Thursday Briefing: Plan A Cruise Month Deals Begin, Tropical Storm Matthew Updates

cruise planners cruise monthFrom the latest deals for Plan A Cruise Month to ASTA’s new film spotlighting travel agents, here are the travel industry headlines you should be following this morning. 

The Latest Plan a Cruise Month Deals

Cruise Line International Association’s (CLIA) Plan A Cruise Month campaign starts in just two days, and cruise lines and franchise organizations are already announcing special deals and incentives. 

Cruise Planners has announced its #CPCruiseIsInTheCards campaign, which offers travelers value-added deals for cruises in 2017 and beyond. 

Cruise Planners COO and Co-owner Vicky Garcia said that October is a prime time to book 2017 cruises, as booking farther out means better rates. The organization’s offerings this year include prepaid gratuities, shipboard credits, reduced deposits, onboard savings, air and cruise fare discounts, stateroom upgrades and Cruise Planners’ in-house customized Completely Packaged Vacations.

MSC Cruises, meanwhile, has announced its own bonus commission offer and deals for travel agents to coincide with the month-long campaign. Throughout October, the line is offering $100 bonus commission per stateroom for new bookings in the MSC Yacht Club on MSC Divina. To redeem, travel agents simply need to send an email to sales.service@msccruisesusa.com with their booking number once the deposit has been made.

MSC Cruises is also offering 2 for 1 deals in the Caribbean and Mediterranean and northern Europe, as well as the opportunity for children 11 and under and 12 and under, respectively, to sail free on select sailings. 

Additionally, CLIA’s #CruiseSmile contest will ask participants to post a photo featuring a great “Cruise Smile” on Twitter with the contest hashtag from October 1 through 31. At the end of each theme period, a winner will be chosen and allowed to select from one of CLIA’s featured cruises. A total of four cruises will be awarded throughout the month. For contest details visit www.CruiseSmile.org

We’ll be keeping track of all the latest Plan A Cruise Months deals and incentives — stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for those as they arrive. 

Tropical Storm Matthew Cruise Itinerary Changes

In other cruise news, Tropical Storm Matthew has forced a number of cruise lines to make changes to their Caribbean itineraries. 

According to Cruise Critic, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas replaced its September 28 call at St. Thomas with the private island destination of Labadee. On September 29, the ship will skip its St. Maarten call in favor of Falmouth. Adventure of the Seas called at St. Maaarten September 28, St. Croix September 29 and St. Thomas September 30, instead of its original schedule of St. Lucia, Barbados and a day at sea. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands.

ASTA: “Travel Agents Taking Off”

In event news, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is celebrating agents at its Global Convention with the debut of the new “Travel Agents Taking Off” film, developed in partnership with ITN Productions

The news-style program includes interviews, news items and editorial profiles of leaders and key industry organizations in the travel sector. It explores topics like the changing role of the traditional host agency; the supplier and agent relationship through immersive experiences; the developing trend of people finding fulfilling, lucrative career paths in the travel industry; and franchise systems supporting and partnering with the local vacation consultant, ASTA said. 

The film follows ASTA’s previous research spotlighting the importance of travel agents, which has shown that agents can save their customers an average of $452 per trip

Agents can watch the film at www.asta.org/travelagentstakingoff

Don’t Miss: Exclusive Interview With Hawaii Tourism CEO

Finally, Travel Agent’s Joe Pike is at the Hawaii Tourism Conference, where he got a chance to sit down with George Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. During the conversation they covered such wide-ranging topics as Hawaii’s success in battling the Zika virus, Airbnb and the state’s efforts to reach out to Millennial travelers. 

Have a tip on major travel industry news, or an inspiring story you’d like to share? Reach out at aleposa@questex.com

And keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest travel industry news, trends and updates.