Tourism Australia has launched a new online training module for the cruise industry to international travel agents at the cruise3sixty travel agency conference in Florida.
The new Aussie Specialist Cruise Module teaches travel agents in North America the benefits of cruising around Australia, including the many berthing points for ships and the extensive pre and post touring options available to passengers.
Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy, believes the new Cruise Module is an important addition to the internationally acclaimed Aussie Specialist Program, and will further support the cruise sector which contributed A$830m to the nation’s economy in 2011.
“Cruising is the fastest growing sector of the Australian tourism market in Australia, with 24 per cent average yearly growth over the last five years, fast outpacing many of our international competitor destinations. As an island, we’re lucky to have access points for cruise ships right around our country, welcoming visitors into the most beautiful harbours and docks in the world,” Mr McEvoy said.
Mr McEvoy said the Aussie Specialist Cruise Module will be housed on the Aussie Specialist Program website, a trade program for dedicated international travel agents actively selling and promoting Australia to international consumers.
“We have over 3,600 registered agents across North America in the Aussie Specialist Program who are selling our country to international visitors everyday – and the Cruise Module will enhance their knowledge of cruising around Australia so they can sell the best destinations and experiences to some of the biggest consumers of cruising holidays – those travelling from North America,” Mr McEvoy said.
“We had involvement from seven of our state and territory tourism partners in creating touring itineraries for passengers, and with their involvement we can ensure that cruise passengers are motivated and interested in leaving the ships and discovering Australia’s beautiful surrounding regions,” he said.
The announcement of the new Aussie Specialist Cruise Module is the latest in a series of recent online marketing developments by Tourism Australia, including the re-vamp of Australia.com, and the launch of a new Aboriginal tourism trade website.
“It is no secret that Tourism Australia is focussing more and more of its marketing activity online. It’s where people are booking and researching their holidays, and it’s where we need to focus our activity to engage those selling Australia to the world,” Mr McEvoy said.
The Aussie Specialist Cruise Module is one of three niche modules in the Aussie Specialist Program available to North American agents, which also includes the National Landscapes and Australian Luxury Experiences Modules.