Travel Village Group Launch River Cruise Academy As First Stage In Training & Development Academy Programme

Posted on: Thursday 16th May 2024 by Jess Clayton

As an award-winning, fourth-generation family business celebrating our 65th anniversary in 2024, we at Travel Village Group are excited to announce our new Training & Development Academy Programme. This initiative is designed for our business owners who are either new to a niche sector or looking to enhance their existing skills.

The first in our series is the ‘River Cruise Academy.’ This programme offers comprehensive training, support, educational FAM trips, and marketing for business owners, empowering them to increase their earning potential and encourage new and existing clients to experience river cruising.

The River Cruise Academy is the brainchild of our Business Development Manager, Amanda Taylor, and Group Commercial Manager, Richard Cross. They came up with the idea while attending the CLIA Riverview Conference in Amsterdam earlier this year.

Amanda shared,

Following the recent CLIA Riverview Conference in Amsterdam, Richard and I were walking back from the event, discussing how we could get more of our business owners to sell river cruises. It’s lucrative, a great alternative to coach touring, but above all, still relatively new to the UK market and not widely understood.

Running for six months from September 2024 to May 2025, the Academy will feature a variety of face-to-face and virtual meetings to help business owners fully understand the river cruise product, brand, itineraries, and systems training. Additionally, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in two educational FAM trips, fully immersing themselves in the product. They will also host a local event with our support and a River Cruise operator. The delegates will graduate in March 2025 at the CLIA Riverview Conference.

Richard Cross added,

This is a unique proposition in the industry. Aside from the individual cruise lines’ in-house training programmes, there is no immersive academy programme available. Our academy will guide business owners through a journey, enabling them to confidently introduce clients to river cruising, make bookings, and handle inquiries with confidence.

The programme, fully supported by four River Cruise lines, will kick off with a launch day in September. A full pathway and supplier commitment programme blending brand insights, destination training, marketing collateral, engagement, and support will ensue. AMA Waterways, APT & APT Travelmarvel, Emerald & Scenic Cruises, and Uniworld have all signed up to be involved with the Academy.

Brad Bennetts, Head of Sales & Business Development – APT & APT Travelmarvel said,

We are so excited to be the first river cruise operator to sign up to Travel Village Group River Cruise Academy. As one of our most valued partners, we are aligned in our mission to inspire, educate and optimise the outstanding opportunities that river cruising has to offer. This travel style is one of the most compelling ways to explore the world, taking in life as it happens along the rivers, and immersing guests into the heart of each destination. Having had the opportunity to showcase our five-star Trustpilot-rated Travelmarvel Contemporary Ships at the CLIA Riverview Conference this year, the Travel Village Group team was able to see the quality of our fleet firsthand.

Ultimate Goal Is Growth

By the end of this Academy, our business owners will have extensive knowledge of the river cruise sector. To complete the academy they will run their own river cruising client event. Ultimately, they will be part of an elite group with expertise and knowledge of this lucrative and growing sector.

Phil and Paula Nuttall, the owners of Travel Village Group, expressed their support, saying,

We are delighted to support such a great initiative born out of this year’s river cruise convention in Amsterdam. Amanda and Richard have identified an opportunity perfectly suited to our Holiday Village business owners. When they presented it to us in Amsterdam, we knew it was a winning formula. Everyone is invested emotionally and financially, including our tour operator partners, and that is a winning recipe to ensure we remain focused on the return on investment.

Business owners will pay a nominal fee to confirm their commitment to the academy. This is in exchange for the opportunity to receive face-to-face support and training, educational FAM trip experiences, and the skills to become a River Cruise champion.

The River Cruise Academy will actually be the first in a series of academies we are launching. Expedition, luxury, and ocean cruising will be coming soon, in addition to other niche holiday sectors.

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