FACE-2-FACE: Kim Vaughan

Cruise Weekly - - News -

RE­GIONAL sales man­ager Vik­ing Cruises.

1. What mo­ti­vates you in your ca­reer?

Shar­ing my knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence with travel agents and giv­ing them the tools to ex­cite their clients about cruise and in turn, im­prov­ing their cruise sales skills.

2. Most com­mon as­sump­tion peo­ple make about your job?

Like any­one in travel, peo­ple think I lead a glam­orous life - there’s a cer­tain mys­tique about it. How­ever at the end of the day ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of agents & guests is not easy – there is a lot of hard work be­hind the scenes that peo­ple don’t usu­ally see.

3. What is the key to build­ing great re­la­tion­ships with agents?

Al­ways en­ter­ing a store with a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude, re­spect and a smile first and fore­most. Hav­ing the abil­ity to em­pathise, fol­low up and put my­self in the agent’s shoes is a huge ben­e­fit for me.

4. Big­gest chal­lenge fac­ing the in­dus­try?

The ap­proach of one-siz­e­fits-all with large cruise ships can some­times dom­i­nate the per­cep­tion of the cruis­ing mar­ket. Smaller ship oper­a­tors with uniquely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences have to work hard to gain ex­po­sure. Care for the en­vi­ron­ment is vi­tal. As we move for­ward, the stan­dards re­quired to op­er­ate ships in pris­tine re­gions are quite rightly be­com­ing more strin­gent.

6. What was your best fam? Europe – great com­pany, great food and ev­ery day brought a new ex­pe­ri­ence.

7. My next cruise will be… Alaska.

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