CLIA offers accreditation in India

Expecting the cruising business in India to grow exponentially, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in association with Singapore Tourism Board, is now offering its accreditation programme for travel agents in India.

HAZEL JAIN

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a US-based cruise industry trade association, in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board in India, has launched its accreditation programme for the travel agents in India. The programme has been developed over the last five years and is currently being used in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the Europe markets. It is targeted at any travel agent or tour operator who sells cruise packages. Peter Kollar, Head, International Training & Development, CLIA, who was in Mumbai to announce the launch, said, “We have opened our membership to the Indian travel trade and it is the first market in Asia that we have done this. We see India with a huge potential as a source market for cruising. The travel agents need to convince the travellers to cruise. For that to happen, they need to believe in cruising and be educated about the segment.”

The accreditation, he adds, is comprehensive. “We start off with a general form of accreditation which is learning about basic skills and knowledge that one needs to sell cruising. It then evolves into a more senior level certification called Ambassadors and then a Masters. It’s not just for training. Travel agents actually have to also experience cruising. We take them for ship inspections, engagement through events, etc.”

Annie Chang, Director, Cruising, Policy & Planning Group, Singapore Tourism Board, added, “We approached CLIA to come to India and offer its membership and accreditation programme. We have also worked on the module to customise it to the India market. We know the India market, they don’t. So we not only brought content to this module but also our expertise in the India’s cruising market.” Through the program, agents can learn basic elements of cruising like sales and service followed by more advanced topics of specialisation like river cruising, destination specialisation or luxury and expedition markets. The program is open to anyone who sells a lot of cruise or nothing at all and is available online the CLIA website.

“The travel agents need to convince the travellers to cruise. For that to happen, they need to believe in cruising and be educated about the segment’

• Peter Kollar Head, International Training & Development, CLIA

‘We have also worked on the module to customise it to the India market”

• Annie Chang Director, Cruising, Policy & Planning Group, Singapore Tourism Board

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