From Vicki Freed
I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Dubai onboard Brilliance of the Seas. Describing the adventure my family and I had in the crossroads of futuristic advances and historical tradition truly deserves its own entry, so I’m hoping Adam will invite me back to share the incredible details of my voyage in another guest blog. Dubai truly is a destination for the well-traveled explorer who wants to embark on a one-of-a-kind journey to a culturally fascinating international destination.
But enough about that. This is absolutely my favorite month here at the office. Why? Because we’re celebrating our 5th annual Travel Agent Appreciation Month! Throughout April, we at Royal Caribbean take time to recognize and thank one of the most important secrets to our success – travel agents.
Having been in the travel industry for the past 30 years (ouch! Am I really that old?), I have seen the value of travel agents grow substantially. At the age of 21 I realized how important they were then, but they’re even more important now. Travelers today have more access to information via the internet, making the travel agent role even more critical. As my teenage son would say, it’s a classic case of “TMI” (too much information). This influx causes an overload and leads to consumer confusion.
Travel agents, therefore, are value interpreters. Finding the right “fit” for the consumer is their specialty, taking the time to get to know their customers personally and creating vacation packages tailored to the interests, needs and budgets of their guests. Travel agents deliver memories to last a lifetime to many people, every day. For them it’s all in a day’s work, in my opinion that’s what defines a hero.
I personally want to thank our travel agent partners for everything they do for us and for our industry. We could not be successful without them. They keep us afloat year after year and I speak for the company as a whole when I say their passion, loyalty, feedback and innovative ideas are sincerely valued. Each year they continue to surprise me with new and innovative ways to sell cruising and inspire me with their positive energy, go-getter attitude and win-it-all spirit.
This is a relationship business. I can truly say that the best part of my job is having had the privilege of building very special personal relationships with so many travel agents over the years. I have watched the industry grow and change and I am excited to see where it goes from here.
We are committed to providing the best travel agent service in the industry and openly welcome thoughts and suggestions on how we can continue to be the easiest in the industry to do business with. Travel agents, keep up the great work! You truly are heroes – to us and to our guests! Remember, this month is all about YOU – enjoy it!