Travel Daily catches up with Erin Johnson, marketing director, UK & Ireland, Silversea Cruises.
What does your role include and how long have you held it?
My role is to manage all the trade and consumer communications for the UK and Irish markets. I have a team of three that create, develop and manage all the direct mail, email, collateral, events and advertising that we do here in the UK.
I am also closely involved in helping to develop our global marketing strategy, and work closely with our offices in Miami, Frankfurt and Sydney, as well as our corporate office in Monaco.
I’ve been doing this role now for almost a year – 20 March will be my one year anniversary.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
2018 is going to an exciting year for us. We are putting a big emphasis on our Travel Agent Partners, and looking to them to find new to Silversea guests for us.
This will enable us to not only talk to a new audience, but also work with our trade partners to make sure that they have all the tools they need to sell and market Silversea effectively.
What type of customer does Silversea suit?
We are so lucky at Silversea to have the ability to suit many people. Whether guests are looking for a relaxed, active or solo holiday, we can offer it.
Under our brand umbrella, the Silversea and Silversea Expeditions product cover such a myriad of destinations (over 900 in 2019), that we can cater for a whole host of guests.
We honestly believe that nothing can rival the authentic beauty of the world, and that’s what we strive to provide our guests – an unparalleled access to the worlds most amazing destinations.
Our target is right in the middle of a transition from the “Silent” generation to the “Baby Boomers” – two generations that hold very different values.
How do you work with the travel trade?
We have an eight-strong sales team that services the UK and Irish travel agents, offering training, webinars, events, FAM trips, and ship visits.
Last year alone we invited around 1500 agents onboard our ships to experience our product first hand – something we are very lucky and grateful to be able to do. We also have a robust in-house team of inside sales, marketing and of course reservations teams that are very active behind the scenes to make sure the agents have all the tools they need in order to sell us.
Aside from our Silversea Academy tool, we are excited to be launching some new tools in Q1 2018 that will further our commitment to the trade, and let them have exclusive tools in order to help them sell to their clients.
Why should agents sell a Silversea cruise?
We are a respected brand within the industry with a diverse product portfolio. From classic European and Caribbean cruising, to more exotic Cuba and Russian Far East Expedition voyages, we offer something for every traveler.
We also offer an all-inclusive product which his so important in this current market. We keep our pricing strategy consistent and pride ourselves in strong trade partnerships – we really do listen to individual accounts and tailor our management to them.
It’s not something that agents need to take our word for though – we have been lucky to receive awards over the last year that really do showcase our commitment to the trade.