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Cruise lines are only as successful as the travel advisors selling them, so brands know that they must always keep agents well-supported and informed. To that end, a quartet of companies have updated their education programs and promotional efforts. Here’s the latest.
Carnival Cruise LineThose following Carnival Cruise Line may know about its yearlong Why Use a Travel Advisor (WUATA) campaign. But before WUATA launched, Carnival began running print advertisements that underscore how agents are special.
In collaboration with marketing and advertising agency SapientRazorfish, the campaign targets travel trade publications geared toward the advisor community and thematically applies Carnival’s “Choose Fun” and “Travel Agents Rock” philosophies to the advertisements. The campaign emphasizes how only agents who are well-versed in the line’s newest products and their clients’ vacation needs can perfectly pair the two together.
Playful ad headlines include “Travel Agent? More Like Quality-Time Curator,” “Travel Agent? More Like Good-Time Guru” and “Super Serious Kevin Is Now Watermelon Floatie Kevin. Well Played.”
The ads are also available on Carnival’s agent portal for advisors to share on their websites and social media.
Holland America LineHolland America Line Academy is expanding with a new course: “Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific: A World Away. Selling the Wonders in the Lands Down Under and the Islands of the South Pacific.”
The approximately 20-minute class delves into sales growth tips and tricks based on regional itineraries and explains the benefits of a Holland America Line (HAL) cruise Down Under. Specific topics include identifying and selling to the best prospects and describing the product in detail.
“HAL offers cruises all over the world, and we want our travel advisors to have a deep understanding of what makes us the right choice for their clients in each destination we sail,” said Eva Jenner, vice president of sales for HAL. “Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises are bucket-list vacations, and this new Holland America Line Academy specialist course enables travel advisors to successfully sell these itineraries that often yield higher commissions.”
All available courses educate agents via video, reading and interactivity. Advisors can earn Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and The Travel Institute credits, as well as Silver, Gold and Platinum reward levels with HAL.
MSC CruisesMSC Cruises just announced that its MSC Academy agent education center has surpassed 10,000 graduates. The academy, which is hosted on the Travel Agent University (TAU) platform, encompasses courses, quizzes and progress tracking about the line’s history, ships and latest product updates. Additionally, MSC Academy’s dashboard follows course progress and grants rewards such as gift cards, bonus commissions, fam trips and monthly giveaways.
“We are so pleased that MSC Academy has been so successful in providing advisors not only a key tool for education on our brand, product and growth, but also an opportunity to learn how to effectively sell MSC to their clients,” said Ken Muskat, chief operating officer and executive vice president for MSC Cruises USA. “As we continue rapid growth both globally and in North America, our partners have a unique opportunity to grow their business with us and increase their earning potential.”
In celebration of the MSC Academy milestone, the line is rewarding graduating advisors by giving away five cruises on a three-night MSC Meraviglia sailing. All graduates who completed the program from March 28, 2017, to May 31, 2019, are eligible. Winners will be revealed June 7.
Seabourn Cruise LineSeabourn Cruise Line is promoting its new and updated Seabourn Academy, which originally launched in 2012. With the goal of facilitating professional growth and ultimately financial success, the travel agent resource is full of client-targeting techniques. The platform newly includes enhanced content such as videos and brand news.
Program incentives include rewards such as an email signature logo for agents who work toward their certification as a Seabourn Ultra-Luxury Travel Specialist; continuing education credits from CLIA, The Travel Institute or Association of Canadian Travel Agencies; discounted Seabourn Advisor Appreciation Fares; and an opportunity to win a free Seabourn cruise.
“We’re very excited to introduce the new Seabourn Academy and further cement the long-running and mutually beneficial relationships we have developed with our trusted travel advisors at the top of their field in the U.S. and around the world,” said Chris Austin, senior vice president of global marketing and sales for Seabourn. “Their success is our success, and the more travel advisors know about Seabourn and the art of selling to their client base, the better. Seabourn Academy covers every angle in the luxury travel genre and challenges participants to learn and grow in their fields. It’s an invaluable tool for travel advisors, including those who feel like they don’t know how to sell luxury options but want to get started.”
The program is divided into six sections, from 101: Mastering the Art of Selling Luxury Travel to 106: Making the Sale & Seabourn Sales Support. There are further optional courses about social media and Seabourn Journeys pre- and post-cruise land extensions, which are commissionable at 14%.