Cruising for a bruising – Gill’s Cruise Centre sinks

Another week another travel company going bust. This time it’s Gill’s Cruise Centre which both ABTA and the CAA have confirmed has now ceased trading.

Luckily the agency was an ABTA member and the association says that cruises booked by passengers would be fully financially protected and that the cruise companies would  honour the cruises as per normal.

For customers who are flying to their cruise departure point they need to check that they have an ATOL protected invoice for the flight part of their journey.

I suspect a major factor in the demise of this cruise company was the recent slashing of cruise commission for agents by complete cruise solution. It may therefore be only a matter of time before we see other cruise companies sink without trace.

Previously the cruise market was seen as pretty immune to the greater economic climate as many cruise customers are retired, independently wealthy and not dependent on the job market. Indeed with savings rates at an all time low it was thought that the silver pound was more likely to get spent rather than saved.

However, as with all parts of the travel sector, the internet has made big inroads into pricing. There is more price visibility for customers and leaner, internet based, business models has meant deeper discounting. This has in turn led to suppliers cutting commissions because they feel that if the agents are just giving away money, then they don’t need to earn it in the first place.

The result is a leaner, meaner marketplace and as a result there are bound to be more casualties in the future.

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