Tito’s brings cruise business in-house

Following the successful growth of its cruise business through WEBB Banks, Tito’s has brought the management of cruise in-house beginning January 1st, John McDonnell, Managing Director International, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has confirmed to TMI.

“Cruise is a substantial piece of our duty free business. It is almost 50%. The broker model is good at the beginning, but when the business grows it makes sense to manage it directly. This is a natural progression,” says McDonnell.

“We are going to hire somebody to manage the cruise business for us. The transition was seamless and we are excited about the future of cruise and Tito’s.”

Before Tito’s began managing its cruise business directly, WEBB Banks activated a highly successful partnership on Royal Caribbean’s President’s Cruise in July 2023 out of Galveston, Texas.

“The Royal Caribbean President’s Cruise was a huge success. The cruise started in Texas and Tito’s as a Texas-based brand was involved as a sponsor. It is natural for us,” says McDonnell.

Tito’s had a highly visible presence on Royal Caribbean’s President’s Cruise in July 2023.

“But we are now doing cruise lines all over the world. A huge piece of our business is cruises. We just scored Viking Cruises in Europe. We got our first ferry line called Stena, which is predominately in Scandinavia. You can activate the brand so well on the cruise lines. On Virgin Voyages we have our Tito’s 375ml in all of their RockStar Suites.”

Securing airline listings outside the U.S. is another key focus for Tito’s, says McDonnell.

“We are now on Air Canada selling 50mls onboard. We are the pouring vodka on Copa Airlines and on BermudAir.

“We just secured the 200ml listing in all Dufry America (Avolta) stores, continuing to expand our distribution of small sizes.”