“A bigger team including our trade sales manager, more agent events than ever before, nurturing existing agents and targeting new business has really helped us,” said Rebecca Burgess, head of trade sales for Caribtours.
The operator is now aiming to continue that growth with a revamp of its agent recognition programme, Diamond Club.
Aimed at “top elite agent partners who consistently support Caribtours”, Diamond Club currently consists of 47 independent agencies nationwide, who between them generate approximately £12 million worth of sales per year for the operator.
“For the past five years, Diamond Club was more of an internal resource we had been using as a way of measuring and rewarding our agents,” said Burgess, “but last year we took the decision that we should be letting the trade know in more detail what we have available for them; hence this renewed focus.”
Caribtours kicked off plans for the programme with a new awards and dinner event, which took place at The Lanesborough in London with 60 agents in attendance.
“It was a chance to reiterate what is possible within the club and to motivate agents to reach the different tiers,” said Burgess. “In this competitive marketplace, it’s also to let agents know that we never take their business for granted.”
She said there was no limit on how many agents could be in the programme, with membership ranging across four main tiers, gaining more benefits the higher agents go, including fam trips, personal holidays and marketing support.
All Diamond agents will have access to a dedicated priority phone line and Caribtours has also created a dedicated website for the club, while agents will also be sent a quarterly report to see how they are performing and what they need to do to get to the next level.
The lowest tier, Silver – for which agents must book £50,000-£79,000 of business a year - includes benefits such as a priority fam trip space, voucher on every booking, point of sale material, priority marketing and event support, priority invitations to all Caribtours’ agent events and certificate of membership.
The highest level is Diamond, for agents producing more than £250,000 of business a year. Benefits for that tier include a guaranteed space on the annual Diamond Club trip, which in November will include British Airways’ Club World flights and stays at Malliouhana (pictured) in Anguilla; Eden Rock in St Barths and Rosewood’s Jumby Bay in Antigua.
“We already have around seven or eight agents achieving Diamond level, but of course we are hoping to help more reach that,” said Burgess. “We’re also open to discussion with agents about which things they think benefit them more than others so we can tailor each relationship. We know some agents won’t accept vouchers; others prefer help with their own holidays rather than a fam – we’re open to discussion.”
Caribtours will continue to run its annual awards dinner in September at Claridges in London, which is potentially open to all agents who book Caribtours.