2022 cruise revenue has already surpassed sailed revenue in all of 2019, which, until now was the network's banner year.
Future cruise and travel credits retained
More than $88m in future cruise and future travel credits remain on the books for Signature members' clients. The network's tracking and marketing tools help advisors retain these bookings.
Alex Sharpe, president and CEO, noted that while COVID is not yet in the rear-view mirror, the remainder of 2021 and 2022 are looking much stronger than optimistic predictions of a year ago. He said plans formulated in the depths of the pandemic will ensure Signature advisors capture the earliest benefits of recovery and are well-positioned to ride strong into 2022 and beyond.
The conference will be detailing a host of technology tools and programs. In one major enhancement, Signature is introducing a consumer version of its cruise booking engine, SIG Cruise Pro.
Recognizing the growing demand for group travel on cruises, Signature further enhanced its 'Best Cruise Groups Program.' This includes offering more cruise group dates, always up-to-date pricing, enhanced amenities and more hosted groups.
Marketing support from NCLH brands
Introducing speaker Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Sharpe credited 'his courageous work that helped expedite this safe cruise restart,' adding: 'The NCLH brands have led the way by continuing to market with and through us the past 20 months. There is a direct correlation between these marketing investments and Signature members’ strong bookings of NCLH brands.'
Travel advisors needed 'now, more than ever'
'After months of fits and starts, the restart of the cruise industry has more momentum today than ever,' Del Rio said. 'Cruise lines are experiencing unprecedented demand despite the rules and regulations that can make travel today challenging. That’s why now, more than ever, clients will need to rely on the experience, expertise and advocacy that Signature’s travel advisors provide.'
Del Rio said travel advisors’ extensive experience and ability to personally engage with clients to 'articulate the extraordinary value and unique experiences that cruising provides is why it is essential to have our travel partners back at full strength.'
Since it's critical at this stage of recovery to hire new advisors and rehire those laid off at the start of the pandemic, Sharpe said Signature has added specific training for these advisors.
Some 1,142 advisors are attending the Las Vegas event, including 406 first-time attendees. In addition, 589 of Signature's preferred partners are on hand.