The Voice of the Cruise Industry

Bolsover Cruise Club’s Katie Wilson: ‘Travel agents need to be a source of knowledge’

Bolsover Cruise Club's Katie Wilson: 'Travels agents need to be a source of knowledge'

Bolsover Cruise Club product manager Katie Wilson shares her top tips for marketing and selling cruise holidays, not least the need for travel agents to be more than “just somebody who books a holiday”.

What do holidaymakers expect of a travel agent in today’s world?

The number one thing that people are looking for is someone to reassure them and give them confidence that they have someone who understands and is there to assist.

We are living in complicated times – especially when it comes to travelling – so the customer is looking for someone they believe will help them when things get difficult.

How do you ensure you stay up to date with the latest industry news?

I think anyone that really enjoys working in the cruise industry will do this naturally. I am a walking encyclopaedia on new ships and new innovations in the industry. If you have a passion for the product, then understanding the product should be the fun part of your job.

How important is training from cruise lines to your day-to-day job?

It is important, but for me it is not vital because in an ideal world you should be keeping up to date with new developments. When a line comes to do training, I would expect to already know what it is they are providing within the training.

How important is social media to your job?

Social media is not the be all and end all for attracting new clients, but it does not hurt to utilise it. I would say it is most beneficial at keeping your current database up to date and providing them with a good level of online service.

What’s the number one must-have in your job?

This is an old-fashioned answer, but a travel agent’s number one friend is their calculator. You don’t want to get figures wrong, and you will need to be able to get them together as you speak to the customer.

How is the role of a travel industry professional evolving?

A travel agent has had to become more than just somebody who books a holiday. They need to be a source of knowledge in these current times and hold the hand of the customer right up until the time that they travel and potentially even once they have gone on holiday.

What are your top tips to someone who is new to selling cruise?

You must experience a cruise holiday to understand it, and you need to understand it to sell it. In an ideal world you will try the cruise and your passion for the product will be amplified, and this will come across in the way that you sell.

Selling cruises can be challenging at times, especially recently, but it can also be very rewarding. You must remember what you are selling can make someone happy, as you could be booking someone’s dream holiday. Take pride in that.

Sign In

Lost your password?