Royal Caribbean International has launched a new prepaid loyalty card for travel agents to replace its high street voucher prizes.
The new scheme, named Club Royal, will mean funds from incentives and bookings will be automatically uploaded to the prepaid Mastercard instead of having paper vouchers.
The cruise line will put GBP5 on the card for every booking for immediate use on various goods and services including shops, restaurants, Gourmet Membership and discounts on Red Letter Days.
Agents will have to make four cruise bookings and be ‘Captain’ level status on the Cruising for Excellence programme before they can sign up to Club Royal. On registering they receive GBP20 upfront than the additional GBP5 for future bookings.
Bonuses and exclusive events will also be offered to members including trips on Quantum of the Seas, a trip to Paris or a VIP visit to the BRITS.
The cards will be available to agents from Wednesday (24 September).
Speaking at today’s launch, Royal Caribbean’s director of sales UK & Ireland Ben Bouldin said: “We want to change how we do things because Royal Caribbean is changing. By the end of 2016 we will be the biggest standalone cruise brand operating out of the UK and we’ve tried to come up with something that enables agents to go for a coffee on us or save up for some shoes or a handbag. We want to make this the centre of our engagement with front line staff.”
He told Travel Daily: “We spent GBP60,000 on various schemes and I wasn’t sure we were driving the right behaviour or getting the right returns and the administrative burden is horrific. Incentives are part of the industry and we didn’t want to just stop them but we wanted to incentivise in the right way. I wanted to create a club environment to really engage with agents.”
Royal Caribbean hopes to sign up 10,000 agents to the scheme, the number of which is already Captain status on its online training programme. More than 2,500 agents had already registered for Club Royal before its launch on Friday.
Bouldin also hopes the cards will become the ‘go to’ card that agents will use consistently, and with Royal Caribbean branding meaning it will catch the attention of friends or family.