Sergi Ruiz of RIU Hotels and Resorts // © 2014 Riu Hotels and Resorts
Riu Hotels and Resorts recently launched its first-ever travel agent specialist program, designed to strengthen the brand’s connection with travel agents while providing them with better tools to sell Riu properties in Mexico, North and Central America and the Caribbean.
According the Sergi Ruiz, vice president of business development and partner marketing for Riu, more than 1,000 travel agents earned certification through the program the week it launched.
“It’s a fact that clients want a travel agent with a credible background, someone who can validate that what looks great actually is great,” Ruiz said. “The Riu Specialist Program gives travel agents that background.”
The program consists of six chapters on different topics, including Riu’s three brands: Riu Classic, Riu Palace and Riu Plaza. Participants will also learn about special property features and receive key facts from each Riu destination. There’s a multiple-choice exam at the end of each chapter.
“It is very easy to follow and very visual,” said Ruiz. “You actually have a lot of fun doing it.”
Travel agents complete the course independently via the online Riu Specialist Campus, a website designed specifically for the training program. The course takes about one hour.
“Any travel agent can log in and start the program via our online campus,” said Ruiz. “If the agent is already part of the Riu Partner Club, the registration process takes only a few seconds. If not, they will need to complete a very simple form. Once the agent becomes a student of Riu Specialist Campus, the next step is earning the Riu Specialist Diploma.”
Graduates also receive a digital welcome kit and a certificate for a complimentary two-night stay at one of a select group of Riu properties. Riu specialists also receive updates on renovations, openings, promotions and incentives.
Riu has been connecting with travel agents for years through the Riu Partner Club, a travel agency loyalty program with more than 25,000 U.S. travel agent subscribers.
“Our company has 60 years of experience, plus a consistent product at the best value in the marketplace,” said Ruiz. “We also have properties in multiple destinations — always in the best beach locations — and this new certification program is the perfect tool to get to know Riu’s offerings.”