For the second year of its WUATA (Why Use a Travel Advisor?) initiative, Carnival Cruise Line will expand the program to feature 100 WUATA parties in 100 cities across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
For the list of cities tapped for parties in spring 2020, check out the list at the end of this story.
Also new for the 2020 WUATA program is the debut of monthly initiatives with 100 different fun and exciting new giveaways, events, rewards and more to benefit travel advisors and their clients. Those aren’t only in WUATA party cities but across North America.
From a modest number of WUATA events in 2019 to a bigger portfolio of parties this year, Carnival hopes to draw 25 times more consumers than last year. The goal is to help build advisors’ businesses and show potential clients why they should use a travel advisor to plan their vacation.
As in last year’s WUATA parties, travel advisors who are planning to attend are encouraged to bring along both an existing client and a consumer who is a potential client to the event.
“Last year we found that a WUATA Party is a very effective way to strengthen the relationship between travel advisors and their clients and to help agents recruit new business,” says Adolfo Perez, Carnival’s senior vice president of global sales and trade marketing. “By taking the 100 Reasons Why Use a Travel Advisor message to 100 cities, we expect to reach thousands more consumers in 2020.”
He stresses that all the WUATA initiatives are part of Carnival’s commitment to deliver the best sales and service experience to travel advisors and their clients. Travel advisors pick an existing client to bring to the party, and then they bring someone who’s not a client, who then gets a better understanding of why they should use an advisor for planning their vacation.
In evaluating last year’s WUATA program, Perez doesn’t point to increased sales statistics. “Honestly, for me, it’s not a quick win or ROI [return on investment]” for Carnival, he says, “but more of a philosophy, a long-term journey” to promote travel advisors and booking loyalty, which pays off in the long run.
Perez stresses advisors can bring anyone they so choose to a WUATA Party, but if he has a tip for advisors, it’s to plan in advance, rather than simply turning to a spouse or friend to bring at the last minute. Instead, he hopes the advisors will truly evaluate who’s best to help them get the most new business out of the WUATA effort.
Each free-to-attend WUATA Party will be held at a local movie theater from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and will be hosted by the region’s business development manager. A select number of WUATA Parties will feature Perez as a special guest presenter. Plus, Perez says that, similar to last year, John Heald may appear at a few as well, and Heald will likely also promote the initiative via his Facebook and online presence.
Perez tells Travel Agent that Carnival inked a deal with AMC Theaters, and the contract includes everything for the event such as catering, signage, video/audio presentation and so on. So, that frees up Carnival’s staff to do what they do best – interacting with advisors and their clients and promoting the value of using a skilled travel advisor.
WUATA Party programs are expected to include industry insights, product updates, fun activities, classic movie snacks and prize giveaways. All consumers who attend will receive a special Carnival cruise offer from their travel advisor that is only available at a WUATA Party.
The 100 WUATA Parties also will feature a tribute to attendees from armed services, who will receive a special acknowledgement and a gift. Carnival sails more active and retired military than any other cruise line and this is an extension of the line’s ongoing commitment to its military guests and their families.
For example, Carnival currently has such military recognition initiatives as an onboard recognition program, discounts for current and retired service members, and the new Heroes Tribute Bar on the line’s newest ship, Carnival Panorama.
This year, not only has Carnival expanded the number of WUATA parties, but the line also expanded the program's reach – to San Juan where Carnival has ship embarkations, and to Barbados, where an allotment of cabins for roundtrip sailings on Carnival Fascination has created opportunities for those islands’ advisors.
But Perez tells Travel Agent that Carnival expects to expand the program also to the United Kingdom and via its GSA partners to other countries across the globe, too.
Registration is now open for WUATA Parties in April, May and June. Additional event dates will be posted on GoCCL.com, WUATA.com and Carnival’s trade and WUATA Facebook pages as they are confirmed. To register, travel advisors should visit GoCCL.com or contact their business development manager.
Perez urged agents to do so as soon as possible, as last year the spots at each event for agents and their clients filled up quickly.
Separately, with more parties planned, Perez says Carnival will also try to match up the sales staffers or executives out in the destinations with other opportunities for trade and industry meetings.
The program’s other current initiative, running through February 29, is the “100 Rockin’ Rewards” booking promotion. Travel advisors can earn 100 bonus reward points for every five bookings they enter in the Loyalty Rocks! Rewards Program, up to 1,000 points.
