Dedicated, separate sales teams for Cunard and P&O Cruises are to be created to strengthen links with the travel trade and solidify brand distinction.
The current sales organisation will remain under the leadership of Carnival UK vice president of sales, Alex White until the structural changes are finalised by mid-2018. White will then assume the role of vice president of sales and distribution for P&O Cruises, by which time the overall sales staff headcount will be significantly increased. White will continue to report into Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises senior vice president.
A new sales organisation is being established for Cunard under the leadership of David Rousham, who is currently the brand’s international development vice president.
Rousham will assume the expanded role of vice president of UK sales and international development for Cunard, and will continue to report into Simon Palethorpe, Cunard senior vice president. Recruitment will also begin immediately for a new Cunard UK sales director who will establish the team and manage the transition.
In a letter to agents White said: “Since establishing our new multi-brand sales team in 2016, together we have enjoyed two record sales years for our brands.
“P&O Cruises will welcome the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market to its fleet in 2020.
“As we enter this period of unprecedented growth it is critical that we recognise the distinct requirements and nature of each brand and offer an appropriate level of individual support to each of our agent partners who will continue to play a vital role for our brands. “It is for this reason that we are announcing the introduction of individual sales teams for Cunard and P&O Cruises, which collectively represents a significant increase in dedicated resource.”
With the exclusion of those currently dedicated to Cunard, all roles within the existing organisation will assume responsibility for P&O Cruises.
Commenting on his new role, David Rousham added: “This is an evolution of the sales organisation and underpins the need for distinct sales requirements for each of the two brands. Getting the right guest on the right brand is vital to meet future sales needs and we are committed to making further investment to meet and grow the new to cruise audience through improved support for our valued trade partners.”