by Natasha Salmon
Royal Caribbean International’s decision to extend a free Wi-Fi promotion to the trade has been welcomed, but the 10-day limit has been questioned.
From tomorrow (November 18), agents will be able to offer customers free Wi-Fi on selected European and Dubai sailings of six nights or more between January 1 and October 28, 2017. The promotion ends on November 28.
The offer was previously only available to customers who booked direct for a six-week test period, prompting complaints from agents, although the line said it always planned to roll it out to the trade.
Denise Hodgson, a partner at Travel the World 2 in Cheshire, welcomed the move but said the promotion seemed ‘unbalanced’.
“This would have been more welcome if it had come to agents in the first place. How will they be able to compare? If this is still part of the test, it is unbalanced as it is not running for the same period.”
Ben Bouldin, Royal sales director, stood by the promotion, saying: “I said from day one it was a test and we would offer it to the trade. It is for just 10 days, but if successful it will be considered for future campaigns and run for longer. If it works really well it could become a more mainstream part of our campaigns.”
Bouldin added: “Our research shows connectivity is an absolute priority for holidaymakers.
“We have just launched our November campaign and we thought the free Wi-Fi would be a good overlay before we head into a strong selling period around Thanksgiving and Black Friday.”
Royal’s November promotion includes a 25% discount on 2017 European and Dubai sailings, up to $400 onboard spend and low deposits from £25 per person.