Here’s the initial list of WUATA Party cities for spring 2020:
- South Miami, FL - AMC Sunset Place 24 - 4/6/2020
- Columbia, MD - AMC Columbia Mall 14 - 4/7/2020
- Columbia, SC - AMC Harbison 14 - 4/7/2020
- Altamonte Springs, FL - AMC Altamonte Mall 18 - 4/8/2020
- New York, NY - AMC Lincoln Square 13 - 4/8/2020
- Garden City, NY - AMC Roosevelt Field 8 - 4/9/2020
- Staten Island, NY - AMC Staten Island Mall 11 - 4/10/2020
- Burbank, CA - AMC Burbank Town Center 16 - 4/14/2020
- Ocoee, FL - AMC West Oaks 14 - 4/14/2020
- Indianapolis, IN - AMC Traders Point 12 - 4/14/2020
- Plymouth Meeting, PA - Plymouth Meeting 12 – 4/14/2020
- San Diego, CA - AMC Fashion Valley 18 - 4/15/2020
- Framingham, MA - AMC Framingham 16 - 4/15/2020
- San Francisco, CA - AMC Metreon 16 - 4/15/2020
- Wilmington, NC - AMC Wilmington 16 - 4/15/2020
- Bridgetown, Barbados - FLOW Olympus Theatres - 4/16/2020
- Charlotte, NC - AMC Carolina Pavilion 22 - 4/20/2020
- Quebec City, Quebec - Cineplex Ste Foy – 4/20/2020
- Laval, Quebec - Cineplex Laval – 4/21/2020
- West Jordan, UT - AMC West Jordan 12 - 4/21/2020
- Braintree, MA - AMC Braintree 10 - 4/21/2020
- Redondo Beach, CA - AMC Galleria at South Bay 16 - 4/21/2020
- Wauwatosa, WI - AMC Mayfair 18 - 4/21/2020
- Cherry Hill, NJ - AMC Cherry Hill 24 - 4/21/2020
- Greensboro, NC - AMC Greensboro 18 - 4/21/2020
- Brossard, Quebec – Cineplex Cinemas Brossard – 4/22/2020
- Burnaby, British Columbia – Cineplex Cinemas Metropolis – 4/22/2020
- Toronto, Ontario – Cineplex Cinemas Yorkdale – 4/22/2020
- Jacksonville, FL - AMC Regency Jax 24 - 4/22/2020
- Columbus, OH - AMC Easton Town Center 30 - 4/22/2020
- Orange, CA - AMC Orange 30 - 4/22/2020
- Lake Buena Vista, FL - AMC Disney Springs 24 - 4/22/2020
- Raleigh, NC - AMC Blueridge 14 - 4/22/2020
- New Brunswick, NJ - AMC New Brunswick 18 - 4/22/2020
- Tampa, FL - AMC Westshore Plaza 14 - 4/23/2020
- Hackensack, NJ - AMC Shops At Riverside 9 - 4/23/2020
- Brooklyn, OH - Ridge Park Square 8 – 4/23/2020
- San Juan, Puerto Rico - Caribbean Cinemas – 4/24/2020
- Maple Grove, MN - AMC Arbor Lakes 16 - 4/28/2020
- Allentown, PA - Allentown 16 – 4/28/2020
- Tampa, FL - AMC Veterans Expressway 24 - 4/29/2020
- Riverside, CA - AMC Tyler 16 - 4/29/2020
- Sarasota, FL - AMC Sarasota 12 - 4/30/2020
- Crestwood, IL - AMC Crestwood 18 - 5/5/2020
- Dearborn MI - AMC Fairlane 21 - 5/5/2020
- London, Ontario – Cineplex Silvercity London – 5/6/2020
- Fort Myers - AMC Merchants Crossing 16 - 5/6/2020
- Brandon, FL - AMC Regency-bdn 20 - 5/6/2020
- Overland Park, KS - AMC Prairiefire 17 - 5/6/2020
- Houston, TX - AMC Studio 30 Houston - 5/7/2020
- Baton Rouge, LA - AMC Mall Of Louisiana 15 - 5/7/2020
- Burlington, MA - AMC Burlington 10 - 5/12/2020
- Hampton, VA – AMC Hampton 24 – 5/12/2020
- Calgary, Alberta – Scotiabank Theatre Chinook – 5/13/2020
- Oklahoma City, OK - AMC Penn Square Mall 10 - 5/13/2020
- Omaha, NE - AMC Westroads 14 - 5/13/2020
- Boston, MA - AMC Boston Common 19 - 5/13/2020
- Londonderry, NH - AMC Londonderry 10 - 5/13/2020
- Hammond, LA - AMC Hammond Palace 10 - 5/14/2020
- Creve Coeur, MO - AMC Creve Coeur 12 - 5/20/2020
- Seattle, WA - AMC Seattle 10 - 5/20/2020
- Roanoke, VA - AMC Roanoke 10 - 5/21/2020
- Pickering, Ontario – Cineplex Cinemas Pickering and VIP – 5/27/2020
- Oakland, CA - AMC Bay Street 16 - 6/3/2020
- Midlothian, VA - AMC Midlothian 10 - 6/3/2020
- Oldsmar, FL - AMC Woodlands Square 20 - 6/4/2020
- Melbourne, FL - AMC Avenue 16 - 6/4/2020
- Edina, MN - AMC Southdale Center 16 - 6/9/2020
- Harvey, LA - AMC Westbank Palace 16 - 6/11/2020
- Rancho Cucamonga, CA - AMC Victoria Gardens 12 - 6/16/2020
- Nashville, TN - AMC Bellevue 12 - 6/19/2020
- Winnipeg, Manitoba – SilverCity St. Vital – 6/24/2020