Crystal Cruises has partnered with Asia Tourism Relations (ATR), becoming the first luxury line to have a representative sales & marketing company in mainland China. Based in Shanghai, ATR will assist in developing China's burgeoning outbound luxury travel market for Crystal Cruises.

Karen Mann, Crystal's director of international sales says, "Like Crystal, ATR is very luxury-service oriented. I'm delighted to have found a Shanghai-based partner that has such a similar philosophy, as mainland China is definitely an emerging market we want to develop in the long term."

ATR's Managing Director Glen Hingley comments, "We are extremely proud and privileged to be representing the prestigious Crystal Cruises in China. Luxury travel is the next agenda for the growing market of wealthy Chinese, who are now very well traveled and understanding of the finer things in life."

The Chinese travel agent community is also becoming more sophisticated. Rather than selling one mass market product to fit all travelers, agents are now offering products that suit the tastes of the individual. According to the China National Tourism Administration, Chinese travelers will make 37.4 million trips outside the mainland in 2007, a 10% increase over 2006.

Approximately 50% of Crystal's international guests originate from the Asia Pacific region. To service the area, the worldwide luxury line has contracted sales and marketing representatives in Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.

"For ATR, Crystal Cruises is the jewel in its representation crown," adds Hingley. "Without question, China's luxury travel consumers and their agents are now demanding better access to the leading luxury products around the world, and Crystal Cruises is ideal for them."