In a major bid to boost its retailer base in North America, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has premiered a revamped, multi-level membership structure. And in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press, Montreal editor, Mike Dunbar reports that the chief exec of the industry association says the dramatic move reaffirms the decades-long bond between cruise lines, travel agencies and agents at large.
CEO Christine Duffy said the organization would have been working with travel agents “under a certain membership model” for 40 years next year and needed to update that model “to meet today’s realities.”
She explained, “Traditionally, CLIA membership has been at the agency level and the biggest change recognizes that there are not that many store-front agencies any more.”
According to Duffy, “The landscape has shifted to more home-based agents affiliating with hosts, large agencies, franchises and consortiums,” prompting CLIA to concentrate its membership emphasis on individual retailers associated with member agencies.
And those individuals who join for 2015 will snag a benefits package that’s valued at more than $5,000. The benefits will include individual agent bonus commissions, reduced rate cruises for personal travel, priority invites for FAM trips and onboard credits for both members and their clients.
For the full story in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press, click here.