Cruise Holidays Certified Travel Specialist Program

Today a customer came into the store to discuss a future cruise. During the course of our conversation, she mentioned that she uses a different travel agency to book her land packages. She is a new customer, and was misled by our cruise ship logo that we only booked cruises. I let her know that we indeed did sell the total vacation experience. She was very happy.

I thought that some of you might be interested in learning more about our new program launched at the 24th Annual Cruise Holidays convention.

Cruise Holidays, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, unveiled plans to expand into land-based vacations planning and announced a new Certified Travel Specialist Program. The moves are part of Cruise Holidays’ product diversification and education program to ensure high levels of client services. The details were announced at the 2008 Cruise Holidays Annual Convention held aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Pearl, October 19-26, 2008.

“Many of our customers cruise regularly, but in recognition of their desire to continue using our expertise even when taking other types of vacations, we are expanding our reach with offerings to provide further value in meeting their ongoing vacation needs,” stated Peter D. Thomson, vice president and COO of Cruise Holidays.

The Cruise Holidays Certified Travel Specialist Program has been designed to support the network’s diversification by building the sales skills of frontline agents in land and cruise vacations, destinations, niche markets and preferred suppliers. In order to achieve this rigorous designation, Cruise Holidays experts will be required to complete 200 credits in five key areas: Sales and Service, Cruise Sales, Destination Knowledge, Lifestyle Knowledge and Preferred Supplier Knowledge.

Cruise Holidays said the travel industry’s most respected, leading educational organizations will be incorporated into this program. The education and training opportunities will consist of a combination of workshops, net conferences, symposiums and conferences, in-store or regional training sessions, self-study programs, and online programs.

“We need to continue to set ourselves apart from the competition and provide additional ways for our Cruise Holidays franchisees to continue to be profitable,” said Thompson. “By diversifying and adding a select group of land-based vacation suppliers who offer exclusive benefits and field support to our stores in both Canada and the U.S., we will become more valuable to our clients.”

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