Virgin Voyages revamps trade reward scheme

Virgin Voyages has redesigned its agent reward programme to include more experiential prizes in a bid to deepen the line’s relationship with the trade.

The programme, called First Mates Rewards, was launched a year ago and featured predominantly cash incentives for bookings.

However, after running a survey asking agents what they would most like to have as a reward, the cruise line has redesigned the programme and split its reward types into three categories: Instantly Red, VIP Exclusive and Epic.

Instantly Red will provide agents who have achieved something new, such as logging their first booking or completing a training session, with an instant reward such as a lifestyle voucher or lunch out.

VIP Exclusive is a booking-led incentive that will reward top-performing agents with experiential trips, such as a place on an Australia sailing, while the Epic rewards category aims to provide agents with “money‑can’t-buy experiences”.

Shane Lewis-Riley, vice-president of sales, said the line had invested 50% more into the new agent reward programme, adding that it differentiates itself from schemes run by other lines as it has a “Virgin twist”.

“We asked agents what the most important element of a business partner is and to rank us against it and found agents quite liked being paid per booking, but that they really wanted more experiential rewards,” he said.

“We had conversations with a selection of our First Mates and ran through the idea of investing more money in different experiences, and the feedback was
very positive.

“This new system will give agents more touchpoints with our sales team and means we will be able to build deeper relationships with the trade.

“We were running traditional cash booking incentives, because that’s what other lines in the sector were doing, but now we have put our own Virgin twist on it, which sets us apart.

“We can’t wait to provide agents with incredible, money-can’t-buy experiences.”

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