Success Story: A small team making big waves at Windstar
Windstar Cruises offers its customers a real sailing experience, aboard one of its elegant and intimate ships.
With a small team in the UK, the cruise line was looking for support in getting its messages out there and to increase brand awareness within the travel trade. OTT were on hand, almost like a second member of the team to turbo charge communications and training.
In 2021 the line added its first course to OTT’s platform and offered agents a superb incentive to win a place on a FAM trip aboard one of the ships, Star Breeze.
OTT spoke to Anna Perrott, Windstar Cruises’ business development manager for UK and Ireland…
Tell us about your relationship with OTT and why you chose to partner with us?
OTT really does offer such a valuable tool for a small team, such as us here at Windstar Cruises. Using OTT has meant we have been able to easily and efficiently get our message out to the travel agent community and educate them through the platform on what makes a Windstar Cruise so special.
What barriers do you face in the market and how did OTT help you with this?
Our biggest challenge as mentioned is that being a small team with limited resources it is just not possible to travel all over the country and engage with the level of agents and partners we would want to. So having the OTT platform that can do the initial training for us, frees us up to be able to prioritise face-to-face engagement with agent visits. This meant we could have a blended approach with both remote and in person training.
What was your main aim for the course?
One of our main aims for 2022 was to get travel agents onboard the ships. We know that first-hand experiences are one of the best tools we can give our trade partners.
What was great was that OTT gave us the opportunity to reach a wider audience and agencies that were not necessarily already working with us.
How did you use OTT to build awareness/engagement with the agents for both Windstar as a brand and the FAM trip?
Utilising the marketing tools available through OTT we were able to promote our course to a more diverse database, as well as spread the message about the familiarisation opportunity by offering a prize draw to attend for all agents who completed our course.
The data OTT were able to provide regarding the agents who had successfully completed the course meant we were ensuring that highly engaged agents were attending the FAM trip.
Was the response as you expected?
We had a really great response, not only from course completion numbers but also identifying new agents with an interest in Windstar Cruises who we may not have known about otherwise.
We know from our course analytics that 50.1% of agents who viewed the course were new to OTT and Windstar Cruises – this really shows there’s demand for training on both the brand and small-ship cruising post-pandemic.
OTT offers a great way to reach out to travel professionals who may not be familiar with you brand.
Anna Perrott, Windstar Cruises’ business development manager for UK and Ireland.
“Working with OTT is a pleasure, a fantastic agent training platform which is fun and engaging as well as reaching agents we would not normally reach.”
Priti Gadhia, OTT senior account manager.
“Windstar have been great to work with. For such a small team they are very effective, and we are really pleased"