TORONTO — It’s not TPI. It’s not the cruise arm of TPI. But it is backed by the knowledge and experience of TPI executives including new President and CEO Caroline Hay.
And now the newly launched Cruise CEO is Canada’s first, and Virtuoso’s only, cruise-centric host agency, say Hay and TPI’s CEO, Zeina Gedeon.
“We’ve uncovered a gap in the market,” said Hay yesterday, as she and Gedeon hosted a trade media Zoom call introducing the new Cruise CEO brand.
“Cruise CEO is not a one-size-fits-all host agency. We allow our CEOs to choose what is right for them, empower them to run their business as they wish, and encourage them to embrace the mindset to be the CEO of their business. Cruise sales are not an afterthought here, because they are our primary destination,” said Hay.
Hay will transition out of her role as TPI’s National Director of Sales and take the helm at Cruise CEO, with support from TPI founder Morris Chia, and Gedeon.
Says Hay: “We know what it takes to run a successful host agency, and we know all of the facets of the travel industry, inside and out. We are affiliated with the parent company of TPI. But we are not TPI. We are not the cruise arm of TPI. We are Cruise CEO, we will have dedicated tools, as well as dedicated staff and support in place to best serve our CEOs.”
She hinted that the host agency could eventually grow beyond Canada and into the U.S. space as well.
Hay says the launch of Cruise CEO to cruise line partners yesterday morning was very well received. “We’re doing all we can to help rebuild the cruise industry, and the travel industry, and we want to make sure that we are there to support our trade partners and our CEO partners.”
Here’s a look at the highlights from yesterday’s Cruise CEO briefing …
Cruise CEO advisors will earn 100% of their commission with key partners. Tier 1 cruise line partners include Royal Caribbean Group, NCLH, AmaWaterways, Uniworld and Hurtigruten.
“We built this model in recognition that many cruise sellers today earn very low splits on their bookings,” says Hay. “We believe that travel entrepreneurs selling cruise vacations should be paid equitably for their hard work. So we’ll be paying up to 100% commission on our key partners for an advisor that is currently selling $45,000 in commissions and above. On our Tier One cruise partners they will be receiving 100% of that commission, 80% commission on our tier two partners and 70% commission on the balance of their business.”
Hay adds: “There are no commission crumbs to be found at Cruise CEO. We only serve the full cake.”
Advisors can choose from three, six or 12-month contract terms, and there is no exclusivity clause. “Your CRM or ours. Your brand or ours,” says Hay, adding: “We don’t have any cards up our sleeves. We want to be known as fair and flexible. And we want to make sure that most importantly, we deliver what we promise. And that’s Choice, Empowerment and Opportunity which truly is the Cruise CEO difference. Cruise CEO empowers advisors to navigate and direct that business, as they wish, without being locked into one-sided exclusive long term contracts, [while] also giving them the opportunity to earn top tier commissions on everything they sell, which ultimately puts more money in their pocket. And of course, reaping the rewards of Virtuoso membership.”
If an advisor wants to align with Cruise CEO to book their cruise sales, and keep the rest of their business or their own credentials, “that is absolutely fine with us,” says Hay. “We are here to overall grow just the cruise sales, ultimately, for our business as well as the entire market. We know that people are looking for that flexibility to run their business, but currently are tied to contracts, and brand rules that prevent that from happening. They’re being handed sales goals that may not be in alignment with what they envision for their business. So we take all of that away and hand them the decisions of how they want their business to run.”
SALES & MARKETING
Hay says “great choice and earning opportunity is just one part of our offering. We want to make sure that we are there to add value in every step of the way. Selling cruises is just one part. [Advisors] also need to market and promote their business as efficiently as possible, and find time to keep their skills on product knowledge sharp. We’ve taken all of that into account, and we’ve got that covered for them as well.”
On the sales and marketing side Cruise CEO will offer everything from customizable social tiles to marketing programs customizable promotional templates, sales and marketing strategies, including social media, she says. Joining Cruise CEO also opens full access to Virtuoso.
TECHNOLOGY & TRAINING
Technology tools include the ‘Pursers Desk Portal’, cruise booking platforms, real time sales and commission tracking, and credit card processing and automated forms.
Cruise CEO advisors will also have access to training workshops, including weekly partner training, monthly town halls and quarterly business focused workshops.
More information is at CruiseCEO.com.