Designer Travel launches cruise education programme

Designer Travel has unveiled a cruise education programme to boost its homeworkers’ knowledge about the sector and double the firm’s cruise sales over the next year.

Managing director Amanda Matthews and her leadership team have spent six months finalising the Cruise Designers programme ahead of its official launch last week.

So far 70 of Designer Travel’s 105 homeworkers have signed up to the programme, surpassing Matthews’ own prediction of “30 to 40”.

Through Cruise Designers, homeworkers can earn points attending weekly training webinars, completing cruise lines’ training modules or organising consumer events like coffee mornings or Zoom calls.

Points can be exchanged for places on fam trips, cruise ship visits, Clia events, and £250 to spend on cruise marketing.

Matthews hopes the programme will help her homeworkers be more “proactive” when it comes to selling cruise products.

She said: “It’s a great sales opportunity. Cruise customers are very loyal and repeat business is very high.

“Once we’re more au fait with cruise and we’ve gained that knowledge, we’ll get bookings and more confidence.”

She added: “We offer amazing service and sell luxury holidays, but we kind of cruise along with cruise.

“We wait to see what comes in, rather than being proactive.”

Matthews (pictured) said the business could double its cruise sales now homeworkers have been given the chance to build their cruise knowledge alongside their day-to-day sales roles.

She claims her team has already made 12 bookings in the four days since Cruise Designers launched.

“Before we would not have done two cruise bookings in that time,” she explained.

She added that new homeworkers could join the programme later in the year. “We roughly take on 20 homeworkers every year,” she said. “Someone could pick up the programme three or four months in. Everything is done in your own time.”

Designer Travel aims to focus on a different sector once homeworkers have completed the Cruise Designers programme next year.

Matthews said the firm will switch attention to touring and small groups as part of a similar education programme.

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