Amadeus, a leading provider of technology to the travel and tourism industry, today announced that easyCruise, part of the easyGroup, has signed a three-year distribution agreement.
The deal will allow easyCruise to target the travel agency distribution channel, reducing their dependency on direct-consumer bookings, and also providing agents with a real value for money option for their customers, crucial during the current economic climate.
Paul Ellerby, sales and marketing director UK & USA for easyCruise, said: “Amadeus is providing us with access to a large network of UK cruise specialists and travel agents, which is key to our growth strategy.
In the current economic climate, it is important for cruise lines to reduce costs whilst improving distribution and achieving market share growth.
“We are confident that Amadeus’ proven Cruise booking solutions will help easyCruise reach its ambitious goals.”
EasyCruise will be launched and distributed on the browser-based Amadeus Cruise desktop sales solution for travel professionals, as well as the Cruise Application Programming Interface (API) for online sales, in early 2009.
This agreement makes Amadeus the only GDS distributing easyCruise content and in parallel to the launch with Amadeus, easyCruise plans to actively target the travel agency distribution channel which the company hopes will spread the balance between industry and direct-consumer bookings.
Since the beginning of 2008, bookings via Amadeus Cruise in the UK have increased 34 percent year on year, and the easyCruise agreement brings the total number of cruise lines available via Amadeus in the UK to 18, the largest of any GDS.
Una Bennett, director of marketing at Amadeus UK & Ireland, said: “As a leading provider of selling systems that highlight customer choice and travel agents’ expertise, Amadeus now uniquely offers 18 cruise lines in the UK.
“These cruise lines offer a range of products to suit the discerning, family oriented and price-conscious cruise passenger. Cruise holidays are gaining popularity with UK travellers, and by placing itself among the well established brands already benefiting from distribution via Amadeus, easyCruise will be a welcome addition to the Amadeus Cruise portfolio.”