STB & CLIA to launch cruising accreditation programme in India

GB Srithar with the panellistsCruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a US-based cruise industry trade association, in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board in India, has launched its accreditation programme that was developed over the last five years. It is currently being used in Australia, New Zealand, 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. Its 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 program. We have also worked on the module to customize 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.”