The Travel Network Group has announced it will launch its own cruise tour operator to support members to sell financially protected holidays.

The Worldchoice and Travel Trust Association parent said The Cruise Club Concierge will be unveiled to the group’s 254 cruise club members in early June.

The tour operation will offer fly cruise and stay products, hosted cruises as well as other exclusive product and offer a 24-hour phone service for agents.

The operation will come under TTNG’s Atol, something the group said its members have been asking for ahead of new EU package regulations due to come in next year that will increase agent liability.

Brochures will be produced for members to use in-store and national advertising will be rolled out from June 2017.

Gary Lewis, The Travel Network Group’s chief executive, said: “Our strategy is all about achieving growth for our members and today’s announcement completely underpins this.

“This new cruise tour operator proposition will offer members cruise product that is developed, managed and marketed by us, and aims to help them build their cruise business locally.”

The new venture will be headed by the group’s marketing director, Si Morris-Green, who has more than ten years’ experience of the cruise sector.

He will be supported by a team of six, who will be responsible for managing product and providing marketing support to members.

The new division will also offer 24/7 back office support to members.

Lewis added: “With the forthcoming changes to the package travel regulations, members have been asking for a platform that will help them compete more effectively in this sector, whilst using our Atol, and this is exactly what the new Cruise Club Concierge will offer.

“Through developing this cruise tour operator it will also allow us to build on our already strong relationships with the cruise companies we work with.

“The ones we have spoken to about this new offering have been incredibly supportive and positive and see it as another form of distribution for their product.

“We also feel the timing of this launch is perfect, given that the outlook for the cruise sector remains robust.”