The first Indian national to get certified by the largest cruise industry trade association speaks about her experience and why travel agents in India who are interested in selling cruise packages need to do this course.
Kashish Jiandani, Business Development Manager, NCLH
It was the thirst to learn that took me on this amazing journey. I have been a part of the travel trade for more than 16 years which included working in various departments and cruise as a product. This certification has enhanced my knowledge even further. My exposure to cruises began with Discover the World Marketing where I handled operations for Carnival Cruise Lines and thereafter, I got an opportunity to work as Regional Manager for Cruise Professionals, India GSA for Cunard, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises U.K.
How it all began
In 2015, I participated in a three-series webinar on cruising, conducted in India for the first time jointly by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Singapore Tourism Board – India Office. On completion of the webinar, the first 10 winners got free access to the first level of the certification programme and access to the CLIA website as a member. I was one of them! Little did I know that I would be the first Indian national to complete the ‘Oceans of Opportunity’ module! I finally reached the Masters Certification programme which involved an annual conference onboard a cruise vessel that empowers participants with tools and resources to expand their cruise business. This year, the programme took place on Genting Dream, sailing from Hong Kong on a five-day itinerary that included two port days in Japan.
What it entails
Apart from the certification, CLIA’s global cruise accreditation programme also offers its members with access to its Learning Academy, which contains over 50 training modules covering various aspects like the basics of cruising, benefits to agents, consumers and the stakeholders, latest trends in the cruise industry, how to plan, sell and market a cruise product and a cruise destination, industry facts and other modules. Since it is online, you can learn at your own pace and at a time that works best for you.
Why you should do it
According to CLIA, about 70 per cent of cruise passengers use the expertise of a travel agent to book a cruise vacation. The certification programme comes at a reasonable price, which changes every year. Peter Kollar, Head of International Training & Development, CLIA has been instrumental in providing me with the training opportunities and enhancing my skills for personal and professional growth.
“The commitment from cruise enthusiasts such as Kashish Jiandani to enhance her professional development through the CLIA programme excites us tremendously. When we launched in India, we were still unsure how the material would be embraced but she has proven that it remains relevant. All Indian agents can now follow her pioneering pathway and become cruise industry experts. If such an educated force of cruise selling agents grows, so too will the power of the local cruise industry”- Peter Kollar, Head of International Training & Development, Cruise Lines International Association
(The views expressed are solely of the author. The publication may or may not subscribe to the same.)