Sara Macefield takes to the road with Scenic & Emerald Waterways regional sales manager for a day calling at branches of leading Kent-based miniple Baldwins Travel
Scenic and its sister brand Emerald Waterways are on a roll with new ships, new destinations and an exciting move into the cruise expedition market with the company’s first Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse, which launches in January. With so much going on, the company is keen to ensure agents are on board and kept up to date with latest developments. Danny Joel, who joined the company earlier this year, believes in maintaining as much direct contact as he can with regular calls at agencies and initiatives to incentivise and reward staff for strong performances. We joined him for a day-long blitz of Baldwins Travel Group’s branches in west Kent.
The day started at the head office branch of Baldwins, where Danny told staff that the company had notched up a 50 per cent rise in business for Scenic & Emerald Waterways so far this year. He launched into a 45-minute training session, highlighting some of the river cruise itineraries and the new Scenic Eclipse which was of interest to retail manager Kim and her deputy Maxine as they’re keen to target more expeditionary cruise business.
We arrive armed with goodies as a reward for a record booking for Scenic & Emerald Waterways on a Scenic Eclipse sailing to the Arctic, Iceland and Greenland made by branch manager Trevor. As he was away, assistant manager Bettina was happy to accept the wine, fruit and sweet treats that Danny had brought as part of Scenic & Emerald Waterways’ Fill the Fridge campaign, which ran in July, to reward agents for outstanding performance.
Branch manager Clare, of Baldwins’ Sevenoaks travel agency, explained how the single cabins on Emerald Waterways’ river vessels had helped to clinch a fantastic booking from two single lady travellers who wanted their own staterooms – and Danny responded by giving the branch extra River Rewards incentive points. She then pointed out that none of the seven sales staff had been on a river cruise, prompting Danny to organise a date for an office training stint followed by a meal out afterwards.
Business was brisk at Baldwins’ Travelux branch, where a third of its sales are cruise. Danny told senior travel consultant Bridgit that Scenic bookings from Travelux had jumped 200 per cent year-on-year, with Emerald Waterways rising by 66 per cent. As a reward, Danny took in some sweet treats and Scenic & Emerald Waterways slippers for staff. Branch manager Jo said Scenic’s redesigned rucksack and travel wallets had gone down well and praised Scenic & Emerald Waterways’ single cabins as a real winner with customers.
Senior travel consultant Michele reported that business had really picked up since the World Cup ended and inquired about any late availability among the Scenic brands. Danny said it was always worth enquiring and pointed out that the company’s TV and general advertising campaigns created a halo effect for agents as there was price parity. To add an extra incentive, Danny offered bonus River Rewards for any bookings made over the next month on Scenic brands.
Would you like the Scenic & Emerald Waterways team to visit your store? If you are based in the north, contact William Young, william.young@Scenic.co.uk, 07921 830147, if you are central, contact Wendi Hardy, wendi.hardy@Scenic.co.uk, 07540 132370, if you are based in the south contact Danny Joel, Danny.joel@Scenic.co.uk, or call him on 07525 913949.