Around 100 agents came to Liverpool for the second TTG New to Cruise Festival last week. During the day-long conference, delegates heard how to boost their sales across the sector with plenty of top tips to take back to their businesses.
Enticing clients with destinations when selling river cruise is “even more important” than when booking an ocean cruise holiday.
That was the message from a trio of river line sales reps, who urged delegates to extol the value and the inclusions of a river break compared with a land-based trip.
Simon McDermott, business development manager, north at A-Rosa River Cruises, advised agents looking to sell river for the first time to target “culture vultures who love their city breaks”.
“You’re right in the heart of the destination and basically doing three or four city breaks in a week,” he said.
His point was echoed by Nicky Yates, Scenic and Emerald Waterways’ sales manager, central north, who recommended agents market towards fans of escorted touring.
“I really don’t think agents are putting enough river offers out there in the marketplace,” she said.
When discussing how to tackle Simon McDermott, Nicky Yates and Jon Schofield perceptions around price, with the panel agreeing river fares may initially seem higher than ocean, Crystal’s regional sales manager for the north and Scotland Jon Schofield recalled his own holiday with the line to celebrate his wife’s birthday.
“We took a lot of euros but didn’t end up using many, there’s just so much included,” he said.
McDermott advised “putting the value in front of your customer” by pricing up a similar land-based trip with flights and hotel stays for comparison.