Cosmos Tours & Cruises prepares cruise push

John Fair, product and commercial director
John Fair, product and commercial director

Cosmos Tours & Cruises is preparing for increased trade activity for its cruise business this year following its split from Monarch Travel Group.

The arm was not part of the group’s sale to Greybull in November and since the split has been further developing its relationships with cruise lines ready for the current peaks campaign.

John Fair, product and commercial director at Cosmos Tours & Cruises told Travel Daily its priority has also been to assign a new agency sales team. Sarah Ashmore recently joined from The River Cruise Line and another member will join in March.

“It’s very important that we have a team in place for the cruise product. There’s such a scale of agents that we want to reach so we have to make sure we get to as many of them as possible and these two appointments will help that,” he said.

The refreshed drive also comes nearly two years since the launch of its Travelbox dynamic packaging tool.

“We’ve had a good start since the launch of Travelbox in April 2013 but many agents aren’t aware of the range of products we have on there and how easy it is to put packages together, particularly for the river cruise sector. It’s all protected under our ATOL licence too,” Fair explained.

River cruising is booming in the UK market. Capacity is increasing not only in Europe but in areas such as the US and India. Cosmos Tours & Cruises has already been working with many agents for its packages but is especially focused on the specialists.

“We’ve had a strong peaks campaign so far and a good spread of business among consortia and the independents, but we’ve certainly for to focus on the cruise agents too,” he said. “Our product includes cruise lines such as CroisiEurope and Luftner Cruises which are a great alternative to [sister firm] Avalon Waterways or some of the cheaper options out there. Our products serve the mid-market well.”

With Toolbox and its touring arm too, the division is used to helping agents package up cruises with tours and ancillaries, with all components commissionable.

For example its 16-day ‘Highlights of Australia’ tour is currently selling well and could be combined with a pre or post stay or even a cruise from Sydney, especially as ship capacity picks up in the region.

More fam trips are also in the pipeline in a year in which the company will look to raise its profile among UK travel agents and consumers.

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