Challenge clients with new options

Challenge clients with new options

Not only listening to clients but even challenging them to consider previously unknown opportunities can lead to a hugely successful partnership, according to one of the Kiwi winners at the 19th Annual Cruise Industry Awards in Sydney on Saturday night.

‘When you get this part of the booking process right, you have very happy and loyal clients,’ says Flight Centre Travel broker Andrew Lennox, who took away the Broker of the Year New Zealand title. Lennox says he is seeing a strong trend towards indepth itineraries that showcase one or two countries, particularly in northern Europe or North America. ‘People love the opportunity to spend longer in some of the smaller ports, away from the crowds that have become the norm in the major ports.’ He says cruising the Arctic and Antarctica will continue to thrive, especially with the impressive purpose-built fleets now being rolled out. He says for newer cruisers, after experiencing their first cruise closer to home, Alaska is the next frontier. ‘If they combine that with an opportunity to train or drive through Canada, they can really tick off the boxes for their next adventure.’

Kapiti-based Lennox says he sees strong sales from traditional, experienced cruisers. ‘We also have strong interest and demand for multigenerational cruising. ‘It is wonderful to note the age of cruisers is younger, with families and younger couples now seeing it as a wonderful way to explore and relax, without stress.’ Following a successful career in the hospitality industry, Lennox began his travel career with Flight Centre 10 years ago. He opened CruiseAbout in Wellington and evolved into a Flight Centre broker role. ‘Knowledge is really the key to being successful in our constantly evolving industry – keeping up with all the innovations offered both in terms of new itineraries and upgraded product. ‘Peter Kollar at CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) continues to provide outstanding learning modules to guide their clients with the most up to date information.’ 

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