Cruise industry tech expert Peter Whittle recently announced the merger of CruiseAppy and digital agency, iprogress, to form DTMG. Here he explains the reasoning behind the venture and what digital means to the industry.
Our industry is facing considerable challenges as it endeavours to bounce back from the damage of the last 18 months. Hardly a day goes by without mention of this in the media.
Reports range from the painstaking measures cruise lines are putting in place to entice people back on board, to the travel industry calling for government ministers to tear up the UK’s Covid traffic light and PCR testing rules or expect mass unemployment in the sector.
In May 2021, GlobalData’s travel and tourism section highlighted a growing need for a travel app that encompasses all elements of a trip into a one-stop solution with omnichannel activity that covers everything from transactions to in-resort recommendations.
Pete Aland of iprogress and I created Digital Travel Marketing Group (DTMG), a travel tech and digital agency, just two years after I launched CruiseAppy, a mobile app and video streaming platform, which specifically addresses this need.
DTMG’s mission is to change how travel businesses use digital to engage with their clients.
Plugging a gap in the cruise market
Years ago, I saw a gap in the market while working with cruise agencies around the world.
CruiseAppy was born and it enhances the customer experience while helping cruise and travel agents to generate inspiration, devotion and confidence.
Our modular app helps agents sell more cruises by taking people through that booking journey and providing the inspiration they need, making it easier for their customers to find exactly what they want.
This app platform isn’t designed to compete with agents – it’s designed to help them compete and thrive in the post-pandemic world and take on all corners.
It enables the agent to improve the level of customer service they can offer, by giving them the tools to use different digital mediums.
It’s upping the game for agents on that initial journey from inspiration – why the customer wants to go on a cruise – to booking the cruise using digital technology.
Then there is the post-sale loyalty, which includes benefits for the future and other cruises they might be interested in. The whole circle of the buying experience is all enhanced at each digital touchpoint.
Our platform gives agents a level playing field with the big OTAs so that they can compete and offer the same type of services that to date only the big tech giants have been able to provide.
DTMG has the expertise and that back-end engine development to integrate all the cruise line data and API supply, making it available in different languages and multiple currencies.
The industry knows it and is saying it. Embracing digital will open new opportunities to attract and retain customers.