Uniworld promotes Angela Sloan and recruits sales manager

Cruises’ UK & Europe boss Chris Townson is to relocate to Australia next month but will remain in charge of both markets.

Head of sales Angela Sloan (pictured) has been promoted to sales director, while Lee Evanson and Dawn Quinn become national sales managers, stepping up from their roles as key account managers.

Townson said their new positions would be “more commercial head office roles” looking after Uniworld’s key accounts.

The line has also appointed David Broad, formerly of JTA and Cruise.co.uk, as sales manager for Birmingham and the south.

He joins from his role as cruise manager, where he managed events, and has experience from previous roles at JTA Travel, MSC Cruises and Tui.

Uniworld is also actively recruiting for another sales manager to look after London and further south, to replace Edwina Coppock, who has left to join Miles Morgan Travel.

Townson explained Coppock’s replacement would have a full-time position, rather than three days a week.

“It’s all about supporting the trade,” he said. “We’re on a bit of a roll in terms of business levels, partnerships and award wins, and we want that to continue.”

Uniworld is hosting the Advantage Travel Partnership cruise conference and then the Midcounties conference on board its Joie de Vivre ship on the River Seine next month and said it had a full programme of full sailings, short three or four-night trips, overnights and day visits planned for the trade in 2024.

Townson said business was up 35% in 2023, over 2022, which was itself a record year for the company in the UK.

“We have doubled our business through the UK between 2018 and 2022 and have Covid in the middle of that. And now we’ve bulldozed our way into 2023,” he said.

He is relocating to Australia with his family and will be back in Europe four times a year for major industry events such as Clia conferences, WTM and Uniworld’s annual ‘kick-off’ meeting in February.

He will work a flexible timetable, dedicating time each day for GMT/BST video calls to ensure ‘seamless and consistent’ communication with partners and colleagues, while taking the opportunity that the time difference affords to work uninterrupted on detail-based activity, facilitating faster turnarounds.

Townson said the record sales are partly due to “having one of the longest serving and most consistent teams in the industry, both onboard our ships and within our UK sales and marketing team”.

He added: “Ang, Dawn and Lee have been with us for 20 years between them, and have a wealth of passion, experience and strong relationships that have helped our business to thrive.”I am delighted for them with their promotions and look forward to working with them from my new home in Australia.

”We have the right team to continue the momentum into 2024, and I will be working flexible hours to ensure that my team and our valued trade partners are serviced and supported even better as we move forward.”

The UK and Europe sales and marketing team is 10 strong, with representation across the UK, Ireland and in Guernsey.

Townson said the announcement that two new ships are joining the fleet would help maintain the momentum.

Uniworld recently bought two former Crystal Cruises ships which will sail as Victoria and Elisabeth from Crystal Cruises. Victoria, which replaces Uniworld’s Empress, will begin sailing in March 2024, while Elisabeth will begin operations a year later, replacing one of the line’s older ships.

Townson pointed out the acquisitions were not about adding capacity to the brand, but to “have the very best ships on the rivers”.

He said the new vessels offered two key opportunities to Uniworld – firstly to target existing Uniworld guests who want to try a new ship, and secondly to target former Crystal customers who are still loyal

Related Articles

Oceania Cruises brings Marina back into service after refurbishment

Celebrity Cruises rewards top 100 agents for wave performance

AmaWaterways drops single supplements for limited period