March 11, 2010

Cunard Sale set to be annual event

This report was on:

Cunard chiefs are looking to make the Cunard Sale an annual event after revealing that this year’s promotion brought in higher yields and stronger support from agents.

The three-month promotion, which ended on February 28, was the second the brand has run.

It was modelled on the famous Harrods Sale and offered various reductions which included savings of up to £300. Transatlantic crossings onboard the Queen Mary 2 started at £899.

Cunard head of marketing Richard Curtis said better advance sales meant the line went into this year’s promotion more than 10% better sold.

This meant it could keep prices higher than those of its first campaign, when transatlantic sailings were offered from £699. He estimated that as a result, yields were at least 10% higher this year, with transatlantic sailings and Cunard’s 2011 world cruises selling particularly well.

“What we are seeing is that the Cunard Sale has captured people’s imagination,” he said. “They are now looking out for it and waiting
to book.”

Curtis also praised the strong support this year’s campaign had attracted from the trade.

“The response from agents was even greater than before and I think this was because it was the second year,” he said.

“The sales message is simple, and that makes it easy for agents to engage in and communicate to their customers.”

Curtis said Cunard would launch more promotions later this year, although details have yet to be confirmed. A key focus will be the launch of the Queen Elizabeth on October 11, and details of its maiden voyage are due to be unveiled “soon”.

The line is continuing to push its agent training packs, launched at the end of 2009 with 10,000 distributed to retailers. It is also planning to repeat a poster promotion which showcased the benefits of the Cunard ships aimed at counter staff

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