More than 150 travel agents have signed up to a new cruise comparison website cruisepricescompared.com since it launched to the trade just over two weeks ago.
The site, details of which were revealed exclusively in Travel Weekly on July 4, allows travel agents to advertise cruise offers for free.
Managing director Harley Van Straten said the launch had led to a flood of enquiries from the trade, including a large homeworking company, which is sending details to members this week and could lead to “hundreds” more agents signing up.
He hopes significant numbers of agents will sign up with a wide variety of different cruise offers before it goes live to consumers at the start of next month with a pay per click advertising campaign and limited national newspaper advertising.
“I want as many agents and offers as possible and I don’t want them all selling Independence of the Seas,” he added.
Although initially open to ABTA and Travel Trust Association members, it is now also open to Global Travel Group members.
The site will make money from advertising cruiselines and travel suppliers on the site.
Van Straten said consumers who go through to individual cruiselines from the price comparison site are likely to go back to cruisepricescompared.com to book because agents’ prices were more competitive.
“Cruiselines never undercut agents so the consumer will see the value of the agent. If they are then we will get rid of them. This is about agents making money,” he said.