Personal Travel Managers Attend World’s Biggest Cruise Conference in Sydney
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) brought the world’s largest cruise conference to Sydney last week, with more than 500 travel professionals coming together from all over Australia and New Zealand, including fifteen delegates from TravelManagers.
This two-day event, which was held at Sydney’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, gave delegates the opportunity to hear about the latest cruise product offerings, and attend a series of four breakout sessions hosted by industry experts which included maximising relationships between agents and cruise lines in order to boost sales, and how to take advantage of the growth in the small ship cruise sector.
“My take-home message from these sessions related to innovation in marketing,” says Annalize Troost, who is representative for West Pennant Hills, NSW. “If we think outside the square about what the industry disruptors might do, we can stay one step ahead of them.”
TravelManagers’ Operations Manager, Pru Gallagher, says feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, adding that one of the main highlights for many was the Social Media workshop by social media strategist and presentation skills coach, Jordana Borensztajn.
“Jordana’s interactive session presented an overall picture of the changing media landscape and explained how to use relevant social networking platforms to grow their businesses and drive sales,” Gallagher explains. “It’s an area that many of our PTMs are eager to work on, as it dovetails neatly with our way of doing business.”
Cruise360 delegates were also able to take part in an optional ship inspection and lunch on Carnival Spirit: an opportunity which PTM Karryn Bartlett was only too happy to take.
“I’m always happy to seize the chance to find out what’s new, what’s different and what the main selling points are when it comes to cruising,” she says. “There’s no substitute for first-hand knowledge when it comes to matching my clients to the right ship or cruise line.”
Bartlett, who is TravelManagers’ representative for Bulahdelah, NSW, was one of thirteen PTMs to attend Cruise 360, accompanied by two representatives from the company’s National Partnership Office (NPO).
The ship inspection was followed by a new initiative for 2018: a Cruise Destination Showcase, which brought together a group of ten cruise destinations including Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Monaco and New Zealand, who presented their destination highlights for cruise passengers, and provided suggestions for pre- or post-cruise stays.
“The Showcase and ship inspection together transformed Cruise360 into a huge event,” says PTM Briony Bullard, who travelled from West Beach, SA, to attend. “If you’re serious about selling cruise holidays, it’s an incredibly valuable investment in both time and money.”