Speaking onboard the line’s newly launched flagship Carnival Horizon, Iain Baillie, vice-president UK and international sales, said the strategy, which launched in January 2017, had enabled Carnival to offer a more “bespoke service” to its partners when it came to training and marketing support.
Since beginning the initiative Carnival’s UK-based sales team has placed all its focus on selling through the trade and the line does not do any consumer-facing advertising.
Carnival’s Loyalty Rocks Club, an app version of which launched this January, also rewards participating agents and now features “well over” 4,000 members - with the line aiming to hit 10,000 over the next year.
“Every single day we are getting more and more sign ups so very positive news,” said Baillie.
He said the approach of Travel Agents Rock to “work with agents the way they want to be worked with” had led to the line having “one of our fastest growth periods for the Caribbean” during the last 12 months.
Discussing the growth in the Caribbean from the UK, Adolfo Perez, senior vice-president of sales and trade marketing, said he considered the line not operating a full European season this year as also helping to fuel demand.
“We have had people asking us why are we in and out [of Europe] but at the end of the day travel agents in the UK have always supported us and sold more Caribbean than anything else we have ever had,” he explained.