New travel agent support from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, a big break in the flight MH17 investigation and Plan a Cruise Month are the three travel industry headlines to watch today.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Adds Online Tools for Travel Agents
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced a new collection of online resources for travel agents, including new marketing materials and updated educational tools.
The new marketing materials run the gamut from customizable, downloadable flyers to print ads, emails, web banners and social media posts. Agents can pick from a range of layouts and add their name, contact info and call to action. Once they’ve customized the materials, agents can either download them for free or print the pieces for a fee. Agents can also send a customized email directly from Regent’s travel agent website at no cost by uploading an email distribution list, or download the creative and send from their own email server. The line also stores a history of completed projects so agents can reference and download them later.
Other new marketing features include the Travel Partner Spotlight, which highlights a successful travel agent each quarter, as well as a quarterly video update showcasing all the new developments at the cruise line. Customized versions of the video are created for National Accounts, so they can post the content to their internal intranet sites for all agents within their consortium to view. Finally, the line now offers a bi-monthly travel agent newsletter called Luxe Agent.
In terms of educational offerings, the line’s new Regent Seven Seas University offers two interactive courses, with a third set to debut early next year. The two courses currently on offer are Regent Experience, an introductory course about the Regent Seven Seas Cruises product offering, and Selling Luxury, which focuses on how best to address a luxury customer. Agents who complete either course will receive two Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits from The Travel Institute along with a $250 bonus commission for any new booking made within 90 days of completing the course.
The new agent tools are available at RSSC.com/agent.
Get Ready for Plan A Cruise Month
In other cruise news, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is ramping up for this year’s Plan A Cruise Month campaign, which will run during the month of October. (Yes, that is already just a couple of days away.)
During the campaign CLIA will provide cruise information, tips for travelers on ways to connect with expert cruise travel agents and the chance to win a cruise through the #CruiseSmile sweepstakes.
CLIA travel agents and agencies will have access to exclusive cruise deals and promotions during National Plan A Cruise Month — watch this space for details. Additionally, the #CruiseSmile contest will ask participants to post a photo featuring a great “Cruise Smile” on Twitter with the contest hashtag from October 1 through 31. At the end of each theme period, a winner will be chosen and allowed to select from one of CLIA’s featured cruises. A total of four cruises will be awarded throughout the month. For contest details visit www.CruiseSmile.org.
Flight MH17 Brought Down by Missile Brought From Russia
In air travel news, the Dutch investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine has said that a surface-to-air missile that downed the plane came from Russia and was fired from territory held by pro-Russian separatists, The Washington Post reports. Investigators did not directly accuse Russia of complicity in the attack. The findings, which are based on intercepted telephone conversations between separatist fighters in the area and photographs and satellite data, could be used at a possible criminal trial, although no venue for a possible trial has been given yet. The investigation has been extended into 2018.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed July 17, 2014, when it was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, in Ukraine near the Russian border. At the time, the area where the plane went down had seen fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, although the area remained open to commercial air traffic.
Exclusive: Don’t Miss Journese’s Plans for Cuba
Finally, in case you missed it, at this year’s Journese Curators event Travel Agent’s Joe Pike learned that the luxury brand of Pleasant Holidays has its eye on Cuba travel. Pleasant Holidays SVP of Sales Strategy Kimberly Daley told us the company would begin aggressively pushing its plans to add Cuba to its Caribbean portfolio after the presidential election.
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