New adult-only cruise line Virgin Voyages has become the latest supplier to announce it will join trade marketing body Tipto.
It follows recent news that Carnival Cruise Line is to rejoin Tipto after a two year gap.
Both companies will form part of Tipto from September, the start of the organisation’s 23rd year.
Tipto currently has nine members but hopes to have at least 12 by September, with several additions still in the pipeline.
Virgin Voyages plans to promote its brand and itineraries through Tipto to agents and homeworkers nationwide through events and online to compliment its own plans for agency visits, webinars and its Seacademy e-learning programme.
Its first ship, Scarlet Lady, due to debut in April 2020, will now set sale in August on its ‘Summer Soiree’ series of sailings from Portsmouth, along the English coast, before heading for its Miami base. Virgin’s second ship Valiant Lady and third ship Resilient Lady will sail in the Mediterranean next year.
Shane Riley, associate vice president of international sales, said: “First Mates [travel agents] are a vital part of our business, and we believe will be more important than ever before.
“Joining Tipto will allow us to have a structured approach to reaching more independent agencies and homeworkers. As a new product we believe it will be beneficial for agents to get to know our team and learn more about what makes setting sail the Virgin way so different.”
Tipto chairman Nick Hughes said: “It’s great to have Shane and the team ‘on board’ and to once again see the value that new members are placing on Tipto, our full range of events and access to the agent community.
“The Virgin Voyages brand is widely recognised and we look forward to that awareness growing further and assisting in increased sales.”