Carnival to launch agent outreach program

By Tom Stieghorst
Carnival Cruise Lines will begin a new travel agent outreach program called Carnival Conversations, with a marketing campaign and a series of road show presentations starting on July 12 in New York.

The effort is designed "to increase dialogue and strengthen ties with travel agents." It will also include agency visits and daily feedback opportunities on GoCCL.com.

"Many travel agents have expressed that they're frustrated with changes we've made in recent years," said Lynn Torrent, Carnival's executive vice president of sales and guest services. "Our goal with Carnival Conversations is to do a better job of listening and responding to travel agents regularly so that we're on top of the issues that matter to them most."

"Most importantly," added Joni Rein, vice president of worldwide sales, "we want travel agents to know we appreciate, need and rely on them."

A marketing campaign to build awareness for the program will kick off July 1.

Carnival said agents may participate in Carnival Conversations by attending in-person events such as road shows led by the line's senior sales executives, in-agency seminars, seminars at sea, trade shows and conferences.

During these events, Carnival's sales team will listen to travel agents and provide corresponding solutions and feedback, it said.

In addition, Carnival will feature a dedicated Carnival Conversations section on GoCCL.com complete with short daily surveys made up of open-ended questions. Carnival said it will then share timely responses to this feedback, letting agents know what they can implement and what will need further review.

There will also be a more detailed quarterly survey. Travel agents may also find Carnival's expanded road show and webinar schedule on the site.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.
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