At the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise360 conference and trade show in Vancouver, Canada, more than 1,000 cruise specialists and travel professionals set sail to learn about innovation, customer experience, and the latest solutions making waves.
Now in my 11th year, I was anticipating a whole new panoramic view of what’s trending in cruise. Cruise360 didn’t disappoint as I gained new insight into how the industry is evolving. Check out some of my most memorable highlights and “ah-ha” moments from this year’s event.
Set sail to inspiration and innovation
Innovation and inspiration were headliner themes throughout the sessions and around the trade show. Most notably, Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez shared the inspiration for an acronym they use at Crystal Cruises called ECO (Exclusivity, Customization, and Options). As cruise lines continue to expand to accommodate growth, it’s important to stay innovative and specialized. Travelers evolve as technology and choice does. And as a travel and technology provider, Amadeus understands travel professionals need the tools and technology to compete in the ever-changing industry.
Education is at the center of the cruise industry! CLIA’s VP of Membership and Trade Relations Charles Sylvia largely echoed this sentiment. He reported that the cruise organization invests in agent training as a key benefit of membership. Together with the cruise line members of CLIA, they created cruiseforward.org, an information hub that provides timely and relevant data and content about the industry’s systems of accountability, economic and environmental impact, and enduring commitment to the safety, health and well-being of our guests and crew.
Ride the wave of the future
This year, we rolled out Amadeus Total Cruise, a revolutionary cruise solution to better booking. Attendees experienced the real-time, side-by-side pricing display, cruise management feature, and how easy it is to shop and compare multiple cruise lines on one screen. Comments like “this is exactly what we’ve been waiting for” resonated throughout both trade show days. Travel agents were impressed with the ability to book leisure content that is complimentary to their cruise, such as a car, hotel and rail for customers flying into port in advance of their cruise. This all-in-one solution gives travel agents the right tools to improve the customer experience and increase their profits.
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