National Travel and Tourism Week is nearing its midway point
during a period where travel is at a virtual standstill. But suppliers across
the industry are showing support for travel agents with promotional offers and
other initiatives commemorating National Travel Advisor Day on May 6.
Norwegian Cruise Line is offering advisors a chance at
several prizes for bookings made from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern on May 6.
Bookings made through Norwegian’s guest services team will be eligible to win
VIP packages or $200 onboard credits. Ten advisors will each win $500 Amazon
gift cards, and at 8 p.m. Eastern, chief sales officer Katina Athanasiou will
appear via Facebook Live and announce three grand prize winners: One will
receive a seven-day sailing in a Haven suite, the other two will receive seven-day sailings in balcony staterooms.
Riviera River Cruises
is offering gift cards and onboard credits for bookings made from now through
May 8. For sailings in 2020 and 2021, Riviera will give advisors a $100 gift
card for each cabin booked, while each passenger booked will receive a $100
Jamaica's tourism board is holding a webinar May 6, and the first 300 advisors to participate will be eligible to win gift cards from Grace Foods.
Pleasant Holidays and
Journese are offering advisors 500 bonus Travel Reward Incentive Program (TRIP)
points for new bookings May 3 to 9. New bookings made through May 6 will
receive an additional 500 TRIP points on top of that. Trips must be completed
by Dec. 31, 2021.
Other initiatives extend beyond the week and are valid
Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours and Emerald Waterways are offering a 2% bonus
commission on river cruises booked by May 30 for travel this year or next year.
Advisors who make a new booking during this period will be entered to win a
complimentary Scenic or Emerald Waterways cruise.
“We are proud to stand beside you during these challenging
times and support you as you work with your clients, one conversation at a time
to reassure, help them dream and plan to travel once again when they are ready,”
said Ann Chamberlin, vice president of sales for Scenic Group USA.
Iberostar is offering members of its StarAgents rewards
program five times the usual points on bookings made
throughout the month, for travel through Oct. 31, 2021. For bookings made in
the first week of May, the offer applies to Iberostar’s Mexico properties; the
second week, for Dominican Republic properties; the third week, for Jamaica
properties; and for the final week, the offer applies to any Iberostar Grand
Warwick Paradise Island -- Bahamas, an adults-only,
all-inclusive resort, is offering Travel Advisor Appreciation
Rates all month long. Agents
who book a personal two-night stay for travel from June 22 to Dec. 20 will
receive a third night free. The promotional rate starts from $130 per person,
per night, double, in an Island View room.
In recognition of National Travel Advisor Day, Sandals Resorts International has adjusted its travel advisor programs. Those with current Certified Sandals Specialist or Preferred Sandals Agency statuses will have those designations extended to the end of 2021, and Chairman's Royal Club members will maintain membership through next year, as well. Points 2 Paradise points for 2019 and 2020 have been extended through Dec. 31, 2021.
The Serenade Punta Cana, a 603-room all-inclusive
resort scheduled to open in the Dominican Republic in September, announced it
was marking National Travel Advisor Day with special rates for bookings made
through Oct. 31, for stays from Nov. 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021. Advisors
can book up to two double occupancy rooms for up to four nights for $58 rate
per person, per night, for stays in a gardenview room. To make a reservation
under the special rate, advisors with valid IATA numbers are asked to send
email to [email protected] or [email protected] and reference
Windstar Cruises announced changes to its commission policy. It is now paying commissions on future cruise credits (FCCs) under its Travel Assurance Booking Policy, which allows travelers to cancel their cruise up to 15 days before departure and receive a 100% FCC to be used on sailings through Dec. 31, 2021. As of May 18, Windstar will resume its Sell 3, Sail Free program, where agents receive a complimentary sailing after selling three cabins.
For others, National Travel Advisor Day was simply an
opportunity to show gratitude to and voice support for the travel advisor
AIC Hotel Group, which handles sales and marketing efforts
for properties under the Eden Roc, Nobu and Hard Rock brands in the U.S.,
Mexico and the Caribbean, is holding a virtual Cinco de Mayo fiesta for travel agent partners featuring entertainment by AIC’s resident DJ. (An AIC representative said the company
was finalizing details on a “recovery phase” initiative for agents.)
MSC Cruises reiterated its support for advisors with initiatives such as protecting commissions on original bookings and offering full commissions on rescheduled sailings, while at Carnival Cruise Line, Adolfo Perez, senior vice president of global sales and trade marketing, was scheduled to address advisors via video.
George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando, said “We want to express our gratitude to travel advisors for
their contributions to our destination and our national and local economies. The entire travel industry faces unique challenges
ahead in the coming months as we pivot to how consumers think about their
travel plans, and ways to communicate new safety measures. We are also working
closely with travel advisors to provide the resources they need, especially as
we enter this new era for our travel industry.”