Carnival works on new approach for Spirit

Carnival works on new approach for Spirit
By admin

The launch of its own sales force will enable Carnival Cruise Lines to take on the local market with a more "interesting and creative" approach, according to local boss Jennifer Vandekreeke.

The dedicated sales team was launched in December, with its new director of sales, Anton Loeb, in place since last month, marking the start of a new sales drive across the country.

Speaking to Travel Today onboard Carnival Spirit, Vandekreeke explained that being a part of a shared sales force had its benefits but also its limitations.

"It's great because you get the power and you have far more business development managers, but when you're one of a number of brands that are being represented, it does limit how creative you can get," she said.

"Now that we have our own team , we can really go in there and be deeply engaged on what we can do for Carnival Spirit."

Growing the new to cruise segment will be a priority, with learnings from the cruise line's US operation to be brought over, Vandekreeke revealed. Engagement of the travel agent community is also a vital part of the plan.

"We're seeing a lot of the trade recognise the opportunities that cruising offers and realising how quickly it's growing and that it can be a really important part of how they grow their business as a whole," she added.

But Vandekreeke admitted that while there are some agencies who are doing an "extraordinary job," there are others who "haven't quite figured out" how to sell cruise product yet.

"But I'm actually happy about that because it means there's still so much untapped potential out there," she said.

All it takes is one agent per agency to really understand cruise in order to see cruise bookings "take off", she claimed, particularly when dealing with past cruisers who "know what they're looking for".

"When the agent doesn't know as much as the client does, it can get difficult," she warned.

Meanwhile, Vandekreeke urged agents to book a walk around on Spirit via its website soon, as spots are filling up fast.

"It's really a different thing to walk around Spirit and really get an idea of the scale and everything that's available," she said.

The ship has so far welcomed more than 2000 agents on board.


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