Silversea Launches Partner For Success Campaign

President of the Americas, Silversea, steers the cruise line towards agents; introduces new agent program, 'win a Mercedes' incentive
Ellen Bettridge, president of the Americas, Silversea
Ellen Bettridge, president of the Americas, Silversea
Ellen Bettridge knows what being a travel agent is about.

That's because the president of the Americas for Silversea got her start in the industry working  as a travel agent and she says she continues to think like an agent in her role today.

"In my time, what I always heard was what was important to agents and I learned to listen to agents and it is something I've always done along the way," she recently told TRAVELHotNews.com.

Bettridge has been in her role at Silversea for a year now. In that time, she has worked to shift Silversea to become a cruise line with a well-established relationship with the travel agent community. She did this because believes that the travel agent remains crucial in the role of selling cruise to customers and she has positioned the cruise line to reflect that reality.

"[To consumers] we all look the same," said Bettridge of cruise lines. "You need to have a consultant who can actually get through the weeds and tell you what's best for you and what you're going to get out of your vacation... and what cruise line is the best for you. That's really the role the travel agent needs to play."

Partner for Success

With her background in mind, Bettridge and Silversea have launched the cruise line's new Partner for Success campaign.

Through the campaign, Silversea now offers a variety of support programs designed to help agents drive and enhance their business.

"We've added some really neat things," said Bettridge. "We've added our Silver Privileges fares, therefore we've streamlined our fares so that the price is the price. No more of this discounting some things and adding other things. The price is the price."

In addition, Silversea is now guaranteeing fares so that agents and their clients don't have to concern themselves about getting the best price on the cruise fare.

"Agents no longer have to worry whether the price is going to go down. We are guaranteeing them. It's an easy message for a customer," Bettridge said. "And thirdly, we've put in a very strong rebating policy. So these three things have been really important to me because, from an agent perspective, this is very important for them to be able to sell."

A new Mercedes

Bettridge was confident that the new campaign was something agents would enjoy, but she added that besides the Partner for Success campaign elements, she also wanted to grab their attention.

To achieve that, the cruise line launched a prize campaign.

Mercedes-Benz C250
Mercedes-Benz C250
Silversea is going to be giving away a brand new 2014 Mercedes-Benz C250 Sedan.

Agents are eligible for the prize draw by simply booking their clients on a Silversea cruise. For each Silversea booking made in 2013, the agents name will be put into the raffle draw.

"It's pretty exciting. And once the agent's name goes into the raffle, an email will go to them which they can then send to their customer and their customer can then put their name in to win a seven-day cruise in 2014," said Bettridge.

That customer can then send the email to enter to seven-day cruise prize draw to as many people as they would like, allowing them to enter the contest whether they've booked or not. Bettridge said the contest is designed to get the Silversea name out while still linking the sale back to the travel agent.

"It's a neat way to get our name out there with people who are advocates of ours. Then the others will probably go back to that same travel agent, because the travel agent will still be linked to that email as well, so hopefully it brings the travel agent some business as well as Silversea."

Silversea has also joined Travel Agent University so that all the information about the cruise line is now available there so that agents who may not be completely familiar with the product can learn more on the subject.

"I really want to grow our business with the agent population. I also want to make sure they feel confident in working with us," said Bettridge.

For more information on Silversea, visit silversea.com.

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