As seen on Travel Pulse Canada
Carnival Cruise Line hosted 300 travel advisors and their clients last night in Toronto at their WUATA (Why Use a Travel Advisor) event, the second stop in the event series after the initial kick-off in Orlando, Florida last May. The series is set to continue, heading first to New York in September and then to Los Angeles in October. The program’s initiative is to help travel professionals attract new clients while also providing advisors the opportunity to deepen relationships with existing clients through an evening of activations, open bar and canapés.
“It’s less about stats and more about value proposition messaging,” said Meegan Broussard, Sr. Director for Trade Marketing and Sales Communications at Carnival Cruise Line. “Our goal is to share those really big value components with people, who may not book with an advisor today, but want to know how their next vacation can be the best. It [value components] can be through getting that message out about how travel agents can really make a difference.”
Prior to the event, TravelPulse Canada had a chance to sit down with Adolfo Perez, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Trade Marketing, to find out how the idea for the event series came about.
“We starting thinking more about how we can add value because this is great that we celebrate and have a fun party, but is there something we can do to add value,” said Mr. Perez. “I kept thinking back to when I have been at a party or some business events where someone asks me what I do and they say, ‘travel agents still exist?’. I’m like, ‘Yea they exist! Why wouldn’t you use a travel agent? It’s like having a personal assistant pretty much for free.’ Internally we wanted to get this message out… we are all busy, working hard, there’s no time to do all this stuff that an agent can do for you. On top of that they do so much training… They can help you pick the right vacation, whether it’s the right ship, right cruise line, right itinerary – they can help you with all that.”
Although messaging throughout the event was geared towards the importance of using a travel advisor, agents in attendance seemed to be particularly happy to have the event as a chance to entertain existing and potential clients, while also using the event as a platform to market Carnival Cruise Line.
“What intrigued me about it when I received the invitation back in April, is that I could bring two clients. So the two clients that I brought are both cruisers but they have never tried Carnival… my biggest dream is for them to get the aspect of it here, learn about the Carnival family, see the pros of working with a Travel Agent, which they do already, but why they are making a good choice and why Carnival is a good choice for them,” shared Coreen Doucett, a travel advisor from The Travel Agent Next Door.
During the event, agents and their clients will listen to testimonials from previous Carnival clients who booked with travel advisors and hear from CLIA and ASTA representatives. A draw for a ‘seven-day balcony cruise’ will also be up for grabs for a consumer in attendance, plus commission for that guest’s travel advisor. In addition to this, consumer guests will also receive an exclusive offer from Carnival – a ‘three-category stateroom’ upgrade. Travel Advisors will also be able to participate in prize draws from CLIA and ASTA.
Registration is open to all travel advisors and although attending a WUATA event is complimentary for travel agents and their clients, there is a requirement to pre-register due to venue capacity. Agents can register for a Carnival Cruise Line WUATA Party by visiting GoCCL.com.