The Scenic Group has announced its “biggest ever” push into the trade, with a focus on shop and homeworker visits, fam trips, training and marketing.
The group has recently completed recruitment for its 10-strong trade team, appointing Ryan Readman in a new sales support role. He joins a restructured team that has been bolstered this year with the addition of Jonathan Davies, sales manager north; Louise Tansey, sales manager central; Christina Cooper, trade marketing executive; and Jonathan Edwards, trade support.
They join director of trade sales Andrea Stafford, who moved from MSC Cruises in March; national key accounts manager Wendi Hardy, who was promoted this year from sales manager central; William Young, sales manager Scotland, Northern Ireland and north east England; Danny Joel, sales manager south; and trade support and trade marketing manager, Helena Gale-Hasleham.
The team plan to strengthen existing relationships with retailers, with an emphasis on personal visits and training, and hope to form new relationships with the homeworking sector.
Stafford said: “What’s really exciting for me is the fact that we now have one of the biggest sales teams out on the road, and I am committed to making sure that we talk to as many agents as possible to spread our message far and wide.
“We’ve already got great plans underway to improve and streamline our marketing information so it gives agents exactly what they need to sell Scenic and Emerald Cruises holidays. We are also looking at how we can effectively train agents to help transform the sales process.”
The team plan to attend more industry events and enable more agents to experience ships first hand. In June, 46 agents were invited on board Scenic Eclipse on a series of fam trips. Agents also have until the end of July to enter a competition to win an eight-day Arabian Peninsula cruise for two on luxury superyacht Emerald Azzurra.
Earlier this year the company suffered a cyber security incident which impacted IT systems for several weeks. Stafford said she had been “overwhelmed by the goodwill and understanding from the trade”, despite the fact that the incident had affected the operator’s response time to agents.
“Most importantly, no personal information was accessed and no sailings were affected by the incident,” she added. “I know some of our agent partners did find it a little more testing to deal with us during that period as we rebuilt systems and got back to running at full capacity.
“Agents have on the whole been very understanding and supportive of us as we return to full capacity. Getting out to develop relationships with the trade feels especially important in light of this and I am committed to saying ‘thank you’ by helping as many as possible grow their business with us.”
The Scenic Group is encouraging agents who are keen to work with its brands to contact their local sales manager at email@example.com