CLIA Prepares for 'World's Largest Cruise Night'

Aug 28, 2008

CLIA Introduces New “Virtual” Capability for Agents to Promote Cruising

Fort Lauderdale, FL — August 28, 2008 — Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced today details for its third annual World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN), the largest one-day travel agency initiative of its kind, being held on Wednesday, October 17, 2007. CLIA has also announced the introduction of a new feature, “Virtual” World’s Largest Cruise Night, to allow agents to reach even more potential cruise guests. WLCN serves as the centerpiece for CLIA’s October National Cruise Vacation Month, which each year focuses consumer attention on the pleasures of cruising.

In recognition of the technology trends utilized by travel agents and the growing number of home-based agents, CLIA is offering for the first time a “Virtual” WLCN capability, which allows agents to host a virtual event online. Agents will be able to customize a Web page featuring their agency information and choose up to five short videos of the cruise products from participating CLIA member lines. A unique URL will then created that can be distributed to their clients and new prospects, inviting them to participate remotely.

Over 700 agencies conducted a WLCN event in 2006. A CLIA agent survey revealed that last year’s WLCN events generated 14,860 bookings, which translated to $18.5 million in cruise sales that yielded more than $2.4 million in travel agency commissions.

“CLIA aims to increase the number of travel agencies participating in this year’s WLCN,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the primary marketing association for the North American cruise industry and 16,500 North American member travel agencies. “Since its inception, WLCN has gained significant momentum with the 2006 event doubling the sales of 2005, and we hope to continue that trend this year.”

Indicative of the travel agency interest in WLCN 2007, senior management at Liberty Travel announced that all of its more than 200 agency locations intend to conduct an event.

“CLIA’s World’s Largest Cruise Night is a perfect match for Liberty Travel’s strategy of proactive promotions and consumer outreach,” said Makis Xenatos, vice president of cruise marketing at Liberty Travel. “We are excited to be a key component of the 2007 event.”

All CLIA member travel agencies across North America are once again invited to promote cruising in one 24-hour period to celebrate WLCN. The wide-ranging portfolio of one-day events can include luncheons, cocktail parties, dinners, full-scale expos, and many other activities - all of which promote the value and desirability of cruise vacations to current and potential clients.

To register your CLIA travel agency to participate in a traditional WLCN event, please visit CLIA’s Web site “Virtual” WLCN registration will open separately the week of Sept. 3.

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