For the second year in a row, Transat has invited about 60 agents and a dozen suppliers on a fabulous cruise in the Caribbean (in this case, the Royal Princess from Fort Lauderdale) for a week of intensive training.
Transat's Surf n' Turf seminar highlights the many advantages of the company's all-inclusive packages on both land and sea.
PAX is currently onboard this week, reporting exclusively.
Selling cruises vs. hotels
"The drink is not included."
"There are too many children."
"It's too expensive, I can't afford that."
"I want to walk on the beach, I'm going to be stuck on a ship."
Those who have never cruised before have multiple and legitimate reluctance to consider cruising as an option for their next vacation. But, how can agents overcome these barriers to convince these clients that a cruise is accessible?
"Do not hesitate to present cruises as an all-inclusive product to your customers," said Sharon Smith, business development representative, Transat. "Speak their language. They understand this term, they will know what to expect: simplicity without worry."
Transat offers a turnkey approach with multiple inclusions:
- Return flights (with flight protection in case of delay)
- Port taxes
- Extra baggage allowance (28 kilos instead of the usual 23)
- Reception and full pick-up service at the destination between the airport and the ship
- Seven major brands (Costa, Carnival, Princess, MSC, NCL, Pullmantur and CroisiEurope)
"All products can be sold to just about everyone, but not in the same way. You have to adapt your speech," explained Valérie Gagnon, Transat's business development representative.
Suggest fun combos for added value
It's also possible to suggest a two-week "surf", for example, since Transat flights coincide with departures from the ships. Why not sell a cruise in the Caribbean from La Romana, accompanied by a stay in an all-inclusive hotel? It's possible, with Transat.
The dynamic representative also emphasized the added value of Transat, clearly identifiable in the brochures; it is negotiated directly with the supplier exclusively for Transat passengers, be it a drinks package or cabin categories, among others.
"We were named the best airline in the world in 2018. When you offer the Transat, that's what you offer your customers," said Gagnon, proudly.
The seminar is reminding travel counselors that Transat has a complete department dedicated to organizing groups, which gives it several privileges:
- Groups from eight cabins and 16 passengers
- Allotment and inventory protected until the final deposit; which means marketing a single start and a single price
- Air free on the 21st passenger
- Free cruise policy after X number of passengers (according to the cruise line)
- Group agent dedicated to the file
- Customized shuttle for pre and post stays
- Private transfers
- Transat Protection
Gagnon also suggested that travel counselors turn to themes to distinguish themselves from their competitors by creating unique tours exclusively for their clients.
"Gastronomy in Europe, for example: select all vineyard excursions or cooking classes, present short seminars on the subject on board, organize cocktail parties inspired by local specialties," Gagnon said. "It's very simple and it adds value."
Transat cruises in brief
- 46 routes
- 16 vessels
- 7 boarding ports
- 27 routes
- 19 vessels
- 9 boarding ports