How Are Travel Agents Selling Fathom?
Photo courtesy of Fathom
Fathom, the first cruise line dedicated to social impact travel, is not your everyday pleasure cruise. The excursions are there, the amenities are there, but the focus of a Fathom trip is not so much on what it does for you as what it allows you to do for others. The onboard activities focus on self-exploration and empowerment, the excursions (apart from the requisite ziplining and snorkeling) focus on service in the community, whether teaching English or helping a cooperative of women recycle paper.
Because of the focus on service, finding that client who might be a perfect fit could seem like a tall order for travel agents. But that’s what travel agents do best. Onboard Adonia’s maiden sailing for Fathom cruise lines, several agents were scoping out the new product and trying to take that crucial next step of identifying the perfect client for a Fathom cruise.
Christopher Donaldson of Extreme Travels in Memphis Tennessee foresees the service aspect of Fathom being a great way to sell travel to Greek organizations and church groups looking to take mission trips.
“Being from Memphis, there’s a church on every corner, so I’ll be talking to a lot of people about this,” he said.
Florian and Jean Royack of FloJea Travel in Tampa echoed Donelson’s thoughts on church groups, pointing to a number of large church groups nearby they are already working with. Interestingly enough, given the line’s heavy marketing toward the millennial traveler, their next big market would be connections of theirs at the Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club.
“There’s a group called the Happy Travelers, 55 and up and very active. For them, getting to go into the classrooms and get into the communities and see the families, it would be right up their alley,” said Jean.
“For them, it’s like getting to visit grandkids,” added Florian.
In addition, the Royacks mentioned student organizations as another potential client for Fathom cruises. Lending credence to this was the presence onboard of Dr. Ray Ann Havasy of the Center for Science Teaching & Learning.
“The Dominican government has been putting less and less of an emphasis on science education, so I’m here seeing if this would be a good fit to bring students along on sort of an exchange trip,” she said.
Nikki Sacks, with Travel by Nikki, said she was still trying to figure out exactly what might be the ideal client for Fathom, but she did issue one word of caution for agents.
“This might not be a good fit for military veterans. A lot of the seminars deal in some self-exploration that really dives into some deep issues,” said Sacks, whose son was injured by an IED in Iraq. “This might not be the place for that.”
And even though each agent was looking at a particular niche that might enjoy a trip on Adonia to the DR or Cuba, across the board it seems that the Fathom experience might cut across demographics. It’s not just for millennials, or seniors or families. Being a completely new product in the cruising space, it could even bring in those travelers with a view to service who hadn’t considered a cruise before.
READ MORE: Fathom: The ‘Love in Action’ Line Launches
So while the line places a heavy emphasis on millennial travelers looking for that next Instagrammable moment, and has been pushing Fathom as a family line on the road, agents have once again shown their ingenuity in finding even more travelers who might be able to take advantage of the chance to make an impact while they travel.
More by Barry Kaufman
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