Q&A: Luke Smith, head of international sales, Carnival Cruise Line

What does your role entail and how long have you held it? 

Luke Smith

I moved in to this role in January 2017 and the main focus of my role is to work with the trade partners we have in all of our markets and make sure they have the support and tools available to grow their business with Carnival Cruise Line.

What type of customer does Carnival suit, briefly explain the product?

Carnival suits several customer demographics from groups of friends in their early twenties to couples in their fifties and sixties and everyone inbetween but one thing they all have in common is a sense of adventure and fun spirit. They are a social bunch and they recognise true value for money but still expect excellent food, service and onboard entertainment.

We have a huge following of new to cruise customers as well, we put this down to them wanting to experience all of the benefits of a cruise but without the stuffy perception cruise still carries – agents can really take advantage of this by offering cruise and stay holidays out of destinations such as Orlando and New York.

 

How will you work with the travel trade over the next 12 months?

In the last 12 months we have made massive strides forward in the way we reward and recognise our travel agent partners with the introduction of Travel Agents Rock and all the initiatives under this such as Loyalty Rocks Club where agents can earn rewards for every booking they do as well as the online training and attending webinars.

We have also launched quarterly awards for travel agent partners to recognise their achievements with our brand, on top of this we have done several large incentives such as ladies day at Royal Ascot, our Raise the Roof incentive, spa days and also an exclusive event in Ibiza.

Over the next 12 months we aim to continue taking this to bigger heights and a big part of that will be the launch of Carnival Horizon in April 2018 out of Barcelona where several hundred agent partners will get the chance to experience this amazing new ship.

We like to think of ourselves as the most trade friendly cruise line in the UK for many reasons but one is the way we recognise and reward travel agent partners through Loyalty Rocks Club as well as the other Travel Agents Rock initiatives.

We love getting agent partners on our ships and hold several educationals each year but rather than these being the outdated seminar at sea offering we let our agent partners enjoy our product as their customers would so that they have a better understanding of how to sell it going forward.

As mentioned we not only reward agents with money for every booking they make with Carnival Cruise Line but the more engaged they are with Loyalty Rocks Club then the more chance they have of winning spaces on our money can’t buy incentives and trips.

 

Why should agents sell a Carnival cruise?

As well as all the rewards we offer we also have an incredible account management team who specialise in offering bespoke service to our agent partners so that we can work together in partnership to grow mutual business.

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