Regent Seven Seas bolsters UK trade team with three new roles

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has created a business development team to “support agents and help them seek out potential customers”.

Reporting into Paul Beale, vice-president of UK sales, the three-person team will be led by Ed Lang, director of strategic accounts and business development UK & Middle East, and supported by Caroline Moody, senior marketing specialist – trade, loyalty and events.

The line is recruiting one additional person to join the team, which it says has scope to expand further if necessary.

With the creation of the business development team, the line’s total UK trade team will be a total of 15, which is the largest the department has been for “many, many years”, according to Caroline Smith, international managing director.

“There is so much we want to do as a business and so many agents we want to work more closely with so we need those extra staff to support those plans,” Smith told Travel Weekly.

“This new business development team will mainly support those growing agents who are either keen to sell Regent for the first time or have maybe only done a handful of bookings and want to boost sales.”

Chief sales officer Steve Odell (pictured) emphasised the value of the UK market to Regent, saying the UK is performing “phenomenally well” during the wave period, which is so far outperforming January 2023 and 2019.

He urged agents to “think outside the box” when targeting new customers and to lean on the new business development team for support.

Odell, who has been in role for three weeks, said: “After North America, the UK is our most important market as there is such a huge cruise market here providing a massive opportunity for agents.

“I think there is a tendency for agents to look within the bubble of cruise and ask who is interested in taking a cruise, who is sailing with our competitors, and can we take people from the premium space.

“The answer to all those questions is yes, but we need to get outside of that box and look at potential customers who are not currently cruising, particularly those customers who stay at top hotels, go on safari or go skiing, all of whom could be Regent customers but they need to be spoken to in a different way.

“The new business development team can support our agents in finding those people and securing their business.”

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