FACE-2-FACE: Kim Vaughan
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.