This week in the cruise industry a number of major companies have rolled out new tools and incentives for travel agents.
Travel agency Cruise Planners launched its new, proprietary CP Maxx booking and customer relationship management tool. The new system, which is exclusive to Cruise Planners travel agents, incorporates a number of new ease-of-use features into its booking process, and is capable or working across all desktop and mobile platforms. It also interfaces with Amazon’s Alexa artificial intelligence platform to allow Cruise Planners customers to ask questions about their cruise booking using Alexa-powered devices, or Cruise Planners travel agents to run their business with the assistance of Alexa’s voice-activated search features.
In incentive news, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is celebrating the upcoming refurbishment of the Seven Seas Mariner with a gift card promotion for travel agents. Agents will receive a $250 gift card for every new booking on eligible voyages, departing May 6, June 20 and 30, August 22, September 2 and 12, 2018, or a $100 gift card for any new seven-night 2018 Alaska voyage booking. The refurbishment will mark the completion of Regent’s $125 million fleetwide renovation program, which is aimed at bringing the fleet up to the brand standards of the new Seven Seas Explorer.
In terms of education, Carnival Cruise Line just announced a lineup of 75 ship inspections and Seminar at Sea events for 2018 as part of its “Travel Agents Rock” program. The inspections will allow agents familiarize themselves with 24 Carnival ships in 14 ports during a guided tour, while the Seminars at Sea let agents experience the Carnival product first-hand on 12 ships departing from seven ports while learning about a variety of topics, such as product enhancements and sales and marketing techniques. Registration is open now at GoCCL.com.
Also this week, Windstar Cruises launched a new onboard booking program that will preserve commission for travel agents. The small ship cruise line’s new Onboard Cruise Consultant (OCC) will allow travelers to book their next cruise onboard; however, the booking will be assigned to the travel agent of record on the current booking, and that agent will receive full credit and commission. The first OCC embarked on Star Legend on its February 3 itinerary, rolling out to the Star Breeze, Star Pride and Wind Surf over the next few months.
Finally, this week Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) launched a new certification for travel agency executives. The Travel Agency Executive (TAE) Certification is aimed at people who work in a leadership capacity in a travel agency, the organization said.