Last month, Expedition cruise company Hurtigruten appointed longtime cruise industry executive Angel Moledo as the line’s new vice president of customer sales and service for the Americas.
In his new role, Moledo will look to support the travel agent and tour operator sales channel across the U.S., Canada, and Latin America, a “key region for growth,” Moledo said.
Moledo has been with the line since 2006, previously serving as the director of guest services and as the vice president of the customer sales center. In his new role, Moledo will be based in Seattle at Hurtigruten’s regional headquarters, making the move from Oslo, Norway, where he worked as the vice president of the customer sales center.
Moledo took some time recently to talk to TMR about how the industry has changed, the role of travel agents, and what he learned working abroad.
How has the industry changed since you got your start 20-plus years ago? What positives do you see? What negatives?
I believe the wide variety of destinations available to consumers today has increased significantly especially in the expedition market providing unique travel opportunities. The positives are the ease of travel agents finding unique expedition cruise destinations to meet their client’s needs and expectations. There are a great deal of cruise companies and increasing brand awareness in a saturated market can be challenging.
How do you see the role of travel agents in today’s environment? How do you hope to develop your relationship with the trade?
The travel agent’s role is of great importance to Hurtigruten’s growth and strategic direction. Our portfolio of products is very exciting and provides travel agents with a unique product and destinations for their clients. I hope to develop a very good relationship with our travel trade to ensure we understand their expectations, and to take immediate action to meet those expectations. Having worked for a travel agency, I understand the importance of supporting trades to meet their client’s needs in an efficient manner while making Hurtigruten easy to do business with.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned during your time working in Oslo? What kind of influence do you think that experience will have now that you’re back in the U.S.?
Working in Oslo provided the opportunity to work with colleagues in all aspects of the business — both on land and at sea. It was beneficial to understand the full scope of the business and all the interdependencies between departments. Now back in the U.S., I can bring that valued experience to enhance the quality of service provided by the U.S. team, and continue to build confidence with our valued travel partners.