Scenic Group has begun enhancing its online agent resources, with UK sales chief Joseph Grimley predicting little need for discounting in 2021.
Scenic and Emerald Waterways have started work on a new trade platform to offer an online booking function, amendment capabilities and a revamped image and video library – along with an area to create bespoke marketing material.
Grimley said the project would be completed “in the near future”, adding: “It’s not just a few tweaks, it’s a complete rethink.” To further help agents, Scenic is creating a series of new training webinars for release over the next few months to offer trade partners “a really sound knowledge” of the product across its brands.
Scenic and Emerald suspended ocean, river and land tour operations until 31 August last month, with itineraries onboard expedition vessel Scenic Eclipse cancelled until 30 September.
Grimley said despite the cruise sector’s global pause in sailing, interest had been increasing for next year and beyond.
“We have been seeing new bookings coming in more and more. It’s tricky to know what’s ‘good’ right now, but it’s certainly picking up,” he said.
Following an anecdotal industry trend for guests seeking more space and less-visited destinations, Grimley reported a rise in demand for expedition cruising onboard Eclipse and small-ship cruising through Emerald’s first yacht, the 100-guest Emerald Azzurra, scheduled to launch next summer.
He predicted that with a swathe of customer bookings being moved into 2021 – added to those who were already booked – next year was looking “very well sold” and discounting would be minimal.
“It’s quite early to see how pricing will play out, but we have a premium product and the price reflects that. We do run discount campaigns on our river cruises, but I can see 2021 being well sold already, so I think we won’t have to stimulate the market in that way,” said Grimley.