The Association of Cruise Experts is confident the first National Cruise Week will boost awareness of the sector as agents pledge their support.
Already 200 agents have registered events on ACE’s website, while TUI Travel and Thomas Cook are urging staff to promote cruises during the week.
Thomas Cook is also launching a survey to gain an insight into market and consumer trends. This will be distributed to more than 100,000 cruise customers in its September Cruise magazine and the results will be published in mid-November.
Large cruise specialists are arranging events. For example, Cumbria Cruises is organising a luxury showcase for consumers on September 10 at Mere Golf and Country Club in Cheshire. Eight luxury cruiselines are attending the evening event.
Travel Weekly Cruise Club members are supporting the week with events such as ship visits, coffee mornings, presentations, and cruise shows.
Cruiselines are offering exclusive deals and support to agent events. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is offering ACE members the chance to win one of three laptops. The cruiseline will hold a prize draw for all bookings made during National Cruise Week.
ACE will also announce details of the location and dates of its next annual cruise convention during the week. Six UK and overseas ports have put in bids to host the event.
ACE business development director Andy Harmer said: “It is unlikely we will go overseas because of the cost implications for agents but the board has yet to decide.”
A board decision is due on September 10.