AmaWaterways has expanded its UK team with new hires across its sales, reservations and customer services team.
The river line revealed to TTG back in April plans to double its sales team, which will now be led by Jon Knight, who has been promoted from business development manager to the newly created position of national sales manager.
Joanne Smithies, Ama’s business development manager for the north of England and Scotland, has had Ireland added to her remit, while Rachel Simon joins as business development manager for south-west and central England having previously held sales positions at JTA and Royal Caribbean.
Ama is also currently recruiting for the same position for the south-east of England.
The changes coincide with news from Ama’s headquarters in California of further planned investment in its European fleet, with the building of a second double-width ship "under consideration".
The line is also looking at opportunities to run a programme on the Nile in Egypt.
To its Guildford-based team, Ama has added Andy Burt as customer services manager and Verity Lee as river cruise consultant.
Burt joins the business from Scott Dunn, while Lee arrives from Affinity Villas.
Stuart Perl, Ama’s UK managing director, said: “2019 has been another exciting year for AmaWaterways with the launch of three new ships and the company’s first UK godmother [Advantage Travel Partnership’s Julia Lo Bue Said].
“We continue to focus on growing our UK presence through increasing brand awareness and the development of relationships with more and more trade partners.
“We pride ourselves on being a trade-focused business with 90% of our sales generated by our UK trade partners, who are the lifeblood of our business.
“They have had an outstanding year, growing our business by more than 20% in spite of the tough trading conditions. It is vital we are geared up to provide them with the highest level of support possible so they can continue to drive sales of our excellent and innovative river cruises.
“The investment to expand our sales and reservations teams underpins our trade-focused strategy and I’m confident this single-minded approach will continue to deliver excellent growth for us all.”
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