Silversea to target specialist tour operators to grow sales

Silversea’s UK boss has outlined plans to identify new trade partners as agent numbers pick up across the industry following “a dip” during the pandemic.

The line’s UK and Ireland managing director Peter Shanks told 24 agents at a dinner at a central London hotel via a video message how the line had attracted 50% new-to-brand customers this year.

He thanked the cruise specialists for their support and later revealed that the “majority” of bookings had been made by them.

Shanks said: “We’re seeing a great recovery now from all our cruise specialist partners. They are the majority of our distribution but we’re now looking to grow extensively.

“We need to widen our distribution and expand our growth – that is why we have two BDMs on board.”

This month, Megan Saunders joined Silversea from Windstar Cruises as a BDM following the promotion of Lucy Howe to BDM from the role of business development executive.

Shanks added the line was making “good progress on 2019”. “Having five regional sales managers gives us good coverage around the UK,” he said.

Shanks plans to recruit a new expedition sales manager in 2023. “We’re doing really well with current travel partners,” he said. “But there are a lot of specialist tour operators and agents out there that do brilliant business selling safari and adventure holidays.

“They do not quite understand that if a customer wants to go to the Galapagos or Antarctica it is not a cruise but an expedition. Getting that message across is key for the expedition sales manager.”

Asked about the number of agents in the industry, Shanks said: “We’ve seen it recover really well this year. Of course, there has been a dip over the last two years but we’re seeing it come back strongly.”

Related Articles

Small boats flotilla to welcome new Cunard ship to Southampton

UK to become Uniworld’s second-largest source market by 2025, president predicts

AmaWaterways creates agent WhatsApp channel