Expedia Cruises, a full-service travel agency that is part of the Expedia Group, is expanding its focus on technology as it provides a universal strategy that can meet the needs of all travelers. On the opening day of the three-day event for the Expedia Cruise 2021 Virtual Conference, a network of franchisees and holiday consultants, company executives shared the highlights of its efforts.
In the coming months, Expedia Cruises will create a new “information site” aimed at providing cruise buyers with information on what ships are, what is included in the cost, and how they can gain experience at each port. “We’re focusing on cruises in a big way, and that’s a long-term focus for us. We want to be at the forefront of the digital experience and content, the leader in delivery and transparent pricing, at the forefront of service and trip management …,” said Expedia Group Vice President Greg Schulz said. The new site is part of Expedia Cruises’ alumni strategy in late 2020, bringing all cruise content to a platform that allows travelers to do their own research and bookings or connect with an agent they can contact online or on-premises.
Since last year when Expedia Cruises closed the Las Vegas call center, all phone calls have been directed to local Expedia Cruise retailers who can provide personalized services and even meet face-to-face travelers. Schulze says the goal is to “ensure our travelers have the best class experience, whether it’s a cruiser who prefers a face-to-face approach with an agent … or maybe it’s a first-time cruiser who likes to start online and then pick up the phone, there are some questions, we can do it.”
In addition to solutions to simplify and personalize the traveler’s experience, Expedia Cruises is updating its technology for agencies to make better use of the Expedia Group’s full potential – a transformation that has been taking place since 2013, when Expedia Group took full ownership of the company (formerly known as CruiseShipCenters). Last year it began relocating its agents to the company’s global travel marketplace Expedia Group Partner Central, and in February it launched new tools to make it easier for agents to filter and compare options for customers.