Carnival Cruise Lines’ sales team is to hit the road for a training blitz.

The line will this month train 500 staff from 14 agencies as part of its Carnival Passport Live programme.

The US line already runs the programme online, but Iain Baillie, head of sales, said he understood the importance of face-to-face training and that it was some agencies’ preference.

“We are tailoring our Carnival Passport Live training, and five 
of our sales team will deliver face-to-face training,” he said.

The training involves workshops to provide agents with tips on who to sell to and how. Agents are then required to create a ‘support action plan’ for their branch.

Baillie urged agents interested in the training to email

Carnival is running a series of incentives with the trade to reward agents for sales. A recent prize draw led to 80 Tui agents attending Ladies’ Day at Ascot.

UK bookings in the first six months of 2014 were 61% up on the same period last year. Caribbean sales were 73% up on 2013, while bookings for balcony cabins rose 28%.

Baillie said more than half of bookings made by UK agents were for cabins with balconies, and part of the line’s training was to help agents upsell and upgrade customers to help boost margins.

The line introduced a business development manager in April, since when new business has accounted for 12% of bookings