APT unveils new incentive programme for travel agents

Escorted tour and cruise operator APT has unveiled a three-part incentive programme for travel agents called ‘Book today and sail away’.

Paul Melinis, UK and Europe managing director, announced the trade reward scheme during a Travel Weekly webcast, saying it is a “thank you” for the support of agent partners over the past two years.

The first element of the scheme offers Love to Shop vouchers as rewards for bookings.

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Any bookings for May and June departures on the Croatian yacht Princess Eleganza receive a £50 voucher.

Vouchers worth £25 are available for making a booking for the new river cruise vessel Travelmarvel Vega, which has a balcony sale running; the 14-night Magnificent Europe APT cruise, which has a buy-one-get-one-free promotion; and the Rocky Mountaineer upgrade on a Travelmarvel holiday in Canada.

Melinis said the vouchers were chosen as rewards after the operator polled agents to find out their preferences.

The second element is ‘book three and sail for free’, offering a holiday of up to seven nights on Travelmarvel Vega as a reward for making three bookings from the firm’s balcony sale for the new ship.

That reward was developed after 250 agents visited the ship during Clia’s recent conference in Budapest and asked about opportunities to sail in the vessel.

The third element is the ‘friends and family offer’ which features special rates of £499 for agents to take a cruise, plus special offers for their friends and family to join them on Travelmarvel Vega or Princess Eleganza.

More: Brad Bennetts to join APT as sales and business development head

APT sees ‘healthy’ rise in Asia river cruise bookings ahead of Vietnam reopening

“Part three is really a celebration for the trade,” said Melinis.

“Seventy-five percent of our sales come from the retail arena and that’s not going to change anytime soon. We’re super proud of that.

“It’s all about saying thank you to travel partners really, that have been behind us for the last two years [and] have helped us every step of the way.

“Hopefully they feel that we’ve done the same for them.

“APT and Travelmarvel, the way that we sell ourselves is to say that we are such an easy company to do business with.

“We’re friendly, we’re open, and we offer the best value for money and also the rewards to match.”

He told the webcast that “the feelgood factor” is coming back to the market, with sales recovering almost to 2019 levels and “fantastic” prices and deals for customers.

The operator is also on a recruitment drive, adding to the team that will welcome Brad Bennetts, who moves from easyJet Holidays next month to become APT’s head of sales and business development.

“Everybody knows Brad, he’s a likeable chap. He’s very experienced, and he understands the luxury sector,” said Melinis.

“In Brad, we found a great leader, and someone who’s going to take our retail space to the next level.”

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