Preferred Supplier Spotlight: Linda Thompson, Norwegian Cruise Line
Written by: Amanda Bailey on January 11, 2017
Linda Thompson, our Business Development Manager with Norwegian Cruise Line, has been helping others develop their travel businesses for nearly 25 years.
She started off as a travel agent herself in Youngstown, Ohio. Coincidentally, she worked with Cheryl Hudak, who is now the Regional Director of Sales with The Mark Travel Corp.
From there, she started doing bus tours, which were primarily day trips to casinos and other regional attractions. She remembers launching Brown Bag tours, in which passengers would get a different unique gift at every stop.
In 2001, Linda began a nine-year stretch in the cruise industry as BDM with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity and then Azamara Cruises. For four years after that, she brought her expertise to land-based travel as BDM for Travel Impressions.
Since the beginning of 2015, she’s been educating and helping our agents grow their sales with Norwegian Cruise Line. Her dedication has paid off; in December, she received Norwegian’s Best of the Best award for Eastern Region BDMs for 2016. She credits and thanks all the KHM Travel Agents that supported her with sales in 2016.
Her favorite part of working with KHM Travel Group is the family atmosphere we’ve developed with both agents and suppliers.
“They truly want to see their agents become successful,” she says. “KHM Travel understands relationships, and they use that to benefit all of their agents.”
For those who want to grow their cruise sales with Norwegian, knowing the cruise line’s Freestyle Cruising program and the “Free at Sea” promotion is key. Norwegian’s sales have skyrocketed, and right now, the line is in its best position in its 47-year history.
The growth is due to the commitment Norwegian has made to the Travel Agent community, along with the cruise line offering one of the most value-added promotions in the industry for agents to sell.
“Our Free at Sea promotion is a hit, and if you’re not selling it, someone else is,” she adds. “Norwegian designed it, perfected it, and clients absolutely love it.”
The Free at Sea options bring cruisers closer to an all-inclusive experience, and on the Sky last year, Norwegian introduced the first truly all-inclusive cruise vacation.
In addition, Norwegian offers great programs for families, weddings and groups, for those with special needs, and will also be debuting sailings to Cuba in May 2017. Stay tuned for more information on the their new ship, the Norwegian Bliss, coming in 2018. After inaugurals on the East and West coasts, she will make Seattle her home port. Current KHM Travel Agents can learn more about our partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line in their Portal here.
Linda will also be on our 2017 Crystal Conference and Awards cruise in a few weeks, and is looking forward to connecting with many of our agents during our largest event to date!
Learn more about getting your travel career started by downloading our free Travel Agent Information Guide. Just fill out the form on the right side of the screen or call 1-888-611-1220 to request it.