More than 10 years of experience in the cruise industry and several years as a frontline travel advisor provides Cherie Bowman with solid footing to lead the new home-based travel advisor network, LUXE by itravel. As exclusively revealed by LATTE last week, itravel Managing Director Steve Labroski has recruited the cruise expert to head his new luxury division in the position of Head of Product, and LUXE by itravel.
Labroski unveiled his new standalone high-end business model last month at Virtuoso AU/NZ Forum — the newest member of the luxury travel network. The invitation-only LUXE by itravel brand has already pulled across six itravel advisors, so far, along with a new face to the team – an experienced home-based agent for many years with a rival network. Labroski expects the number of dedicated advisors within LUXE by itravel will swell to 20-odd in the next two years.
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Bowman’s 10.5 years of on-the-road sales experience in the cruise segment include cutting her teeth initially with ‘big ships’ under the former Carnival Corporation Australia business model (Carnival Cruise Lines, P&O, Princess, Cunard and P&O UK) before focusing on the standalone Princess Cruises brand. Her career then moved to a luxury focus with Scenic, including river cruising and Scenic Eclipse, where she spent 4.5 years, followed by a stint just shy of four years with Lindblad Expeditions. Those roles provided Bowman with the “privilege” to cruise in destinations including Alaska, the Mekong, Bordeaux, and most recently, West Papua and Indonesia last October.
Prior to her cruise-centric roles, Bowman had spent several years in a consultant capacity with Flight Centre and Escape Travel.
Bowman told LATTE she was excited to have the opportunity to join itravel and work alongside Labroski, and the entire head office team and advisors, during the business’s next phase of growth.
“It’s exciting to have someone want to leverage off your skillset and your knowledge after over a decade behind the desk and out on the road, especially with cruise, which has become my speciality over the years – the big ships, the river ships and with my years of expedition as well.”
“I’m really excited to help develop the LUXE by itravel brand from the get-go,” she said.
Bowman’s experience in the luxury space with Scenic and her understanding of how the partnership side of Virtuoso works and the benefits for members and suppliers – Lindblad Expeditions is a Virtuoso Preferred cruise operator – made her a “natural choice,” Labroski told LATTE.
“Not only am I bringing to the table the supplier relationship side, but I’ve also had the experience as an advisor and I have a firm understanding of where Virtuoso fits into the picture and where we can take the LUXE by itravel brand with the Virtuoso partnership. I’m very excited for what lies ahead,” Bowman concluded.