Emmanuel Joly, Royal Caribbean's group commercial director in Spain, spoke with Cruecero10 about issues and product developments in Spain's cruise market.
Royal Caribbean Spain is based in Barcelona and has positioned the largest ship in the Mediterranean for this season, the Liberty of the Seas. Emmanuel Joly explains the particularities of the cruise giant, which has dramatically grown from one in Spain's market, becoming one of the leading brands in the sector, but there's still a lot of work left.
What advantage does Royal Caribbean have over your competition? Why would you recommend one of your future cruises to passengers?
On Royal Caribbean we have always differentiated by going further than the other cruise lines. Our commitment to constant innovation and want to stay one step ahead of the rest has allowed us to become the shipping industry benchmark of the cruise.
The experiences you can live aboard our ships make us unique. In no other company can climb, ice skate at sea or surf a wave in the Mediterranean Sea infinite.
Royal Caribbean would recommend to any passenger of any age because we are the only shipping company that has a cruise for everyone, regardless of age or type of holiday you want and the company's innovative vessels offer a multitude of facilities and activities with each member of the family gets to live a unique vacation experience. In addition, all those who have never done a cruise and would like to try it, I assure you would come not only satisfied but pleasantly surprised.
We are most proud are the opinions of our Spanish passengers: 9 out of 10 we recommend, and 8.5 in 10 to sail with us again. This is the best guarantee we can offer.
The offer of Mediterranean cruises is enormous. How well are the revenues this year compared to previous ones in the Mediterranean? Are targets are being met or not by now?
So far in 2011 the reserves are evolving more than favorable, so we are satisfied with the development they are having. We are in line with our ambitious goals in Spain. One of the significant data that leads to this prediction, are also anticipated sales, which have experienced significant growth over the previous year.
The incorporation of Valencia as a port of embarkation of the Adventure of the Seas and the arrival of the largest ship in the Mediterranean, the Liberty of the Seas, the port of Barcelona, have contributed to this year's growth curve 2011 and a healthy reserve.
And in the rest of Europe?
It is true that the Mediterranean has been the place where we have very strong lately, but we also see a lot of interest in more remote areas, confirming that the Spanish public not only makes cruises from Spain, but is encouraged to try more advanced products and exotic.
The outlook for the rest of Europe are also positive and our aim is to promote Northern Europe with 7-night cruises through the fjords, Baltic and the midnight sun and cruise from Venice and the Adriatic, the Greek Isles and Holy Land. We have new programming at these destinations for 2012, and we offer all the facilities to be easy access to ports of embarkation, from regular flights to charter their own. We know these destinations work fine in 2012 naturally.
The product "cruise" is the one that continues to grow in the tourism sector in Spain, but travel agencies struggle to survive the general financial crisis. Your company is committed to the sole travel agency sales channel or other types of channels to market their products? What tools / benefits you offer to travel agencies?
Royal Caribbean offers an excellent product based on three pillars: innovation, quality entertainment and service, these values are that we are growing all the travel agencies, and Royal Caribbean is one of the brands preferred by consumers. In a recent study we conducted more than 1,000 agencies, Royal Caribbean is positioned as the recommended brand on the market in Spanish travel agencies. We have no words of thanks to the travel agencies that have been, are and will remain our distribution channel, which has bet heavily on us from the start and that allowed us to be today one of the largest companies in the Spanish market, something it was almost unthinkable not more than 5 years.
Royal Caribbean has no other channel's own travel agency, in its physical or virtual.
The agencies we offer, plus a good product, a commercial and reservations departments considered among the best in the industry, always ready to advise, assist and answer questions. Also a website, only for professionals, agile and modern.
Do you think what is important online communication to reach your customers?
At Royal Caribbean we understand the importance of online communication and with it we get a more direct, close and personal with our customers. Something that we are getting and that allows us to be aware of the concerns of our cruise and meet your needs almost immediately.
There is much talk that the new era of "Communication 2.0", Social Networks, etc ... What does your company in the world 2.0?
We are present on Twitter, and Facebook, tools that allow us to track direct and personal users. These tools not only to detect the needs of our cruise, but also that they create a community where they exchange views. We also have a Youtube channel where we show the different services and activities of our company. And this is only the beginning. We have prepared big surprises in this sense that we will reveal soon!