Silversea ‘on the lookout’ to recruit new luxury agents

Silversea’s UK managing director Peter Shanks has said the luxury line is actively seeking to recruit new travel agent partners.

The line, which has already seen a rise in “regular cruisers” entering the ultra-luxury sector, will unveil a new recruitment campaign in April.

Shanks said: “We’re on the lookout now, we're on a recruitment campaign starting from April to find more travel agent advisors.

“Firstly, you can't automate reassurance - people want to talk to a human being and travel agents are perfectly placed [to do that].

“Secondly, with so much concern around ‘who do I book with? Do I book a package?’ travel advisors are more valued than ever. It's always been our mantra to support travel agents, we just want more of them. So we're going to launch a new recruitment campaign to go out and find wonderful travel agent partners who want to join ultra-luxury and join it with us.”

Silversea has the largest sales support team in the sector, according to Shanks, with seven members of staff in the field sales team and a further five in sales support. 

The line will be targeting different regions of the UK, as well as trade organisations, consortia and individual agents.

“For example, within the Advantage [Travel Partnership] or TTNG network, we want more of them,” Shanks said.

“Within Hays Travel, we want more of their shops. We also want to find more independent travel agents who have got all the customers they need - they've got customers who go on safaris, on touring and go to the Maldives, they just don't know they're going on Silversea yet.”

He added: “We're also going to be incentivizing travel agents for additional rewards every time they make their first booking with Silversea.

“But this isn’t a race. This is something that we want to do over the coming 18-24 months.  We're starting now, we're trying to attract more and more travel agents to the party because it's a fast-growing sector whether it's the ultra-luxury piece or the expedition piece.”

Speaking with Aspire on new ship Silver Dawn, Shanks said cruise has “come back stronger than ever” this year with the line experiencing a “really strong” booking period between January and mid-March. Silversea’s forward bookings for 2023 are particularly buoyant and the line is currently “well ahead” compared to its 2019 figures. The average booking value per passenger has also gone up “significantly”.

Shanks said the Mediterranean is the “big seller” for this summer, while demand for Australia is also strong following the destination’s reopening. 

“One thing we're pushing as an opportunity for our travel agents for this summer is we’ve got two ships up in the Arctic, Silver Wind and Silver Cloud, doing expedition sailings in June, July, August,” Shanks said.

“That's a great opportunity if you want to get away and do something awesome.”

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