Association of Cruise Experts agents are being promoted week in the first national consumer campaign of its kind for the sector.
ACE has produced postcards to promote members – which can be downloaded from its website to give to holidaymakers – and held interviews to be broadcast on 50 regional radio stations.
The association’s first campaign to promote the importance of agents in cruise bookings is part of National Cruise Week, which was officially launched in front of about 50 agents on board Norwegian Jewel in Dover last Thursday.
ACE also attended its first consumer show in Jersey, where postcards were issued to visitors.
Business development director Andy Harmer said: “One of our key messages is that it’s time to sit down with your travel agent and talk about cruising.”
He added: “Although market conditions will have some impact, we hope as a result we will see a huge surge in interest in cruise.”
Agents are being sent evaluation forms to assess the success of the week, involving up to 2,000 events nationally.
Accessible Travel – which specialises in holidays for the disabled – took 27 customers on board Norwegian Jewel to promote cruise.
General manager Ali Parker claimed it was the first time an agency had brought disabled clients for a ship viewing.
“Getting disabled customers on board has never happened before and a lot of these customers are first-time cruisers. We are using this as a launch pad to raise awareness of accessible cruises,” she said.
Meanwhile, Travel Weekly Cruise Club member Sandra Lines’ agency Knowle Travel in Solihull, West Midlands, is holding daily events to promote cruise.