inspiretec’s Reservations platform through dynamically packaging components, such as flights, pre- and post-stay accommodation, flights, transfers and more, giving operators the ability to diversify their offering and increase margin.
Preferences, marketing insight, website interactions alongside call centre or retail shop touch points alongside previous quotes and bookings are all brought to their fingertips. This customer insight along with powerful workflows and automation tools improve sales efficiency and performance.
Utilising the very best and most up to date Cruise information will significantly improve a customer’s experience, so fundamental to Inspiretec’s approach was identifying an accurate, far-reaching and reliable information partner.
Inspiretec have partnered with Widgety to inject a detailed library of cruise lines, daily itineraries and ship information into the selling journey. The partnership sees Inspiretec providing access to over 30,000 itineraries from 50 cruise lines across 650 ships.
Damian Gevertz, founder of Widgety commented “It will be interesting to see our Cruise API service being integrated into the Inspiretec stack as we start this new partnership. Empowering customer decisions through engaging, accurate and detailed Cruise content is more important than ever in the current climate and this partnership should make it easy for Tour Operators and Travel Agents to package a holiday, choosing the cruise elements they require to create compelling quotes for their customers.”
With one eye always on the horizon, Inspiretec has a roll-out plan during 2021 beginning this Spring with customers taking the tools into production and is targeting general release by the end of the year – perfect timing for when the industry sets sail once again.