UK OTA Bookable Holidays is poised to return to the cruise sector having struck a partnership with leading retailer cruise.co.uk.
The Aldermaston-based agency last offered cruise in 2005 but found the sector more competitive than expected and closed down its in-house division.
However the deal with cruise.co.uk will see it create a new white-labelled cruise section on its site and feed the leads to the bcruise.co.uk call centre which will fulfil them.
Bookable director Jason Dwyer said the tie-up was part of a more general move towards forging strategic partnerships to increase the breadth of products it offers to its customers.
“It’s just being a bit smarter and squeezing every last drop out of everything we do. It’s almost like we are an affiliate of cruise.co.uk .
“It’s good to be able to offer our existing customers cruise or we may get customers who come to us for cruise initially but later come back to book a land-based holiday.
Bookable’s cruise site is due to go live in around three weeks and will offer all the product that cruise.co.uk has on its own site.
When customers call they will be told they are being redirected to cruise.co.uk.
Bookable will get a fully bespoke website which fits with its design and benefit from cruise.co.uk’s 140,000 cruise reviews and opinions and 200,000 questions and answers.
“We’ve got a good relationship with cruise.co.uk. As a holiday provider it means we can offer product we would otherwise not have done,” said Dwyer.
Bookable is also about to refresh its site and bring in TripAdvisor reviews so it can improve the way it promotes lower star-rated hotels but which get good customer feedback.
Cruise.co.uk is among the UK’s top five retailers of cruise and has taken an approach based around capturing the UK’s online community for cruise.
Its site is now a major hub for cruise customers to leave pictures and reviews, ask and answer questions and engage in forums.
Seamus Conlon, managing director of cruise.co.uk, said the content it will make available to Bookable is perfect for first-time cruisers.
He said the deal was the first of a small number of similar tie-ups due to launch this month.