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.

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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,

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

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.

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

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

Peter Kol­lar Head, In­ter­na­tional Train­ing & De­vel­op­ment, CLIA

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