Gerard Murphy Gerard Murphy

Innovation and adapting are key for cruise sales

Cruise agents need to keep innovating at a time when competition continues to be ramped up and market budgets for the sector are on the increase, says Gerard Murphy of Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel.

The company took out gold in the Cruise Agency of the Year, New Zealand category at the 17th Cruise Industry Awards held at The Star in Sydney on Saturday night.

Murphy says knowledge is the other key to success and also gives a nod to his team and to the suppliers in the cruise industry.

‘Without the suppliers, we wouldn’t be here.’

Murphy started his association with the industry in 1978 when he was a freight clerk with P&O.

Bon Voyage was started on 9 May 1994.

This is the first time Bon Voyage has taken the top title.

Gail Littin, of bronze winner Pukekohe Travel, says passion and hard work are what led to success in selling cruise (Pukekohe Travel was the top agency in last year’s awards and Littin herself is a previous top consultant winner.)

‘It’s about finding out what the clients want. The hardest thing is keeping up with all the new product – there are so many wonderful destinations available. A lot of people who have done coach touring are now settling for the relaxation of cruising and we are seeing a lot of multigenerational family holidays on a cruise.’

Denise Fowler, who won the Best Broker New Zealand