– Corporate meeting planners rely on travel agent expertise to plan successful events and meetings at sea.
Why do you need a travel agent? Good question. With the rise of online travel booking engines, proliferation of customer review sites, many people book travel directly. Yet despite the long predicted demise of the travel agent, one third of all travel ($95 Billion) was booked by travel agents in 2011. This included 68% of all cruises booked, according to the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA)[i].
The percentage using travel advisers is even higher for Corporate Meeting Planners looking to hold an event or meeting at sea. Group cruises (from small executive retreats to large conferences or incentive group cruises) offer many advantages over land-based hotel meetings. But using a travel adviser that specializes in group cruises is a must for planning successful meetings at sea.
The advantages of holding a meeting at sea are great:
- Value & savings: Value of inclusive pricing that saves thousands on food and entertainment can save up to 30% over land based meetings & events
- Stress free travel: Seamless land and sea packages ease the stress of travel; and cruising lets you unpack once yet & still visit multiple countries and ports
- Greater participation: New and exotic venues increase meeting attendance, participation and overall satisfaction – making you the hero!
The advantage of using a Travel Agent that specializes in group cruises is that they are experts on all the various Cruise Lines have first-hand knowledge of most ships and destinations. They understand the ins and outs of booking an event or meeting at sea and can help meeting planners negotiate the best rate and options for their groups.
Advantages to using a group cruise specialist to plan your next event or meeting at sea include:
- Travel agent services are free to Meeting Planners. Except for airline tickets, all cruises, tours and land packages are commission-able and paid by the cruise line or vendor.
- You get the BEST DEAL by calling on a Cruise Planners/American Express Travel Consultant. They don’t work for any one Cruise Line or Tour Operator and can search all cruise lines to find you the best deal for your group.
- Cruise product experts. There are many benefits and several differences to holding a successful meeting at sea and meeting planners definitely need the expertise of a group cruise specialist.
- Stress free planning. Travel agents help meeting planners with site selection, ship inspections and most importantly – contract negotiations. Your time is valuable. Give an agent a call and let them know your meeting specs and let them do all the preliminary work.