Speaking about establishing “credibility” for travel agents in dealing with potential clients, Charles Sylvia, vice president, membership and trade relations for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), kicked off the annual Cruise360 conference at Port Everglades, FL, on Thursday.
Speaking to an audience of approximately 1,000 travel agents from North America and across the globe, Sylvia's focus in the first General Session centered on three “credibility” benefits that agents receive from their CLIA membership.
Power of the Logo: Many CLIA member agents can create credibility by putting the CLIA logo on their website, business cards and other corporate materials.
“Individual agents are using the CLIA logo and sharing with their prospects and clients what it represents...essentially the 'Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval,'" said Sylvia, a former travel seller. “It means that I am a credible cruise consultant, dedicated to professional excellence."
Social Media Assistance: Sylvia then asked the audience to raise their hand if they were too busy at times to put up social media posts. “Be honest,” he said, and a lot of hands went up.
Sylvia urged attendees to cut and paste the CLIA social media posts or gorgeous photos posted by the association on their agency's website.
“Let us do that post for you,” he stressed. “This is a right you have as a CLIA member,” he said.
“The reality is that professional travel professionals are too busy to do anything but working with their prospects and clients to sell cruises,” said Sylvia.
Tapping into the Web: The third “credibility” benefit Sylvia talked about was CLIA’s website -- www.cruising.org. “Did you know that more than 7,000 unique consumers visit [that site] every single month?” he asked.
He explained that agents can put a link to the website on their website. Plus, it’s a way for potential clients to find a CLIA agent in their locale.
"You receive a complimentary listing on Agent Finder on the CLIA site, and that listing reaches up to a 50 mile radius,” he said.
He urged members to log into CLIA’s online agent dashboard and make sure their information for Agent Finder is correct: “Make it easy for consumers to find you.”