Building on a very successful year for cruise sales in 2013, TravelManagers have reported another impressive result in 2014, with a total growth in cruise sales of 51 percent compared with the previous calendar year.
TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, is understandably pleased with this result.
“As a group, TravelManagers’ had a very successful year for cruise sales in 2014, which in itself is great news, but our specialist CruiseManagers business has grown by a spectacular 78 percent over the same period. It’s an even more impressive result and we couldn’t be happier.”
“CruiseManagers celebrate a successful awards haul at the recent Cruiseco conference. From left to right: Luky Wilson (Mount Eliza), Kim Wudko (NPO) and Kathy Millett (Claremont)”
Gazal believes this result shows the significant contribution that home-based consultants make to the cruise sector.
“We’re thrilled with these results as it shows the professionalism and calibre of our personal travel managers (PTMs), who have taken all the resources and training we’ve given them and combined it with their own expertise to produce really strong sales figures for consecutive years.”
TravelManagers have been swift to recognise the need for ongoing cruise education for their PTMs, and their specialist cruise division, CruiseManagers, is a growing success.
CruiseManagers incorporates a specialist group of PTMs, each with extensive cruise knowledge and first-hand experience, who are dedicated to providing their clients with exceptional personal service. It comprises a select number of personal cruise managers (PCMs) who have met the strict productivity and qualification criteria to be part of the division.
“CruiseManagers is a member of Cruiseco, and as a result of this membership, our PCMs can offer their clients a range of unique products, exclusive charters and competitively priced cruise deals that are not available through most travel agencies,” Gazal explains.
At the Cruiseco conference held in Melbourne recently, CruiseManagers were represented by ten PCMs and Head of Operations, Kim Wudko, and took home awards in three of the major categories: the Million Dollar Club award for agency sales in excess of $1 million, an award for Top Five Agencies in Sales for 2013/2014, and an award from Oceania Cruises for Outstanding Sales Growth in 2014.
CruiseManagers’ top-selling PCM, Sara Birtwhistle, was assigned the prize for the Top Five Award, which was a Crystal Cruises ten-night cruise for two people on a sailing of her choice, along with a $10,000 travel allowance.
Birtwhistle, representative for New Farm, Queensland, credits her time working for a cruise wholesaler as the foundation for her success as a cruise specialist, but believes that it’s her focus on delivering the best possible service and attention to her clients’ needs that has seen her excel since joining TravelManagers in 2010.
“TravelManagers make the most of their time at CLIA’s Cruise3Sixty conference in Sydney with image courtesy of Travel Daily. From left to right: Back Row: Jeff Leckey, Kim Mason, Neil Saunders, Sue Kuti, Julianne Gazal-Rizk, John Gartner, Cathy Moir, Kathy Millet, Annalize Troost, Middle Row: Michelle Michael-Pecora, Derek Harwood, Kim Wudko, Front Row: Debra Dean, Jane Fowler, Naomi Peel, Robyn Simmonds, Diane Craig, Matt Halloran.
“My business is not about having the most clients; it’s about having a select number of clients who want exacting and professional service. The opportunity to participate in supplier events like the Cruiseco conference and CLIA’s Cruise3sixty in Sydney, where I can develop industry relationships and update my product knowledge, is invaluable.”
CLIA’s Cruise3sixty conference was held for the second time in Sydney in late February, and was a chance for seventeen personal travel managers from six states to spend time in one-on-one appointments with key cruise line representatives.
According to Gazal, attendance by PTMs at such industry events is wholeheartedly supported by TravelManagers’ national partnership office.
“These conferences are crucial for ensuring that our personal travel managers are well-versed in promoting the value of cruising and in developing strategies and techniques to convert cruise enquiries. We have even created a programme to provide assistance for personal travel managers who are relative novices to selling cruise holidays, which allows them to gain expertise quickly in this growing market,” he says.
For Birtwhistle, the support from the national partnership office (NPO) is invaluable.
“TravelManagers make it their business to invest in the talent of personal travel managers with training, famils and technical support, among other things. A large appeal of being home-based is that I don’t waste time travelling to and from work, and the help from the national partnership office ensures that I can focus on my clients’ needs instead.”
TravelManagers are continuing to look for ways to innovate and grow their business, particularly in high-yielding sectors such as cruise. The strong cruise sales results for 2014 for both TravelManagers’ at large and their specialist cruise division, CruiseManagers, demonstrates the success of this philosophy.
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.