Celebrity Cruises boss Jo Rzymowska has hit back at criticism from agents over direct marketing via text messages.
Agents posted comments on the Travel Gossip group on Facebook condemning a message promoting Celebrity’s wave campaign and a drinks package offer.
But UK and Ireland managing director Rzymowska said the marketing strategy was available to all agents and encouraged them to use it to stimulate sales, rather than complain.
“I’m disappointed that agents see this as a negative as opposed to a positive,” she said.
“This is absolutely available via all of our distribution channels and therefore all marketing should be seen as an opportunity to capitalise on all the great incentives that are available to all our partners.”
Responding to the agent posts on social media, The Travel Network Group’s (TTNG) marketing director, Si Morris-Green, also said SMS [text message] marketing could be used to agents’ advantage.
He said the consortium had partnered with suppliers such as Royal Caribbean and Jet2 to promote deals to customers on agent members’ behalves.
Morris-Green said: “We want our agents to be the first point of contact with consumers for any holiday offers and we have achieved huge success using SMS.
“Within the text message we can mention the business partner that the product or offer is with, but the call to action is always driven to the agent member.”
Inspired Travel managing director Katie Harris used the TTNG texts for a Royal Caribbean promotion. She said: “It’s a really effective way of reaching out to your customers.”
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