Industry’s Premier Event to Focus on Topics, Tools and Resources To Help Agents Thrive in Uncertain Times. Nationally known Experts, Industry Leaders to Share Information, Strategies, Advice in Fort Lauderdale , April 2-6
Fort Lauderdale, FL — March 12, 2009 — While President Obama and his team forge ahead with economic recovery plans, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is bringing nationally known experts and industry leaders together to share ideas, information and advice on maintaining the momentum for selling cruises during uncertain economic times. This year’s cruise3sixty conference, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, April 2-6, will be entirely focused on topics, tools and resources designed to help agents thrive, not just survive.
“It’s important to remember that economic downturns however severe do recover; it is not a matter of if but of when. The challenge for cruise lines and travel agents is to do everything possible to make the “when” sooner than later. And, there is no better way to maintain the momentum within the industry and help accelerate recovery than by taking advantage of everything cruise3sixty will offer,” said Terry Dale, CLIA’s president and CEO. Among the opportunities for participants to pick up valuable tips on overcoming challenging market conditions will be keynote addresses, a comprehensive program of seminars and workshops, thought leader discussions, a massive trade show, ship inspections and more.
The largest and most important annual event in the cruise industry for travel agents, cruise3sixty will set the tone of the conference quickly with a keynote address by a man imminently qualified to discuss the major issues – financial, economic and political – of the day. As president of Bloomberg LP and a former political pollster and deputy mayor of New York City, Dan Doctoroff brings a unique perspective on all these related topics and their implications for travel. At Bloomberg, a leading information services, news and media company, Doctoroff oversees 143 bureaus around the world and over 10,000 employees. In the Bloomberg administration in New York City , he served as deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding. He has also been a managing partner at Oak Hill Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
In another keynote address, American Express will present Barbara Corcoran, founder of the five-billion dollar real estate company, The Corcoran Group. Corcoran will tell the audience how she triumphed over adversity and competition to turn a $1,000 loan from a boyfriend into one of the country’s most successful businesses. Corcoran, who sold the company in 2001 for $75 million, is a bestselling author, columnist for leading newspapers and magazines, and a regular contributor to NBC’s “Today Show,” CNBC and other broadcast outlets.
cruise3sixty is also an unparalleled opportunity for agents to jump start training, with 15 CLIA seminars, including two brand new offerings – Delivering Great Customer Service, and Better Listening Skills for Better Business; to join the “Certification Fast Track” and earn up to 125 credits toward Cruise Counsellor Certification. Participants can also inspect from a choice of 16 CLIA member cruise ships; take advantage of opportunities to negotiate business one-on-one with cruise lines and other industry suppliers; and to network with colleagues. The trade show will feature hundreds of exhibiting travel suppliers, cruise lines and other resources
And, there is even time for fun. Several cruise lines will show off their newest shipboard entertainment and the CLIA Hall of Fame Dinner will recognize three outstanding members of the industry. The 2009 inductees are Edwin W. Stephan, a founder and past president of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and iconic innovator in the cruise industry; Walter Sherota, founder of Gold Coast Cruises and a pioneer in the cruise-only travel agency model; and Josephine Kling and Joyce Landry, founders of Landry & Kling, Inc., visionaries who led the way in seagoing corporate meetings and incentives.
Other events during cruise3sixty include “Maintain Course and Full Steam Ahead – When the Going gets Tough, the Tough keep Selling,” a panel discussion with cruise line CEOs and presidents on the state of the cruise industry and what agents can expect over the horizon. The panel will include Gerry Cahill, president, Carnival Cruise Lines; Carol Marlow, president and managing director, Cunard Line; Kevin Sheehan, president, Norwegian Cruise Line; Adam Goldstein, president, Royal Caribbean International; and Rick Sasso, president, MSC Cruises.
“Can You Hear Me Knocking? – Finding Tomorrow’s Cruiser,” will be a discussion of opportunities to reach, appeal to and market cruise and travel vacations to a broader, more diverse and motivated audience. Industry experts will lead a panel discussion on ways to impact the African American, LGBT, faith-based and accessible travel markets. Lynne Biggar, senior vice president, Consumer Travel Network, American Express, will moderate.
Additional programming includes:
- The Uncharted Internet: Navigating the New New Media” takes a look at the who, what, where and why of social network sites and other new technology tools to build your travel business, with Douglas Quinby, senior director of research at PhoCusWright.
- Show & Sell,” with cruise industry marketing and sales leaders providing a look at what’s new, including 14 new CLIA member ships in 2009; what’s over the horizon – 35 new ships between 2009 and 2012 – and how to sell more today.
- A panel discussion moderated by Rod McLeod on “Small Ships Deliver Big Rewards” highlighting some of CLIA’s newest cruise line members and the opportunities for selling small ship and river cruising.
- “Show Me the Money” will be a discussion on affluence, luxury cruise travel and selling to the affluent traveler featuring a panel of CLIA member luxury experts.
- And, the World Cruise Destination Forum takes an in-depth look at some of the world’s top cruise destinations.
Along with CLIA, cruise3sixty is sponsored by some of the most important names in travel. They include American Express, Amadeus, Sabre Travel Network, Greater Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades, the Pacific Rim Cruise Association, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and the Hollywood Westin Diplomat & Spa, Accor Hospitality, .travel, Tripology, MarketEase Online and Todd Travel Promotions.