As the demand for cruising amongst Australian travellers increases, so too does the need for Travel Counsellors to be equipped with the best knowledge and resources to help their customers choose the right cruise product.
Introducing Jane Tanti, cruising extraordinaire! Jane joined the local team as the Cruise Executive, brought on to help drive cruise focus and help to grow Travel Counsellors businesses by promoting cruise holidays. Two years on, Jane has played a pivotal role in transforming partnerships with suppliers and Travel Counsellors’ overall position in the cruise market.
After 40 years in the industry and over 55 cruises under her belt, we chatted to Jane to learn more about her experience, her favourite types of cruises and what she loves about Travel Counsellors…
You’ve been in the industry for some time, can you tell us about your background in cruising?
It’s no secret that I love cruising and I’ve been very fortunate to have had a long and wonderful career in the industry. I’ve worked for Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line - who then became World's Leading Cruise Lines, incorporating Cunard, Seabourn, Carnival Cruise Line, and Costa Cruise Lines. I also worked for Cruise Office who were the GSA for Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Voyages of Antiquity, Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic and American Queen Steamboat Company. And most recently, I worked in Sales at Viking River Cruises – a style of cruising that is taking Australia by storm.
What is it that you love about cruising?
Everything. I especially love the days at sea, relaxing with a good book and watching the world go by. You can visit many destinations and countries with minimum effort - Simply get onboard, unpack your bag once, relax and as you are taken to the various ports to explore at your leisure.
Once the choice of an older demographic, the variety of ships and cruise lines on offer are now appealing to a younger market. Once you have cruised it becomes an addiction, and you long for more!
After China, Australia is the fastest growing market in the world for cruise. What do you think is driving that trend?
Local cruising has given Australians a taste of the best value for money holidays and the word is spreading. The many ships now visiting our waters has added publicity to the world of cruising, and the different lines cater to all market demographics.
What’s your favourite type of cruise?
Luxury all the way. I recently went on Silversea’s Silver Muse and it was an out-of-this-world experience.
Are you a member of any industry boards or cruise organisations?
I am a member of SKAL. I completed my ICCA Cruise Accreditation in 2001 - ICCA was the precursor of CLIA, which we are familiar with today.
What initiatives have you introduced to support Travel Counsellors?
Our in-house channel TSeaTV came about because we had so many suppliers that were keen to communicate with Travel Counsellors. It’s been such a success! By encouraging Travel Counsellors to get themselves out to training days, ship inspections and expos to meet their BDM, I’ve helped to demonstrate the importance and value of building relationships with the industry. It’s had a really positive effect in many ways; the confidence to sell a cruise, how to cross-sell or upsell and deal with some of the issues that can impact a cruise holiday. Cruise sales at Travel Counsellors are up by 35% from last year! I’ve also arranged many famils for Travel Counsellors so that they can experience the ships themselves (everyone loves a famil!)
What do you love about your role at Travel Counsellors?
I came out of retirement to work at Travel Counsellors. I’d been feeling that I wasn’t quite done being involved in travel, and then the opportunity to make a difference a Travel Counsellors presented itself, so I jumped at it. I’m so glad I did too – I am having a ball in this role!
My own set of values is what attracted me to Travel Counsellors. I believe so fully in the model - the everlasting power of personal relationships to drive repeat and referral business between agents and their customers.
In any industry, but in particular the travel industry, relationships are so important. For over 40 years, I have worked hard to establish meaningful and lasting relationships with people in travel I’ve encountered. Many of the BDM’s and managers in the cruise industry are people I have worked with before, and it’s been so wonderful to have friends in many places who are so willing to support me in growing cruise for Travel Counsellors businesses.
To find out more about the support available to you as a Travel Counsellor, contact our recruitment team on 1300 889 123.