Cunard has revealed plans to work with agents to expand the brand’s appeal to a wider range of customers, particularly first-time cruisers.
Cunard president and managing director Peter Shanks disclosed the strategy as the cruise line’s three ships came together for the first time to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday.
Bad weather prevented a display by the Red Arrows from taking place as part of the ‘Three Queens’ event in Southampton, but pilots boarded Queen Elizabeth to meet guests and a fireworks display went ahead. Dozens of agents, including Travel Weekly competition winners, took part.
Speaking to Travel Weekly, Shanks said Cunard would be partnering with agents on marketing campaigns, inviting more agents to visit the ships and expanding its online training programme.
“Agents can find Cunard difficult to sell: we’re not mass-market and we’re not small-ship luxury. We have a unique mix which I believe agents should be selling to a wider range of clients.
“We will be helping them do that through our training academy and we will be working closely with agents who want to sell Cunard for the first time.
“We want to work with high street agents to find more first-time cruisers and work with online agents on marketing campaigns.”
Shanks is also eager to ensure clients are aware of Cunard’s full range of product, as well as its round-the-world and transatlantic voyages. He added: “Since our commission structure was reviewed last year, there is little or no discounting on Cunard.”
Cunard will see all three ships embark on world voyages for the first time in 2014. “That market is still very confident,” said Shanks.
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