Cruise Holidays to expand inventory program

MINNEAPOLIS -- Cruise Holidays said it plans to expand its risk inventory program, piloted this year with Norwegian Cruise Line, to include Holland America Line and other suppliers.

Details are scheduled to be released at the group's national convention, set for Sept. 23 to 27 aboard Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas. More than 250 Cruise Holidays store owners and agents are expected to attend.

Under the risk inventory program, consortium members can buy cabins on selected cruises at a wholesale rate and resell them at a mark-up, while assuming the inventory risk.

Other agenda items include the official release of the group's CruiseWeb 5.0, an upgrade to its customer relationship management software, developed with an investment of $250,000.

Also planned is a demonstration of Passport Online's Cruise Holidays Port consumer shopping tool, launched Aug. 1 at CruiseHolidays.com and available to members who want to add it to their Web sites.

The convention will occur during a four-night cruise in the Pacific Northwest. The Cruise Holidays space on the ship is sold out so new reservations are being taken on a request-only basis.

After its first year under the ownership of Carlson Travel Network, the group counts 170 locations in the U.S. and Canada, 15 of which opened in 2002.

Charles Dunwoody, senior vice president of Cruise Holidays projects the franchise will grow by 36 locations in 2003.

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