Uniworld’s travel agent education platform now includes information on U by Uniworld. // © 2018 U by Uniworld
Featured image (above): Uniworld University has been updated with new information. // © 2018 U by Uniworld
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s agent training program, Uniworld University, has been overhauled in both format and content. With the highly individual decor on its ships, Uniworld is giving its partners more direct experience with the product through extensive video and images.
President and CEO Ellen Bettridge said the program has grown tremendously, with a 246 percent year-over-year increase in graduates.
“We don’t currently have plans for additional optional courses, but we plan to add 2019 product updates to the newest Uniworld University module and host more webinars for agents,” she stated.
Uniworld has set a new requirement for its specialist designation. Agents will be expected to have knowledge of the new U by Uniworld product launching this April, particularly interesting since it is now available to all adults rather than only the 21-45 age group. The material also includes key Uniworld differentiators and specific information on its target clientele demographics, which are dominated by couples, with solo travelers and families growing quickly.
“It’s too soon to tell how the U by Uniworld module in Uniworld University has impacted sales, but we know that agent education is imperative to the success of our business, and we expect to see positive results now that the new programming has been implemented,” Bettridge said.
There also are new courses updating agents on the completely renovated Beatrice ship, the Remarkable Rhine itinerary (launched this year) and sales opportunities among themed cruises and special offers.
The material is organized in three courses, each ending with a test covering a general overview, U by Uniworld product knowledge and updates for this year. Rewards for achieving specialist status include eligibility for agent rates up to 70 percent off the published fares for Uniworld and U by Uniworld, limited to two agent-rate cruises per calendar year; and inclusion in Uniworld’s online river cruise specialist directory. Points toward CLIA’s certification program are also available to agents in North America, Australia and New Zealand.
“Agents are our most trusted partners — an extension of our team in the marketplace — and so it is imperative that we offer them the best, most comprehensive and engaging training tools in the industry,” Bettridge said. “River cruising is evolving. There have never been as many lines with as much diversity in product as there is now. We know that to distinguish Uniworld, agents must understand our points of difference as well as we do.”