Investing in agents helped Norwegian achieve growth, says cruise line boss

Investing in agents helped Norwegian achieve growth, says cruise line boss

Agents will be key to “keeping the momentum” going for Norwegian Cruise Line following a record year for sales in the UK.

Francis Riley reported “record-breaking, double-digit sales growth” in the UK this year, compared with 2014. He attributed this to “good promotions and training and educating the trade”.

Norwegian has hosted more than 1,200 agents on ship visits since September, as well as holding more webinars and seminars.

The UK is the US line’s second-biggest market but Norwegian declined to reveal how many Britons it carries each year.

“We have been smart and thoughtful about the way we put out our promotions,” Riley said.

“We’ve not been chasing the last-minute customer.

“We’ve also made a specific effort to train travel agents more on our product this year than ever before through a multitude of webinars and seminars. The whole year has been about educating the trade using different approaches.

“This year we had two million passengers but our growth plans will mean we have 2.8 million by 2019, with three ships on order.”

Riley said investing in the trade had helped Norwegian achieve growth and he pledged to invest more in joint marketing funds.

“We will be investing more marketing money in the UK to tell that story. We will also have new promotions and will continue to work closely with the trade. The spend will be a combination of consumer and trade marketing.”

Christian Boell, managing director for Europe, said fam trips would be held on the newly revamped Norwegian Epic and that these would help boost UK sales next year, which he believes can again see double-digit growth in 2016.


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