APT & Travelmarvel’s new BDM for homeworkers discusses why now is the right time to expand support.
At the end of last year, APT & Travelmarvel announced the next phase in its trade team expansion plan with the appointment of Becky Baumbach in a new business development manager role focusing solely on homeworkers.
The operator said at the time that the move acknowledged “the vast potential that homeworkers have to play in the future of the sector”.
In fact, travel agents make up 75 per cent of APT & Travelmarvel’s total sales, and “homeworkers have led some of the largest sales increases within this group”, says Baumbach.
As part of the new position, Baumbach will focus on sales, relationships and partnership opportunities with homeworking agents, lead an extensive training programme and create customer and engagement events.
“Before the pandemic, we saw an increase in the number of agents making the shift towards homeworking,” Baumbach tells Cruise Trade News.
“That movement then grew, as working practices evolved. For us at APT & Travelmarvel, it was important to acknowledge this trend and to develop resources accordingly.”
Baumbach says a key objective for her is to be “on-hand” when homeworking agents need support, adding: “This will ensure I can familiarise them with the destinations and products that we offer, as well as the APT difference.”
APT setting a new standard
Prior to starting the new role in December, Baumbach had been with APT as a BDM for more than four years. She believes that the key differences between the two positions will emerge as she continues to get her teeth into the new job.
“We know that being a homeworker differs wildly from being a retail agent, and this will be reflected in my role,” she explains. “Our homeworking partners are looking for brands to go beyond the typical business development approach.
“My new position will ensure that APT sets a new standard when it comes to partnerships, building long lasting relationships that will help homeworkers to build and sustain a thriving business from their river cruise sales,” she continues.
As for the training programme, Baumbach is keen to offer more face-to-face events, creating “a personal and focused approach”.
She adds: “Our content will also be directly tailored to the needs and requirements of home-based agents, which differ from those working in retail stores or in call centres.
“Whether it’s helping with marketing strategy and materials, social media assets and coaching, product training or customer events, we have the perfect team available to homeworkers, at a time that suits them.”
Illustration: Phil Couzens