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Carnival Initiates Travel Agent Forum with Executives

August 27, 2008 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor

Travel executives from the U.S. and Canada joined Carnival Cruise Lines executives at the Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, FL earlier this week for the first meeting of the Carnival Executive Forum. The new forum will provide travel agents and Carnival executives opportunities to discuss issues relevant to the cruise industry, including product, sales and marketing policies, and distribution. The forum will meet twice a year during intensive two-day conferences with members serving two-year terms.

The travel agent executive forum will also provide Carnival management with a vehicle for enhancing their understanding of unique challenges faced by travel agents while looking for best-practice solutions that will benefit all parties involved.

“Travel agents are the largest and most vital part of our distribution system," said Lynn Torrent,  Carnival’s senior vice president of sales and guest experience. "And while Carnival has always enjoyed an excellent relationship with the travel agent community, this new executive forum offers an opportunity to enhance our dialogue with agents while seeking new ways to make them more  successful and profitable in today’s marketplace.”

The 19 travel agent members that comprise the Carnival Executive Forum were specifically chosen to represent a wide range of business models, including traditional “brick and mortar” agencies, home-based travel agents, consortia, and online retailers. Additionally, the members represent agencies of different sizes and from various regions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The  travel agent members include:

Roberta Christman of AAA Northern California

Brad Anderson of America’s Vacation Center

Sandy Cleary of Cru Con Outlet

Anthony Hamawy of

John Keen, a cruise consultant

Vicky Garcia of Cruise Planners

Michael Drever CruiseShipCenters

Ross Spalding of Cruise Value Center

Koreen Mcnutt of Expedia

Joyce Landry of Landry & Kling

Makis Xenatos of Liberty Travel

Jackie Friedman of Nexion

Ed Rudner of Online Vacation Center

Marcia Rowley of Our Vacation Center

Filomena Andre of Signature

Mark Jacobs of The Cruise Line Limited

Ken Lorey of Travelocity

Emerson Hankamer of Vacations to Go

David  Crooks of World Travel Holdings

Carnival executives participating in the forum include President and CEO Gerry Cahill, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Guest Experience Ruben Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Sales and Guest Experience Lynn Torrent, Vice President of Field Sales Joni Rein, and Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Edie Bornstein. Other members of  Carnival’s senior management team will be participating in this function, as well.

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