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NEWS — DIGEST


“As they sell accommodation-only, online agents compete directly with hotels” Noel Josephides, page 30


GAZETTEERS.COM POLL


ARE CUSTOMERS REQUESTING DESTINATIONS BASED ON EXCHANGE RATES? 13% A little 0% A lot 87% Not at all


Eric Lanlard


Cruise.co.uk buys online Irish outfit and brokers new deal Down Under


Cruise.co.uk has acquired an online agency in Ireland and is in the advanced stages of a deal to buy one in Australia, as it looks to extend its model internationally. The online cruise holiday publisher and travel agency snapped


up Travelbookers in Dublin last week, which it will use as the foundation of an Irish version of its successful business, called ie.cruise.co. The company has taken on Travelbookers’ three employees, including owner Elaine O’Brien. Two additional staff have also been recruited. Cruise.co.uk managing director Seamus Conlon said: “It’s


currently a regular travel agency, but we can teach cruise knowledge, so it will evolve to being a cruise-only operation, adopting predominantly homeworkers across Ireland.” Conlon said Cruise.co.uk was also close to clinching a deal for a similar retail agency in Australia.


Iglu undertakes refinancing process


Iglu Cruise is going through a refinancing process as it seeks replacement capital and an acquisition facility. The agency’s chief executive, Richard Downs, said the company’s management would retain control and its team remain in place. “It’s a case of replacing one minority shareholder with another,” he said. Downs said exclusive talks were taking place with private equity firm LDC, with a deal likely within the next two months. The deal is thought to be worth about £60 million.


Virgin launches Florida push with agent incentive To mark the launch of its ‘Funshine State’ Florida campaign, Virgin Holidays is offering agents the chance to win £1,000 in shopping vouchers and a place on an educational trip to Orlando. To enter, log any Virgin Holidays booking before May 31.


Cook adds summer service on Glasgow-Las Vegas route Thomas Cook Airlines’ inaugural flight from Glasgow to Las Vegas took place on Monday, with customers treated to entertainment before boarding. Operating on an Airbus A330, the flights will continue on selected Mondays up to October 31. Thomas Cook’s Christoph Debus said: “It’s fantastic news that we are able to start a regular flight to Las Vegas.”


Clia to welcome P&O Food Hero to conference


French pâtissier Eric Lanlard will be attending Clia UK & Ireland’s Selling Cruise Conference as a special guest. Lanlard, who is one of P&O Cruises’ Food Heroes, will attend the last day of the conference onboard Britannia. The conference, for which


Travel Weekly is again media partner, is being held in Southampton on May 21-23. A record number of agents and delegates are attending the event, which is based on the theme of ‘destiny’. Also attending the


conference will be Nigel Marven. The wildlife TV presenter, who has created a series based on the experiences guests can have when sailing


with Azamara Club Cruises, will speak about destination immersion. The hundreds of agents


attending the conference will get to network with the cruise line’s


sales teams. As well as Britannia,


delegates will also get to see Royal Caribbean’s


Caption


Anthem of the Seas and Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess.


7 May 2015 — travelweekly.co.uk • 9


PICTURE: CUNARD/JAMESMORGAN


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