Holland America makes big moves to support travel agents

SEATTLE — After many tumultuous years for the travel trade, seeing so many suppliers now affirming their commitment to travel agents is a beautiful thing.

Holland America makes big moves to support travel agents - Eva Jenner, VP Sales, Holland America Line

Eva Jenner, VP Sales, Holland America Line

Holland America Line is the latest cruise line to champion its partnership with travel agents. The cruise line has launched a new trade promise, ‘Committed to Your Success’, and says VP Sales Eva Jenner will lead sales efforts to maximize cruise sales for travel partners.

With ‘Committed to Your Success’, Holland America says it “pledges the cruise line’s commitment to providing the most comprehensive support to its travel partners and an exceptional cruise experience for its clients”.

Holland America says its sales department will work to uphold the promise under the guidance of the sales leadership team comprised of key members of the sales team, led by Jenner.

The ‘Committed to Your Success’ promise states: “We’re dedicated to being your reliable, responsive and easy-to-work with partner. When your clients experience Holland America Line’s classic style and enriching journeys, we create mutual customers for life.”

Says Jenner: “We’ve seen a lot of exciting changes to our brand in recent years; and as we evolve as a company our commitment to our travel partners remains the same, yet our level of support is growing immensely. We launched our new trade promise, Committed to Your Success, to officially put it in writing and make sure our partners know we’ll do everything possible to help them succeed. Our sales leadership team and all of the talented members of our department are dedicated to building on this promise.”

Holland America has created dedicated teams in its sales department to better support the unique business model of the cruise industry that requires customization and personalization.

The teams are Strategic Accounts; Field Sales; National Account Sales; Trade Communications and Engagement; and Sales Planning and Development (Sales Intelligence, Sales Administration, Charter and Incentive Sales, Series and Wholesaler Sales and International Sales).

The teams will be headed by a member of the new sales leadership team, which includes Michele Sutter, director, Strategic Account Sales; Christine Stevens, senior director of Field Sales; Charles Dunwoody, senior director, National Account Sales, North America; Rob Coleman, senior director of Sales Planning and Development; and Denella Ri’chard, senior director, Trade Communications and Engagement.

In addition to the newly created channel sales area, a new Strategic Accounts team was formed that reports to Sutter.

Nate Burdulis and Tara Schreiner are senior managers, Strategic Accounts, and Amy Barnett is senior sales representative, Strategic Accounts.

Sales territories across North America were reconfigured to maximize performance, and Business Development Managers (BDMs) will focus on accounts in their new region.

To provide guidance and additional supervision, four senior managers of Field Sales were appointed to oversee the BDMs in their territory: Jackie Day, western; Cathy Larson, central; Lucy Owen, eastern; and Tami Normann, Canada.

In addition to the restructuring of the department, Holland America Line says it is dedicating more resources to help travel professionals deepen their knowledge of the cruise line’s products and itineraries.

New Holland America Line Academy courses and Specialist Training courses are designed to establish agents as experts in the brand, while the North America PartnerSHIPS Sales Seminar Series brings Holland America Line’s latest news and initiatives to its partners in-person and through webinars.

GoHAL.com, Holland America Line’s portal for travel professionals, is a one-stop shop with marketing tools and access to information that guides agents and sets them up for success.

Travel professionals can connect with their BDM and the sales team through GoHAL.com or by emailing sales@hollandamerica.com. Holland America Line’s sales team is active on social media at facebook.com/HALpartnerSHIPS, twitter.com/HALpartnerSHIPS and linkedin.com/in/holland-america-line.

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