Norwegian Cruise Line Bets Big on Travel Advisor Distribution

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) has announced that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), a longstanding partner, has committed a $250,000 investment to bolster the trade association’s training and education programs for new-to-the-industry travel advisors.

In early September, ASTA launched a new website, a first and important step in attracting and educating new-to-industry talent. The investment from Norwegian will further enhance the society’s web presence and functionality—making it easier for new talent to access the education and training resources currently offered. Through a series of consumer-facing digital advertisements, distributed through social media and targeted search, ASTA will begin an earmarked lead funnel by providing free access to a revised “Becoming a Travel Advisor” resource guide.

There are many combinations of opportunities available to those interested in this profession. The “Becoming a Travel Advisor” guide will help people understand their options and how to match with the right path for their next steps toward success. Recently updated through ASTA’s in-house team of industry experts in consultation with industry leaders, the free resource outlines a step-by-step guide. It covers the various travel agency business models, how to make money as a travel advisor, how to start a travel business and the necessary credentials. It also includes an essential glossary of industry terms and acronyms.

ASTA will use the “Becoming a Travel Advisor” guide as its starting point for building a database of interested candidates ready to pursue a career in selling travel.

Said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of ASTA: “Through creative advertising, we’ll build a substantial reservoir of interested candidates—a first step in growing the travel advisor workforce. We’ll continue to nurture this audience with targeted outreach, ultimately matching them with the best pathway for selling travel. The backing from Norwegian gives us greater capacity to scale this operation and build passion and excitement with those entering the world of selling travel.”

Despite economic pressures, people are not holding back on travel. Seventy-five percent of Americans plan to spend the same or more on travel in 2023, compared to 2022, and 25 percent plan to take a dream vacation by March 2023. ASTA’s research found that 33 percent of those who use a travel advisor used one to book a cruise.

Training the next generation of talent, according to ASTA, will help relieve strains on the travel systems because more travelers will have the customer support and preparation that can only be provided by travel advisors. More trained and qualified travel advisors will mean more customers getting matched to the right travel products—including cruises.

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