Chris Austin, chief sales officer, Explora Journeys, part of the MSC Group said, '... One of our key points of differentiation is how we support our global travel advisor community.
‘We wanted to totally remove on-hold time and put the control in the hands of our travel partners. The result is, they get to speak to our dedicated ambassadors at their convenience and waitlist suites for their valued clients exclusively before we open for public sale later this year.’
He said initial industry feedback indicates the service is ‘best in class ... for which we are most proud.’
The programme has been praised by Virtuoso Travel Network, for example.
Appointment in ‘four clicks’
According to Explora, travel advisors will be able to set up 30-minute appointments in ‘just four clicks,’ confirmed by a personalised message that introduces their dedicated ambassador.
The travel advisor's phone will ring at the appointed time of their chosen appointment to eliminate on-hold time, and are conducted in English, with German, Italian, French and Spanish to follow.
Using the service, travel advisors will be able to discuss and place a waitlist on a specific suite for one or more of eight inaugural journeys during Explora I's first year, including the vessel’s maiden voyage on May 16, 2023.
Waitlist requests are obligation free and do not require a deposit; a later follow-up appointment can convert their option into a deposited booking, by which point, advisors will already earn their commission.
John Lovell, president, Travel Leaders Group remarked, ‘The Explora Journeys “by appointment” service is one of many industry-first, bold initiatives the brand is making, along with the first-ever rolling commission program that will pay advisors commission on deposits and on final payments received.'
He added, ‘These and others were key factors for Travel Leaders Group determining the brand should be awarded a “preferred” status ... We are, therefore, delighted to welcome Explora Journeys into our roster of especially important preferred partners.’
Following Explora’s official opening of sales, travel advisors will be able to call a dedicated Experience Centre number or click 'to call' from Explora Journeys’ website.