In conversation with... Paul Mellon, Sales Development Manager for Riviera Travel
Q What did winning a Selling Travel Agents Choice Award last year mean to Riviera?
A: It was an excellent endorsement of the work that we are doing with the travel industry. We’ve only been working with the trade for six years so this has shown that our best working practices and support of our trade partners is clearly paying off!
Q Why should agents vote for you again this year?
A: We now have a dedicated field sales team which is supporting all aspects of agents' requirements. This has lead to more training and marketing activity and given us the resources to support more of our agent partners with their client evenings and holiday shows. At this time of the year our team is engaged with many agent events and conferences but we're planning to get more agents to visit our wonderful river cruise ships to sample the quality and service we offer and enable them to sell the product more easily.
Q Any new products agents should know about?
A: We are offering river cruising in Russia for the first time and we also have new escorted tours to Umbria, Sardinia, Montenegro, Spain’s Basque Country, Ireland and Jordan.
Q What’s trending in escorted touring?
A: Two things! Firstly we’ve seen a surge in demand for our Solo’s programme. Our new brochure has grown 45% in size with new tours and solo river cruise departures. Secondly, clients are getting more adventurous with their touring so destinations such as Romania. Montenegro, India and Japan are increasing in popularity.
Q How will Jim Forward, your new Commercial Director, shake things up?
A: Jim brings with him a wealth of experience but in particular, and importantly, he brings experience with our specific client demographic. At Riviera, when we bring in new people it is to enrich the working environment and to help us to continue to move the business forward in a positive manner.
Q Tell us what the future holds for Riviera Travel?
A: With an ever-changing market and client demographic we will continue to evolve our product to meet our customers' needs. This will be a combination of new ships in our river cruising programme, a greater variety of tours and we will also be introducing new add-ons for agents to enrich their clients' holiday experience even further, and add value to their service too!
“We have a dedicated field sales team which is supporting all aspects of agents' requirements and are planning to get more agents to visit our wonderful river cruise ships”