Hebridean International CruisesHebridean International Cruises will pay its top-selling agents £2,000 if they meet their January and February 2007 sales targets.

The announcement was made at the Hebridean Elite fourth anniversary event when Elite agents and their partners spent three nights aboard Hebridean Spirit, berthed in Muscat and Fujairah.

Sales and marketing director Peter Williams handed unsigned cheques to representatives of the 21 agencies present with a promise to sign them if the targets were met.

“We would be delighted to sign all these cheques,” said Williams. “We believe offering monetary rewards in a tangible programme will help further motivate the agents to reach their sales targets.”

The incentive, called ‘cheque it out’, applies to sales for the 96-berth Hebridean Spirit. Targets will be set for each agency before Christmas.

Revenue generated by Elite agents for 2006 has grown 29% year on year, said Williams, and now accounts for 16% of sales, up from 11% in 2005.

“The level of sales the agents have generated for us this year is fantastic,” stressed Williams.

“It reinforces the vital role they play in selling Hebridean cruises. We look forward to seeing further growth in 2007.”

Hebridean Spirit operated at 64% occupancy this year with 70% predicted for 2007, while Hebridean Princess had 85% occupancy, with 89% predicted for 2007. Both have operated above expectation.

Publicity following the Queen’s birthday charter contributed to this success, said Williams, and the closure of previous competitor Swan Hellenic had been “fantastic news for us”.

He encouraged agents to promote Hebridean to past Swan Hellenic customers, and to order materials for a mail-out campaign in January, for which the cruiseline has pledged to pay half of agents’ postage costs.

Setting sail

Hebridean Spirit will be in the Mediterranean in summer 2007 and will visit the Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Algeria and Rome for the first time.

The May 22 departure includes two days at the Monaco Grand Prix with Murray Walker. Hebridean Princess will continue to sail the Scottish islands in the summer and returns to Norway with three new itineraries.