|Friday, 14 September 2012|
|ENCORE REINVENTS TRADITIONAL BROCHURE WITH NEW MAGAZINE|
|2013 Cruise Magazine officially debuted in Toronto last night; publication includes editorials, a question & answer section, and quiz and games for kids|
Encore Cruises has said goodbye to the traditional brochure and reinvented itself with The Cruise Magazine.
The official debut took place last night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Mississauga. Close to 150 agents attended the launch and also had the chance to meet with some of the exhibitors, and Encore’s cruise partners, such as Norwegian Cruise Lines, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Rocky Mountaineer and Holland America.
Last night’s event was the first in a series of launches scheduled to take place throughout Canada in September and October.
Mary Ogaki, director of sales, Encore Cruises, said that instead of the standard itinerary descriptions and deck plans found in many brochures, The Cruise Magazine includes in-depth articles about new ships, destinations, the restaurants and suites onboard, and games for kids.
“We totally revolutionized the brochure. We did a complete 180,” she said. “We want to educate the consumers on cruises and cruise experiences. We're not just selling cruise, we’re selling the experience of cruising.”
The magazine features new ships for 2012-2013 including The Disney Fantasy from Disney Cruise Line; Breakaway from Norwegian Cruise Lines; Reflection from Celebrity Cruises; Breeze from Carnival Cruise Lines; Divina from MSC Cruises; and Fascinosa from Costa Cruises.
The programs for kids onboard the ships include The Plunge on Norwegian; Water Works on Carnival; Flowrider on Royal Caribbean; and Aquaduck on Disney.
Also featured are new itineraries including Golfing Around the World in places such as Alaska; a Tahiti trip by Paul Gauguin Cruises; river cruising with AmaWaterways and Avalon Waterways in Europe along the Rhine and Mosel Rivers, in Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong River, and in Africa along the Chobe River; and a cruise through Antarctica with Hurtigruten.
Ogaki outlined the reasons to travel with Encore starting with its flexibility such as offering a full refund outside of 30 days on WestJet flights when booked in conjunction with a cruise.
She also mentioned the exclusive promotions the company is offering including: Best Value, complimentary prepaid gratuities with Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line; Carnival Bingo for a chance to win a Tiffany purse pen; 18 per cent commission for a booking on the Epic with Norwegian Cruise Line; $100 onboard credit with Disney; and an exclusive offer to the agents that attended last night’s launch, Costa is offering an extra $100 off on the 10-night Caribbean cruise from Miami.
And, starting on Monday, Sept. 17, agents will have a chance to win $1,000 cash every week, for five weeks, for any cruise booking. This offer is not applicable to group bookings.
|Amr Younes, vice president, cruise division, Encore Cruises, and Mary Ogaki, director of sales, Encore Cruises
There was also a live demonstration of the new online booking tool found on the Thomas Cook agent website.
Amr Younes, vice president, cruise division, Encore Cruises, said that the company dedicated over $1 million last year for this new technology.
“By spending that money, we’re able to produce the first and only dynamic tool that packages your products with care,” he said. “We’re able to do that efficiently and with the most competitive process.”
The updated booking tool allows agents to book up to four cabins and sort by balcony, cruise line, date and price. It takes about 13 minutes to complete before the operation times out.
Ogaki also plugged the Sea U 2013 cruise training, taking place onboard the Allure of the Seas from April 20 to 28, 2013. The seven-night cruise sails along the western Caribbean. To register, visit encore.com.
“Encore Cruises has always worked hard to make sure that we give you the tools you need, whether its technology or through promotions and specials, to close more bookings,” Younes said. “We want you to succeed. We want you to book more cruises. Why do we care? Because it’s the only way that we can grow. Our business can only grow if your business grows.”
|Vanessa Lee, president, Cruise Strategies and Amr Younes, vice president, cruise division, Encore Cruises
“Not only [is our team] good at what they do, they have great product knowledge to service professionals like you, [and] they also have a passion [for] cruising," he added.
"I just want to make sure that you guys understand that we live everyday trying to grow our cruise business through your own growth, [and] to make sure you’re not only experiencing the best customer service [from us], but, [that] you’re also offering your customers [the same].”
Vanessa Lee, president, Cruise Strategies, and founder of Encore Cruises, also attended the event and gave her official seal of approval of the new product.
“This company has always been so near and dear to me,” she said. “One of the things about Encore Cruises is that we always had a passion for our business model. It was unique and it still is unique."
She said that she believes the company is as creative now as it ever was. “[Everyone] is doing a really good job,” she said. “It means a lot to me that the company does well.”
Lee also addressed some of the agents' concerns, such as online travel agencies that seem to be taking away their clients.
“You shouldn’t worry,” she said. “As long as you can go out there and affect your customers, and indicate and show [them] how valuable you are. 50 per cent of the people that book with travel agents will come back and book with you again. 50 per cent will spend more money when they book with a traditional retail travel professional. They do not spend nearly as much money when they go through an online travel agency.”
She also said that agents should focus more on selling from the top down instead of the bottom up.
“If you don’t offer [the best] things you will never know if they’re going to be sold. If you offer something low down, you’re going to sell it... but could you have sold it for [more]?” she asked.
“This company and these cruise lines are obviously a great resource for you, just keep focusing on selling... I think if you’re passionate and if you believe, you can convince your clients to do anything that you want them to do that is in their best interest.”
To view Encore's Cruise Magazine, visit our Brochure section.