Former CroisiEurope Executive Vice President of Sales Nicola Iannone has joined Riviera River Cruises, formerly Riviera Travel, as its new vice president of sales.
Iannone, a travel industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience, starts in his new position this week, joining a team that is hoping to channel Riviera’s U.K. success into big U.S. business.
“We're going to bring back the traditional river cruise experience,” Iannone told TMR. “We are the five-star experience with the premier price of a four-star.”
Iannone, who has held sales positions with Alitalia, Costa Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, MSC Cruises, and CrosiEurope in the past, will now build a new sales team to help Riviera succeed with travel agents.
“I have relationships with the trade. Without those relationships, you don’t go anywhere. That is the key,” he told TMR. “I personally, strongly, want to move Riviera into a direction of being the best and most loyal partner.”
“You will have our full attention. We will offer A-to-Z, five-star service, all totally dedicated to the trade,” Iannone added.
For Riviera, the move is another step toward its ultimate goal of U.S. success.
“Nicola brings a wealth of experience having worked for over 20 years with European cruise lines in the U.S. market, as well as innovative sales, marketing and educational strategies,” said Ben Hitchcock, sales and marketing director for Riviera Travel, which is now the parent company of Riviera River Cruises.
Riviera Travel has more than 30 years of experience selling travel. The company got its start as a land tour operator and launched its first river cruise product in 2009. Eight years later, Riviera sports 12 ships, five of them launched in just the past 15 months.
The travel supplier officially entered the U.S. market earlier this year when it opened an American call center and launched a U.S. website in April.
Riviera Travel offers agents a lifetime commission incentive: once an agent has booked a client with Riviera, each subsequent booking made by that client will earn the agent commission, no matter how far into the future the booking is made.