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2017 Jun 09

MSC's 'big step forward' with Masters training platform

The MSC Masters programme, which will go live in September, is set to offer travel consultants training modules on the line’s fleet and itineraries as well as service and products, including onboard technology platform MSC For Me.

Steve Williams, director of sales, told TTG the creation of MSC Masters was a “big step forward for us in educating the trade on all we have to offer”.

Speaking onboard MSC Meraviglia ahead of the ship’s christening, Williams said the vessel was evidence that MSC had “massively upped [its] game” regarding its product offering for agents.

More than 200 UK agents were invited onboard Meraviglia in Le Havre over the weekend.

The 5,714-passenger vessel will be based in the Mediterranean during summer 2017, offering two visits to Southampton, which Williams said were “a great opportunity” for the trade, with the line planning agent ship tours while the vessel is in port.

Antonio Paradiso, managing director UK and Ireland, said that Meraviglia was already proving to be “one of the best-selling ships for the UK” for MSC this year, accounting for around 20% of sales.

Williams added that the restructuring of MSC’s UK sales team since he joined the line from Royal Caribbean in October had been “critical”, with the team expanding from 5 to 15 in eight months. Williams said he believed their knowledge would help MSC continue to nurture its trade relationships and build brand awareness in the UK, which he admitted was “lower than we would want it to be”.

“The point of having a sales team is to help build the brand and partnerships with the trade because it’s agents who will get us to where we need to be,” he stressed. “We’ve got 11 new ships coming [by 2026] and they won’t be filled through Italy, Spain, France alone. We need the UK and Ireland.

“Yes we were hitting cruise specialists, but we’re also really focusing on getting that message out to the high street too and making sure we’re in regular contact with our trade partners.”

Source: www.ttgmedia.com

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