Personal Travel Manager Overcomes Lockdown Constraints to Secure Cruise Group
PUBLISHED: TravelTalk Jan 2021
When TravelManagers’ Tanya Patterson was invited to deliver a cruise presentation at a local retirement village’s coffee and cake morning, she was delighted by the reception she received. Not only did her appearance result in a number of cruise bookings, but it also introduced her to the president of the nearby Seaford Probus club, who invited her to make a similar presentation at one of their meetings. The experience has proven to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Patterson and the club.
“That was in September 2019, and since then I have kept in touch with the club on a regular basis,” Patterson reports. “When planning an upcoming visit to the club recently, I worked with TravelManagers’ Cruise Operations Executive, Leeanne Freeman, to create a Cruise Sale Week for the group, based on a specific departure of Princess’ fourteen-day Queensland Coastal Cruise out of Melbourne.”
Her initiative was enthusiastically received by members of the Probus club, with a total of seven cabins having been confirmed already and several more still in the works. It is an outcome that is made even more impressive by the fact that Patterson and her clients were still in lockdown when she achieved these bookings, meaning that all correspondence had to take place remotely.
“The support I received from Leeanne and TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO) has been crucial to my success in this campaign,” Patterson reports, “and typical of the backing regularly provided by the NPO team. Always professional, friendly and knowledgeable, I value their contributions immensely. Leeanne even succeeding in negotiating a variety of bonus offers for my clients so they are very happy too!”
Patterson has herself experienced a variety of cruise experiences, operators and destinations in her journey to become a cruise specialist. She says she enjoys the process of creating a cruise holiday, taking the time to explain to clients the benefits of different cabin classes, the inclusions and the optional extras.
“Ideally, by the time my clients step aboard their ship, the only thing they need is a little spending money – everything else should be pre-arranged, from the drinks packages to the speciality restaurants.”
Now out of lockdown, Patterson is looking forward to the remaining restrictions being lifted. She says she has managed to keep busy throughout, giving her home office space a revamp and investing in her personal development while she had time to do so.
“I’ve attended webinars and Zoom meetings as a way to keep up-too-date with many of the wholesalers on what is available as Victoria and the other states gradually reopen,” she explains. “I’ve also completed a variety of Specialist Programs so I can offer my clients some really different and diverse travel options.”
Patterson says she is also looking forward to catching up with her clients in person again, and to begin some conversations with them about their future travel plans.
“From time I’ve spent with the Probus group, they have come to trust me and value my experience, enthusiasm and knowledge. I feel honoured to have been asked to speak at their meetings, and I am happy to foresee a steady stream of bookings happening with this fun-loving and happy group of people!”
“On a personal note, I’m also really excited about restoring some normality into my life, catching up with friends and loved ones, and to being able to move forward – that’s what makes me feel happy!”