Travel Village Group unveils training and development academy

Travel Village Group has launched a training and development academy programme aimed at its homeworking business owners who are new to a particular sector or want to improve their skills.

The first in the series is the River Cruise Academy, which has a programme of training, support, fam trips and marketing help.

The river cruise academy has been created by business development manager Amanda Taylor and group commercial manager Richard Cross, who developed the concept after attending the Clia Riverview Conference in Amsterdam earlier this year.

Taylor said: “Richard and I were walking back from the event, chatting through how we could get more of our business owners selling river cruises.

“It is lucrative and a great alternative to coach touring, but, above all, still relatively new to the UK market and therefore not a product that is widely understood.”

The academy will run for six months from September to May 2025, offering face-to-face and virtual meetings, and training about brands, itineraries and systems.

There will also be the chance to join two fam trips during the six months and participants will host a local event, with the support of Travel Village Group and a river cruise operator.

The delegates will graduate in March 2025 at the Clia Riverview Conference.

Cross added: “This is a unique proposition in the industry. Aside from the individual cruise lines’ in-house training programmes, there is no immersive academy programme available.

“Our academy will lead business owners through a journey, enabling them to confidently introduce clients to river cruising, make bookings and be more confident when getting a river cruise enquiry.”

AMA Waterways, APT & APT Travelmarvel, Emerald & Scenic Cruises and Uniworld are supporting the academy, which will start with a launch day in September.

Brad Bennetts, head of sales and business development at APT & APT Travelmarvel, said: “As [TVG] is one of our most valued partners, we are aligned in our mission to inspire, educate and optimise the outstanding opportunities that river cruising has to offer.

“This travel style is one of the most compelling ways to explore the world, taking in life as it happens along the rivers, and immersing guests into the heart of each destination.

“Having had the opportunity to showcase our five-star Trustpilot-rated Travelmarvel Contemporary Ships at the CLIA Riverview Conference this year, the Travel Village Group team was able to see the quality of our fleet first-hand.”

Travel Village Group owners Phil and Paula Nuttall, said: “We are delighted to support such a great initiative which was born out of this year’s river cruise convention in Amsterdam.

“Amanda and Richard have identified an opportunity that is perfectly suited to our Holiday Village business owners and when they presented it to us both in Amsterdam we knew it was a winning formula.

“Everyone is invested emotionally and financially including our tour operator partners and that is a winning recipe to ensure we remain focused on the return on investment.”

Business owners pay a nominal fee to confirm their commitment to the academy in exchange for the opportunity.

The Travel Village Group will also launch academies for expedition, luxury and ocean cruising in addition to other holiday sectors.

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