|Photo by Freeimages.com/Gregor Abbas|
This year’s Cruise360 conference in Vancouver offered a number of new opportunities for travel agents.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Marriott International announced a new partnership that will offer commissions to CLIA members on qualified hotel bookings across Marriott’s 19 brands.
In addition to commission, CLIA agency and individual agent members will also get access to Marriott’s Fam-Tastic familiarization rates. Agents who are associated with a qualifying CLIA travel agency and hold a CLIA EMBARC ID are eligible to access the rates once they successfully complete Marriott’s Hotel Excellence training program and become a Hotel Sales Specialist (HSS), certified by Marriott.
Also at Cruise360, Windstar Cruises announced the new Star Promise program of educational tools and support for travel agents.
The line added the Star Groups program, which is split into two levels of benefits, Star Group and Star Advantage. Star Group includes five percent discount from savings fares, a tour conductor policy of 1:9 people, a new guest amenity of $100 per person shipboard credit and a complimentary cocktail party with 18 plus guests. Star Advantage benefits include 10 percent discount from savings fares, $100 per person travel agent bonus commission, a tour conductor policy of 1:9 people, a guest amenity of $100 per person shipboard credit and a complimentary cocktail party for 18 plus guests.
Also under Star Promise is the Star FAM program, which will offer free cruises to travel agents on select cruises throughout 2016. Eight different itineraries will be available for a limited time. Finally, agents who complete the Star Specialist program by June 23 will be eligible for a $100 bonus commission on future Windstar Cruises booking.
Finally, at the event Amadeus announced the launch of the new Amadeus Total Cruise booking solution, which will allow agents to shop and book cruises regardless of their GDS affiliation. The new solution will be available to travel agents in the U.S. and Canada using Amadeus Selling Platform Connect.
Amadeus Total Cruise incorporates interactive features and search capabilities, and currently provides access to more than 20 cruise lines. The interface is accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, and the tool displays all pricing options in real-time and side-by-side on one screen.
The program also has upgrade guides, the ability to automatically populate past loyalty numbers, secure multiple cruise options in one request, and book spaces for larger groups, as well as new reporting tools for management.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest cruise industry news, trends and research.