Royal Caribbean free cruise offer to boost sales

Royal Caribbean free cruise offer to boost sales

Travel agents are being given the chance to win a cruise a day for two weeks in the latest drive from Royal Caribbean International to stimulate bookings.

The new trade campaign follows the launch of the operator’s £1.6 million Don’t Wait consumer drive and comes after it extended its free flights offer after the Costa Concordia disaster in January.

Any agent who makes a Royal Caribbean booking for summer 2012 from Thursday April 12 can enter a prize draw on the line’s Cruising Power agent website.

The prize is for two people and on offer is a choice of fly cruises in Europe on board Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas or Jewel of the Seas.

A winner will be chosen each day of the promotion at 5pm.

Jo Rzymowska, Royal Caribbean general manager, said: “Clearly it’s tough out there and lots of people have still not booked.

“Our campaign is all about telling people not to wait and book now. We know the market is still out there and we have just got to keep it moving.

“I think people are expecting a deal and we are saying that we are doing deals now and, quite honestly, at these lead in prices they will move quickly.

“With the Olympics, air fares are likely to go up and we have some very good reduced fares and some good allocations.

“However, once we get into late May or June with the Royal Jubilee, the Euro football championships and the Olympics, air prices are going to be impacted.”

A key element of the Royal campaign is its regional flying programme with services to ships out of Newcastle, Manchester, Exeter and Glasgow as well as London airports.

Backing the trade campaign is a heavy-weight consumer-facing push with regional radio and outdoor advertising targeting London, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Southampton.

Rzymowska said the difference with previous years was that the operator was still focussing on the upcoming summer season in April rather than the following year.

She conceded this is down to a reduction in volume of sales, partly as a result of the overall economic downturn hitting consumers and partly due to the Costa Concordia tragedy.

“The reality is until the Costa disaster, overall, the industry seemed in a good place and we were very pleased with how we were trading.

“We believe there are a significant number of people, regardless of the Costa incident, who have still not booked their holiday as they would have done in previous years because of the economy.

“We are investing a lot in the marketplace from a consumer point of view and we know when we have a cohesive campaign that goes to consumer and the trade it works better.”

Royal Caribbean is offering attractive lead-in prices for the peak season starting at £699 in July.


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