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Travel Leaders Sparks Consumer Cruise SalesMarch 24, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
The first of Travel Leaders’ three “Exclusive Cruise Values” (ECV) volumes planned for 2011 has now been delivered to preferred clientele of Travel Leaders members throughout the United States, Travel Leaders reports.
Created in partnership with a select number of Travel Leaders’ preferred cruise suppliers, the ECV enables member agencies to offer competitively priced sailings spanning the globe, each packaged with unique amenities reserved for Travel Leaders’ guests. Since first launched in 1997, the ECV has become one of Travel Leaders’ most successful marketing pieces, resulting in tens of thousands of cruises sold, Travel Leaders reports.
“While we may not sell the specific sailings highlighted in the brochure, mailing the piece always makes the phone ring,” noted Lisa McCarthy, co-owner of the Travel Leaders location in Naples, FL. “The exclusive offers are just one more way to separate our agency from others. Our clients appreciate that we can offer them something that other agencies can't. This highlights our relationships with the cruise lines and reinforces why they keep coming back to us – they know we're professionals who use these relationships to serve our clients.”
“Thanks to the collective buying and booking power of the Travel Leaders network, our members can further distinguish themselves in their local markets by offering hundreds of popular sailings to their customers at group rates – rates that can also be used for our members’ FIT clients,” stated Roger E. Block, President of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “In addition to providing excellent value and amenities on well over 900 sailings, some of our cruise line partners also offer our members the opportunity to earn credits toward free tour conductor (TC) berths. That provides our Travel Leaders with added incentives to book even more.”
Cruise lines participating in Travel Leaders’ 2011 Exclusive Cruise Values include Avalon Waterways, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Hurtigruten, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea. ECV amenities range from up to $200 shipboard credits and prepaid gratuities to free roundtrip airfare and hotel packages.
Every year, Travel Leaders members are offered three striking direct mail pieces – Volumes I, II and III – to help them promote the annual ECV sailings. The full-color ECV brochure features photography and attractive highlights, not only on all participating cruise lines, but also on sample sailings available to Travel Leaders’ clientele.
Each volume is sent on behalf of members to select clients at no additional cost by Travel Leaders headquarters from the organization’s Direct Mail Manager. Travel Leaders’ members also have the ability to order an additional supply of extra bulk copies for free, while also having the option to purchase more at nominal fees. The 24-page brochure is further distinguished with the Travel Leaders brand and features special amenities ranging from free shore excursions to prepaid gratuities, as well as shipboard credits.
“We always order lots of the Exclusive Cruise Values brochures. It's a great way to keep in touch with our clients and expose them to many different cruise lines at once,” explained McCarthy. “We have clients who may have worked with us for years for land accommodations but never experienced cruising. We also have clients who love cruising but may not be familiar with cruise lines other than those on which they have previously sailed. Especially during the last few years when the cruise lines have had some fantastic offers, the booklet helps us to move clients from the mass-market ships up to the next level, and introduce other clients to all-inclusive cruising. And for those clients who are strictly motivated by price, the added amenity speaks to the bottom line.”