Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
SEATTLE — Windstar Cruises’ new multi-tier travel agency recognition program is aimed at rewarding top-producing agencies with a top 10 Platinum distinction, a top 11-20 Gold award, and a 21+ Silver category.
Branded as ‘Club 180’, a play on the cruise line’s ‘180 Degrees from Ordinary’ tagline, the program comes with amenities agents can offer their clients (including free WiFi and shipboard credit).
Club 180 also offers additional marketing and sales support from Windstar (including advance notice on promotions and new product launches); priority service (such as a dedicated phone line); and benefits for agents themselves when sailing on Windstar (including free WiFi and laundry service). Benefits vary with the three tiers.
While the first group of top-producing Club 180 agents has already been selected based on 2018 sales production, membership will be renewed annually with an opportunity to add new members in December 2019, says the cruise line.
“Club 180 recognizes domestic North America travel sellers – not consortiums,” says Windstar’s Vice President of Sales, Steve Simao, CTC. “It is based primarily on top sales, though select travel agencies may be included in the program based on the history of our partnership and their overall support of the Windstar brand.”
Simao says Windstar has been putting a renewed focus on its relationship with travel professionals and travel agencies in recent years.
Windstar launched its Star Promise program in 2016 to help advisors increase sales and book more efficiently. Windstar’s Travel Advisor Hub, which grew out of that Star Promise program, has been an important resource for those advisors interested in expanding their Windstar business, he adds.
Simao recommends that those interested in becoming a top agency with Windstar start with the line’s agent website for tips and training to become a top producer in Windstar’s new Club 180.
For Wave Season, Windstar’s ‘Beyond Ordinary’ savings event plus Star Perks bonus is on now and offers the best fares and availability of the year on 2019 and 2020 cruises.
To learn more about the new Club 180 and cruising with Windstar, contact the line by phone at 1-800-258-7245 and press #1 for travel advisor assistance, or visit https://advisorhub.windstarcruises.com or www.windstarcruises.com.