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CLIA travel agencies cruise to new Diamond membership program

CLIA travel agencies cruise to new Diamond membership program
Update adds TRAVELSAVERS to list of Diamond Level Premium Members. Cruise Lines International Association said its new membership structure has received an enthusiastic welcome by travel agencies and agents. Unveiled in early October, the three-tiered program offers benefits to all member host agencies, consortia and individual agents.

More than 25 of the leading US travel companies have joined as Diamond Level Premium Members, representing more than 50,000 agents.

Members since the program’s inception include AAA Southern California, Avoya Travel, Cruises & Tours Unlimited, Cruise Holidays, Cruise Planners, CruiseOne, Cruises Inc., Ensemble, Ensemble Canada, Expedia Cruise Ship Centers, Gold Rush Getaways, Hyde International Group and InteleTravel.

Further members who joined from the start are KHM Travel Group, Montrose Travel, Nexion, Oasis/Palm Coast Travel, ProTravel, Results Travel, Signature Travel Network, Travel Planners International, Travel Leaders, TRAVELSAVERS, Uniglobe Travel USA, YTB Travel Network,, Canada, Valerie Wilson Travel, Virtuoso and World Travel Holdings, among many others.

Every membership level includes access to CLIA training to increase product knowledge, marketing and sales skills; cruise line benefits valued at more than $5,000; and bonus commissions.

Other perks at every level are reduced rate cruises for agent personal travel, priority familiarization trip invitations, on-board credits for agents and their clients and points toward CLIA accreditation.

'Training and education are key elements to be a successful agent and CLIA’s new membership program makes these opportunities more accessible for everyone,' according to Drew Daly, gm of Network Engagement & Performance for CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.

'Valerie Wilson Travel has been a long supporter of CLIA and when the new Diamond membership initiative came out, it was an easy decision,' said Kimberly Wilson Wetty, co-president of Valerie Wilson Travel. The program opens savings and perks to the front-line adviser, and it's important to support CLIA's advocacy for the cruise industry in legal, legislative and technical issues.

'Diamond membership indicates our support of the cruise lines. It also presents an excellent opportunity to our affiliated independent agencies who are able to join at a low price point and receive multiple benefits,' said Scott Koepf, svp sales with Avoya Travel.

The three membership levels for individual agents and agencies include the Silver for small agencies (one to 24 agents) and new Premium Gold and Diamond memberships for larger category hosts, franchises and consortia. All programs offer value membership pricing for agents who join as individual members as well as a core benefits package.

This includes a unique agent ID number and membership card, hundreds of special offers from 25 CLIA member cruise lines, discounts on CLIA products, bonus commissions, preferred rates and registration at CLIA’s cruise3sixty and access to CLIA’s training and certification. Additional agent benefits are available based on the corresponding agency membership level. Gold and Diamond membership benefits include invitations to member summits and CLIA’s Annual Congressional Cruise Caucus in Washington, DC.