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Royal Caribbean International’s senior vice president of sales, Vicki Freed, recently announced the Loyal to You Always initiative, reaffirming the line’s history of support for agents and ushering in new programs focused on them. Loyal to You Always is built on four principles: personal interaction and support, resources that get results, increasing profits for travel agents; and award-winning agent education and development programs.
Among these are plans to invest more than $100 million over the next five years in its internal reservation system and automation tools to help sell cruises more easily and service their clients more effectively. And the first of the new programs, Travel Agent Friends & Family Rates, will offer more opportunities for agents to experience Royal’s ships and itineraries.
Freed stressed that the line is committed to regular face-to-face meetings with every agency, no matter what their size or revenue. Every travel agency has a local Royal Caribbean business development manager and a business development specialist to help create individualized sales and marketing plans — a dual support system.
She also reminded agents that Royal combines sales performances of all three brands — Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises — to help agents earn more and achieve higher commission levels faster.
The company’s training and development program responds to agents’ changing needs with monthly Webinars, new education modules in the cruise line’s University of Wow! accreditation program and Seminars at Sea. In addition, Freed and her senior staff are visiting major cities across the country and hosting whole-day programs for agents, with sessions covering personal branding, successful marketing and sales strategies. They also deliver the latest collateral, along with giveaways and a trade show.
“Royal Caribbean has and will always be loyal to our valued travel agent partners,” said Freed. “Travel agents are indispensable in our industry and our emphasis on building relationships through personalized and face-to-face interactions with travel agents is what truly sets Royal Caribbean apart. Loyal to You Always is our continuous commitment to support our valued travel agent partners and help them sell cruises more effectively, increase their profits and grow their businesses.”