For Promoting the Value of Travel Advisors
Adolfo Perez, senior vice president of global trade sales and marketing, Carnival Cruise Line, has elevated trade support “above and beyond” with Carnival’s innovative “WUATA or Why Use a Travel Advisor?” initiative. Unveiled last March, the year-long campaign is designed to build loyalty for agents with existing clients and encourage consumers without an advisor to use one.
With ASTA’s and CLIA’s support, Carnival has hosted three fun WUATA Parties (a wordplay on What-a-Party) this year in Orlando, Minneapolis and New York City, with another planned this week in Los Angeles. A 37-year Carnival veteran, Perez hosts each event, along with Carnival’s sales personnel, John Heald (at times) who is Carnival’s brand ambassador, and CLIA and ASTA officials. Travel agents attend with a current client (encouraged to bring a guest, often someone not using an agent). Parties feature drawings, upgrade offers and more.
Most notably, WUATA parties feature first-hand stories from Carnival Diamond guests about their incredible advisor experiences; Carnival then turns those into videos so agents can use them for websites, client e-mails and social media. Perez’s team has also created WUATA social media promotions, contests, exclusive merchandise, giveaways, text alerts and WUATA Word, a crowd-sourced word cloud.
Creative agent tools on GoCCL.com also help spread the word. Perez, supported by Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president, deserves credit for creating an inventive program that focuses the public’s attention on the value and benefits of using a travel advisor.