CLIA has spent the better part of two years working on its revamped travel agency and agent membership program, gathering input from a variety of sources — but, most importantly, from agents themselves, reveals the association’s president, Christine Duffy.
“It’s been a very long process,” she told Travel Courier’s Montreal editor, Mike Dunbar in a recent interview. “We worked with a couple of consultants early on but expanded from there to the trade relations committee, our Travel Agent Advisory Board and individual agents from all categories to ensure it resonated with them,” she explained.
According to Duffy, more than 85 personal interviews and focus group sessions were conducted, while CLIA also examined best practices instituted by other membership associations.
The result is a three-tiered membership structure with each featuring a host of benefits that will be rolled out over the next three years.
Duffy stated, “Though it has many components, the singular goal of the program is to provide more value for agencies while delivering exclusive cruise line benefits for agents at a reasonable membership cost.”
Core benefits for all categories include CLIA’s unique booking credentials and listing in the Agent Finder on cruising.org for agency members as well as a certificate and window decal.
Individual agents benefit from discounts on CLIA products, access to purchase CLIA’s training, enrolment in certification at standard rates and preferred rates and registration at CLIA’s annual cruise3sixty conference.
The most attractive gain for individuals is likely to be the inclusion of “agent-facing bonus commissions and coupons from member cruise lines and preferred partners for agent members affiliated with agency members.”
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