The Voice of the Cruise Industry

Regent ‘reaches next level’ of trade engagement with new hub and BDM team

Steve Odell, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has “reached the next level of trade engagement” with the launch of a “groundbreaking” agent hub and recruitment drive for a new business development team

This was the message from recently appointed chief sales officer Steve Odell, who told Cruise Trade News the new agent portal, Regent Elevate, and BDM team are “a statement which takes us to another level in terms of trade support”.

“We’ve always had the tools and I’ve always been a huge supporter of the trade, but these additions have taken our commitment to a whole other level,” he said.

Regent managing director Caroline Smith, meanwhile, explained how Elevate has been designed to support experienced Regent sellers as well as agents who may have never booked a cruise with the line before.

“We are really opening the lid and sharing all of the data and all of the insights we have as a company with our agent partners,” she added.

“We’re not hiding anything and I think that’s really quite groundbreaking. This all translates into the tools as well, so we can show our agents how many people there are to target in the UK market, with actual, quantifiable segment descriptions they can use to attract new customers.”

Regent to increase number of trade partners in the UK

Smith said the enhanced trade commitment is centred around Regent’s ambitions to increase the number of agents it works with in the UK.

“We want to work with anybody that wants to sell the ultra luxury segment and we are there to hold their hands through every step of that process,” she said.

“It’s not an easy product to sell, [agents] have to invest the time, but once they make that first booking, they will find it just snowballs and the commission and earning potential is fantastic.”

To boost forward bookings, Odell encouraged agents to target consumers who would usually opt for a luxury land-based hotel holiday.

“Sometimes in the cruise industry we get caught in our cruise bubble,” he admitted. “We look at what cruise is doing, and we target the cruise sector, but there is a big opportunity outside of cruise, particularly with luxury hotels.”

Fam trips and agent engagement remain ‘critical’

Meanwhile, following the launch of Seven Seas Grandeur last year, the line is working on its 2024 fam trip schedule and agent sailing rates.

“Travel agents who invest in fam trips and ship visits are doing themselves a real service, by educating themselves on the product so they can confidently talk about us to customers, so we’re really encouraging of that.”

In 2024, the company has seen an increase in Alaska business, as well as flight upgrades to the Caribbean and bookings for its Rocky Mountaineer packages.

“Business has certainly bounced back,” Odell continued. “During Covid-19, the cruise industry was almost written off as something that will never recover, but 2023 was bigger than 2019.

“Cruising is a fraction of what the overall holiday market is and we’re just scratching the surface at 32 million. The industry is resilient and it will continue to prosper.”

Sign In

Lost your password?