GoCruiseDirect.com, the leading Web- based cruise distribution technology company, and Passport Online, a leading provider of promotional cruise and tour content for travel agency Web sites, today announced a strategic partnership agreement.
As a result of the agreement, GoCruiseDirect.com`s Web-based cruise booking functionality will now be included in Passport Online`s VacationPORT leisure travel shopping program. This will give travel agents and consumers the ability to book, in real-time, cruise promotions offered through VacationPORT. VacationPORT is used at more than 5,000 travel agency, corporation and association Web sites, including 66 of the top 100 travel agencies.
“Our vision has been to extend our product offering capabilities to be a complete solution for our travel agency customers and adding the ability to book special cruises on the spot is a big step in that direction,” said Greg Kott, president of Passport Online. “GoCruiseDirect.com`s booking engine represents the best-in-class cruise booking tool in existence and offers the reliability that our customers need.”
“The Passport Online customer base has shown proven Web success and we anticipate them generating a significant number of cruise bookings,” said Dave Lovely, GoCruiseDirect.com`s vice president of business development. “The Passport Online partnership is a logical extension of GoCruiseDirect.com`s business objective to have our advanced cruise booking technology available through a wide variety of channels.”
Agency subscribers to the VacationPORT database use Web-based tools provided by Passport Online to custom configure their supplier relationships and branding for their program. Access to VacationPORT is available to both travel agents and travelers with special marketing tools and instructions for the agents. Travelers access the database via the travel Web sites of subscribing agencies. To date, users accessing these travel promotions have only been able to review the information and, if a traveler is interested in booking the deal, they have been able to submit an electronic request to an agent.
The integration should be completed in two to three months according to Russ Searby, GoCruiseDirect.com`s director of product development. The partnership agreement is for a minimum term of three years, and according to Searby, during this time additional functionality is expected to be developed.