CLIA is one of those acronyms that the industry likes to toss around. CLIA is said to be one of the “must join” organizations for travel professionals. It is also an affordable alternative for industry recognition if you do not want to be beholden to the airlines with ARC or IATAN (more acronyms). But beyond the big box full of certificates, stickers, bonus commission coupons and other goodies, CLIA offers so much more. Have you taken a look lately?
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise association and is dedicated to the promotion and growth of the cruise industry. CLIA is composed of 25 of the major cruise lines serving North America and is an organization that operates pursuant to an agreement filed with the Federal Maritime Commission under the Shipping Act of 1984 and serves as a non-governmental consultative organization to the International Maritime Organization, an agency of the United Nations.
CLIA was formed in 1975 in response to a need for an association to promote the special benefits of cruising and in 2006 merged with the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL), a sister entity created in 1990 dedicated to participating in the regulatory and policy development process of the cruise industry. CLIA exists to promote all measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment, educate, train its travel agent members, and promote and explain the value, desirability and affordability of the cruise vacation experience.
Prior to its 2006 merger with ICCL, CLIA became the principal external marketing organization for its member lines in 1984 following the consolidation of several other industry organizations into CLIA. Currently, more than 16,000 travel agencies are affiliated with CLIA and display the CLIA seal (which identifies them as authorities on selling cruise vacations). In addition, nearly 100 of the most innovative suppliers of goods and services to the cruise industry make up CLIA’s Executive Partner program.
Travel Agency Support
CLIA is consistently rated the most effective travel association in terms of overall support of the travel agency community, the value for the money, and the quality of its training programs. For example, CLIA’s most comprehensive training is the Cruise Counsellor Certification Program, which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences and conduct ship inspections, among other things. CLIA also offers Management and Sales Institutes, classroom training and training videos.
Executive Partner Program
CLIA’s Executive Partner program is endorsed by the CLIA member lines and fosters a unique alliance between the cruise lines and strategic industry suppliers. This cooperation creates a forum for information exchange and an opportunity to work together to address industry issues and generate new business. CLIA Executive Partners represent progressive organizations that assist the cruise industry to increase passenger satisfaction and to provide a safe, environmentally sound and socially sustainable vacation product.
CLIA is committed to focusing on industry issues relating to safety, public health, environmental responsibility, security, medical facilities, passenger protection and legislative activities.
CLIA is dedicated to:
- Ensuring that the cruise industry provides a safe, healthy, secure shipboard environment for both passengers and crew.
- Minimizing the environmental impact of its vessel operations on the ocean, marine life and destinations.
- Adhering to regulatory initiatives and leading the effort to improve maritime policies and procedures.
- Creating a regulatory environment that will foster the continued growth of the industry.
- Delivering a reliable, affordable and enjoyable cruise experience.
Policy and Regulation
CLIA participates in the regulatory and policy development process and promotes all measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment and serves as a non-governmental consultative organization to the International Maritime Organization, an agency of the United Nations.
Under the direction of the chief executives of its member lines, CLIA advocates industry positions to key domestic and international regulatory organizations, policymakers and other industry partners. CLIA actively monitors international shipping policy and develops recommendations to its membership on a wide variety of issues.
CLIA is administered by a Ft. Lauderdale-based headquarters staff and dedicated professionals in a Washington DC satellite office, as well as a training team positioned throughout the United States. This group collectively carries out the objectives and activities of the collective member lines. Principals from the member lines make up the Board of Directors, headed by an elected chairman who serves a two-year term. A number of subcommittees serve as steering committees and liaison with CLIA staff on topics such as marketing, safety, environmental, public relations, human resource issues and technical advancements – among many others.
If you are not a member, take a look. If you are a member and need to bone up on their benefits, check them out at their site, www.cruising.org.