The country’s first interactive cruise store is opening its doors to the public next week. Utilising virtual reality and interactive maps, deal specialists Cruise1st.co.uk hopes to attract more new-to-cruise customers.
Opening at The Lowry Shopping Centre, in Manchester, the store will provide customers with real-life experts, while utilising the latest technology to take virtual 3D tours of ships, resorts and hotels, while multiple touch screen monitors will provide key information where consumers can research and plan their cruise.
Chief executive of Cruise1st Dan Townsley, said: “People still find researching and choosing the right cruise confusing and complicated; especially those new to cruise – which is a vital market for our industry.
“Our aim of launching the UK’s first cruise concept store is to add new to cruise to our data base and cultivate these relationships, as well as to provide the expertise and support for our growing database of customers who are looking for a more intense cruise experience: land tours around India, water falls in Venezuela, The Terrocata Army and Great Wall China tours. These are difficult to sell via the internet as consumers feel more confident booking these high ticket, extended destination cruises with the peace of mind that they can sit in front of somebody and ask any questions they may have before committing.”
He added that the travel industry has gone towards digital, “however specialists have not and customers, especially new to cruise, value specialist knowledge and the reassurance of face to face advice and support”.