Traveltek says the demand for its specialist river cruise technology is at an “all-time high” and has driven it to focus its new technology on the sector.
The Glasgow-based travel technology provider says the river cruise boom is driving them to boost its distribution capabilities to leading cruise agencies.
It already works with UK-based Emerald Waterways and US firm Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, providing them with a distribution platform, giving agents access to live availability, pricing and online booking functionality from more than 300 suppliers.
Traveltek has created a bespoke river cruise search button that takes into account river cruise terminology and features that are unique to river cruise boats, including deck and cabin structure. It provides agents and tour operators with live access to brands including Uniworld, Emerald Waterways, APT, Scenic Tours, AMA Waterways, Avalon, APT Cruising, Viking and G Adventures.
“We are making it quick and easy for river cruise lines to do business with agents at a time when their products and services are in hot demand,” said Peter Whittle, global sales director, Traveltek.
He added: “Agents are also realising the value of our technology, because we not only give them the ability to search multiple river cruise lines to find the best cruise to meet the needs of their clients, but offer them the chance to combine this with our dynamic packaging engine, generating more revenue-earning opportunities by upselling connecting flights, pre- and post-cruise stays, and more. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Emerald Waterways is using Traveltek’s iSell solution, on which agents can search and book the line’s European river cruises via a web-based platform which recently added Uniworld’s live content.
River cruise passenger number growth in 2016 was up 11% on 2015, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
CLIA members currently deploy 184 river cruise ships with 13 more on order for 2017.
Europe remains the most popular market with 1.36 million passengers cruising on the continent’s rivers in 2016, up 2.7% on 2015, according to Seatrade.
“Traveller demand for river cruises is growing at a faster rate than for ocean cruises and in the UK alone, is one of the fastest-growing travel sectors overall,” added Whittle.
“We anticipate ramping up this aspect of our business in a short time frame as operators look to distribute their products in the most efficient manner possible.”