(12:30 p.m. AEST) — Travel agency Cruise Express has set up shop on the NSW Central Coast in a bid to capitalise on the local cruise market.
Cruise Express managing director Meg Hill says the region, just over an hour north of Sydney, has the ideal cruise holiday clientele.
«It’s one of those areas where there is a big retiree market,» she said at the official opening of the Erina store last night. «Even a number of our clients who previously have lived in Sydney have retired to this part of the world, so it made sense to find a location that was relevant to a lot of our existing clients.»
Hill said the Central Coast also seemed ideal because of the large number of families living there, and the fact cruising was a great «economical» holiday option. The close proximity to the Cruise Express office in Sydney’s inner-west was a third factor in opening its latest outlet in Erina.
There has also been an increase in the number of people opting to cruise together, Hill said. «Whether it’s an extended family group or perhaps just a number of families choosing to travel together, we’re seeing a huge increase in that sort of travel.
«The other thing that we’re seeing is people are looking for active holidays and there are fabulous opportunities within the cruise industry to be very active and adventurous.»
Cruise Express has also seen a jump in interest from first-time cruisers, with significantly more newcomers making enquiries with the agency.
«We see a very bright future,» Hill said. «There is definitely still continued growth and opportunity.»
Picture above are Cruise Express directors Hardy Schneider, Meg Hill and Clive Heath with Erina store manager Tina Wheelock (third from left).