Royal Caribbean targets new agent partners with funding pot

Royal Caribbean targets new agent partners with funding pot

Royal Caribbean International has created a six-figure fund to spend on joint advertising with new-to-cruise agents.

The line will next month begin dishing out money to independents and miniples that want to boost their cruise business significantly.

The initiative comes weeks after the line admitted it needed to put more work into supporting consortia and independent agents.

Sales director Ben Bouldin said: “We are constantly reviewing 
how we utilise our co-op funds with the trade.”

The exact sum available is being kept under wraps but Bouldin said: “I have taken a chunk of marketing money to help drive growth from independent agents who are only now starting up their cruise business.”

The line ran a pilot scheme to test the “development fund” with the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) last year.

Speaking on board new ship Harmony of the Seas, Bouldin said: “We did a test with the SPAA. It didn’t involve a huge amount of money but we went out to agents who didn’t sell cruise but wanted to. We quickly learnt that there were far more people out there looking for support than we’d expected, so this year we are upping our investment spend.

“We’re offering to help get agents off the ground running, which is pretty unique.”

Royal’s incoming head of retail, Sarah Weetman, who joins the line on June 3 from All Leisure Group, will be responsible for allocating the money to agents.

Weetman’s team of regional sales managers will be tasked with identifying agents they believe suitable for a slice of the cash.

Bouldin also believes Weetman’s knowledge of independents will open up opportunities for the line.


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