May 3 is National Travel Agent Day. Organized by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the holiday aims to spotlight the value of travel agents on both social and traditional media. Other travel industry organizations, including Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and major tour operators, are celebrating as well.
CLIA: Five Reasons to Book A Cruise Vacation with a Travel Agent
To celebrate the occasion, CLIA has released its list of five reasons to book a cruise vacation with a travel agent. They are:
- A Trip Tailored to YOU: Travel agents can not only handle booking travel but can also help find the best cruise for every traveler. A travel agent can create a perfect travel experience based on preferences, tastes and travel hopes. They can also help find unexpected activities and destinations that fit travel styles to create a once-in-a-lifetime cruise experience.
- Experienced Expertise: Travel agents not only undergo extensive training and continuously visit different ships to stay informed, they also have a wealth of real-world travel experience. Agents work with a variety of cruise lines, and many personally travel with those lines, so they can offer personal and professional insight on different accommodations, destinations, excursions, and more; as well as offer counsel on more complex issues like travel insurance. From tips on finding a romantic bistro in a port city and the best times to onboard dining times to trying to find the most adventurous sea voyage for an upcoming trip, travel agents have the answers.
- A Stress-Free Travel Experience: For the most stress-free travel experience, identify a certified cruise specialist. Many agents achieve certification credentials through CLIA’s Career Seascape or take courses through cruise lines to elevate their expertise in cruise vacation experiences. These travel agents are committed to providing the best travel experience for every client, every time. This leaves the logistics to a professional, giving travelers someone in their corner if things go wrong. If a flight is missed or excursion is cancelled, an agent can handle refunds and logistics to take the stress out of traveling.
- Discounts & Deals: In most cases, travel agents have access to deals and discounts not available to consumers booking directly. Agents sometimes have the ability to book-in-bulk so clients are privy to lower pricing by booking through an agent.
- Perks & Personalized Travel: In order to keep travelers as happy as possible, many travel agents are able to offer unmatched travel perks. Most agents can offer clients benefits like complimentary bottles of wine, prepaid gratuities, and onboard spending money. In addition to fun extras, agents can also arrange personalized travel details for your cruise like gluten-free dining or post-cruise transportation home.
The Mark Travel Corporation’s Bonus Cash Incentive
On land, The Mark Travel Corporation has announced a new incentive to coincide with the day. On May 3, travel agents will earn $10 Bonus Cash when booking any of The Mark Travel Corporation’s four brands: Funjet Vacations, Southwest Vacations, United Vacations and Blue Sky Tours.
The incentive is good for bookings through tonight only, with travel to take place by December 15, 2017, on air and hotel package bookings. Minimum length of stay is three nights. This offer is combinable with other Bonus Cash offers.
Apple Vacations Giveaways Throughout May
Throughout the entire month of May Apple Vacations will be offering a number of travel agent giveaways and prizes to reward travel agents on all new bookings made at participating hotels through May 28 for travel through December 15.
Travel agents can take advantage of special air-only rates on exclusive vacation flights to experience the product line throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and beyond. Additionally, Apple Vacations is rewarding nine agents with the most bookings to each partner hotel chain with four-night stays while the highest selling agencies from the East/Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Western regions will win an office lunch, compliments of Apple Vacations.
Another incentive for travel agents this month is a $100 cash bonus prize for the first 100 agents who win Bingo. To play, travel agents must enter the booking number of every stay booked at participating resorts and destinations on the appropriate squares. When Bingo is reached, travel agents virtually submit their Bingo cards. As an added perk, all Bingo cards submitted will be entered into a random drawing for a $250 cash bonus.
Apple Vacations has revamped its Travel Agent Café, a portal where travel agents can learn about current promotions, travel trends and agent incentives. The Café also equips travel agents with materials that are shareable online and via social media platforms, to help strengthen their online presence, connect with clients and promote destination and resort bookings. All agents who register for the new site this month will automatically be entered to win a $25 Dunkin' Donuts gift card for a daily drawing.
Travel agents can use the #TravelAgentDay and #ASTAAgents hashtags to share their story on social media.