Thomas Cook hopes to drive cruise bookings in 2009 by launching a Cruise Club for holidaymakers and new financial solutions to help customers budget for their holiday.
The company is to introduce a Cruise Club for new or regular travellers on December 1, offering benefits such as cruise tasters and preview DVDs. The club is free to join and new members will be entered into a prize draw to win a cruise on P&O Cruises’ ship Ventura.
They will also have access to www.mycruiseclub.co.uk, which will have destination information, local weather and a forum.
Other plans for next year include offering private transfers to ports and airports and financial solutions such as deposits and payment plans to help customers pay for their holiday during the economic downturn.
As Cruise Thomas Cook revealed the results of its Holidays At Sea survey of 5,000 consumers, it called for more value for cruise customers.
The report said: “As a cruise retailer, we are keen to see further developments within the industry that add value to cruises. This could include all-inclusive packaging, incorporating elements such as drinks, tips and tours into the cruise price.”
In a bid to develop its online offering, Cruise Thomas Cook is to launch a personalised online video in which users are asked questions about the type of cruise they are looking for. The programme then makes recommendations to suit their needs.
A new online forum is in the pipeline where users can search for cruise reviews from people with similar demographic profiles and family profiles.
An increasing number of customers are researching their cruises on the Thomas Cook website and 15% are booking online.