Holland America Line has announced the launch of PartnerSHIPS, a new travel agent support program aimed at providing more resources and making it easier to reach the 11 percent commission level for travel agents.
“We had a lot of conversations with our travel partners, and the outcome is PartnerSHIPS,” said Eva Jenner, Holland America Line’s vice president, North America field, charter and incentive sales. “The program includes several new amenity packages for groups, new marketing tools, a lower override commission threshold, and more guidance and support than ever before. Travel professionals are invaluable, and with PartnerSHIPS we’re showing our appreciation by making it easier for them to work with us.”
New and Enhanced Group Programs
Holland America Line’s Group Amenities Program (GAP) offers a choice of more than 30 different amenities, including specialty restaurant dinners, theme parties, group photos, beverage cards, shipboard credits and more. At the request of travel partners, the GAP menu now includes the option of earning a tour conductor with 10 paid guests rather than the standard 15.
On select sailings, group benefits have been extended even further. The new capacity-controlled GAP PLUS program offers a 1 percent bonus commission and a bottle of sparkling wine in each stateroom in addition to the standard GAP options.
For small affinity groups such as book clubs and school reunions, a new Connections group package includes two additional GAP points with the 1:10 tour conductor benefit, up to a maximum of two tour conductors.
For multigenerational travelers, the new Family Reunions package offers special perks for all family members, including stateroom upgrades, beverage cards and a Pinnacle Grill family lunch.
Override Opportunities for Travel Professionals and Shipboard Credit Offer
PartnerSHIPS makes earning override commission easier by lowering the revenue threshold for travel professionals to reach the 11 percent commission level as part of Holland America Line’s override commission program. In response to partner requests for more perks at sales events and shows, an exclusive shipboard credit is now available for up to two such events per year.
Marketing Tools Available on Travel Agent Headquarters
Travel Agent Headquarters on the Holland America Line website is an online resource where travel professionals easily can access an array of marketing tools. In addition to promotional materials to support group sales, seasonal promotions and unique Holland America Line onboard features, a new, expanded and easy-to-use promotional tool kit will be launched in February that will feature customizable emails, fliers, print ads and digital banner ads.
Dedicated Assistance Team
A dedicated team is available to answer questions and provide guidance. During their cruise, groups can use the Onboard Event Services team, a go-to crew of experts on the special needs of groups. Ashore, Holland America Line employs a sales team dedicated to charter and incentive groups.
Additionally, agents can benefit from the following:
- Business Development Team: All accounts — regardless of size or location — are assigned a Business Development Team member.
-Future Cruise Consultants: Available to book guests on a future cruise, with full commission going to the travel professional.
POLAR Online: This booking tool allows travel professionals to book and manage groups online.
-Holland America Line Academy Online Training: With six modules and 20 total lessons, travel professionals can gain a better understanding of Holland America Line and learn how to increase sales by developing new skills. Professionals also earn CLIA credits.
-Signature Sales Seminars: Offered seasonally on the road and by webinar.
-“Agent Source”: A biweekly newsletter that provides information to keep travel partners informed.
-Travel Professional Appreciation Fares: Travel professionals have access to discounted fares on select sailings, with a $50 shipboard credit for HAL Academy graduates.
-Marketing Call to Action: “Call Your Travel Professional” is standard on millions of direct mail, email, ads and other marketing communications each year.