Saturday,  June 25, 2022  8:03 pm

PAX exclusive: TravelOnly launches cruise brand

PAX exclusive: TravelOnly launches cruise brand
Pictured at TravelOnly's Symposium at Sea - Gregory Luciani, president and CEO, TravelOnly; of Norwegian Cruise Line: Dana Gain, national senior director, sales - Canada; Mary-Jo Cutaia, business development manager, Western Ontario. Patrick Luciani, founder and chairman, TravelOnly; Sandra Gardiner, director of national accounts - Canada, AmaWaterways; of TravelOnly: Ann Luciani, CFO; Sinthia Gawlak, senior vice-president, sales and marketing; Ian Elliott, vice-president, retail sales and business development.

TravelOnly has announced the launch of its new cruise brand, Cruise TravelOnly, described by the company’s President and CEO Gregory Luciani as a ‘niche brand’ aimed at expanding agents’ ability to sell and earn higher commission on cruise products.

Luciani made the announcement to an audience of travel agents in attendance on the final day of TravelOnly’s Symposium at Sea, saying that the new brand would leverage the company’s buying power while giving it a distinctive new image in the cruise sector.

“As a separate brand, it’s another way to position ourselves in the marketplace,” Luciani told PAX. “We know from our market research that people, especially first-time cruisers, like to buy cruises from companies with the word ‘cruise’ in it. That vernacular makes customers feel more confident.”

Gregory Luciani, president and CEO, TravelOnly, announces Cruise TravelOnly at the company's Symposium at Sea.

A new approach

Cruise TravelOnly, which will operate in tandem with TravelOnly, aims to further the progress of the company’s associates in selling cruise products; Luciani described it as an ‘entirely new strategy’ to penetrate Canada’s lucrative cruise market. “We need our associates to understand how important it is because they’re the frontline sellers,” he said. “They’re the boots on the ground who are going to take what we’re trying to provide to them on a higher level and then bring it back down to the client level through consumer shows.”

Part of the new approach will see TravelOnly increase its investment in marketing for cruise sales, with the end goal of delivering higher commission for associates. “We’re going to invest in a new marketing budget for them [associates], so if they’re going to do consumer shows, cruise shows, cruise nights in their local communities, we’ll have more funds available to them to support these initiatives,” Luciani remarked.

“Ultimately, the main goal is for us to get even more commissions… so that our agents within Cruise TravelOnly earn the highest commissions in the industry.”

Luciani said that although the brand would initially focus on the cruise industry in Canada, it also had designs on eventually expanding abroad in the future. “That is absolutely the goal, because we have cruise clients contacting us from all over,” he commented. “With the website today, we’re driving leads from all over North America, and we wanted to be able to service them; we wanted to get Canada right first.”

Strong response

Luciani noted that the initial response to the news from partners and suppliers had been highly positive. “Our cruise partners love it, our suppliers, when we took it to them, they were extremely supportive of it,” he commented. “Every cruise line that we talked to… was over the moon that we were going down this path, and taking more of a focus on the cruise product.”

The announcement came as the symposium, held aboard Norwegian Getaway, entered its final stages, with a farewell dinner and cocktail party set to close proceedings before the ship returns to its port in Miami.

Stay tuned to for further reaction and insight in the coming days.