Margaret Murphy is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Training for Cruise Lines International Association. Prior to joining CLIA, Margaret was president of 21C Communications Consulting. Her background also includes leading a global Business Transformation practice as a managing principal of the IBM Consulting Group and heading the Atlanta public relations offices for GolinHarris (IPG International). She is a graduate of Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business.
TRO: With a background in business, what inspired you to go into the travel industry?
MM: As a management consultant, I worked in a variety of industries from finance to fashion. Inspiration for me comes from a love for the industry and knowing I will work with people who feel the same way. No question, we in the travel industry are in the business of making people’s dreams come true – it’s a real privilege and a joy to be in an industry where we create positive experiences for people.
TRO: As Senior VP of Marketing and Training at CLIA, what are some of your responsibilities?
MM: I have a talented team of marketing and training professionals who are totally focused on supporting both our travel agent members and our cruise line members in achieving their success goals. CLIA offers an array of programs, courses, events, communications vehicles, and tools all designed to support our members in growing the cruise business.
When you think about it, training and marketing are related as communications disciplines. Being in front of thousands of agents each year in our classroom training provides us quality time when we can engage in a substantive dialogue with our travel agent members about what is important to them and how we can better support them.
And, many of our marketing programs are designed to educate agents and consumers about the incredible vacation experience that is cruising. So, it makes perfect sense for marketing and training to find every occasion to work together as a team.
TRO: Every travel agent knows about CLIA Certification – what is something they might not know about CLIA?
MM. That they can earn up to 135 credits toward Certification at our annual cruise3sixty conference in Vancouver in June 2013!
TRO: What are some ways CLIA is supportive of the travel agency community?
MM: A significant step CLIA took earlier this year on behalf of the agent community was to commission and subsequently release a report entitled, “From Travel Agent to Travel Advisor” which laid out the case for the travel industry to embrace the challenge of creating a blueprint for the evolution of the travel agent industry. It was a major focus item at our annual cruise3sixty conference in April, with Christine Duffy, CLIA’s president & CEO, making it a central message in her main stage address to thousands of agents and suppliers in attendance.
We have held additional meetings with industry leaders since the release of the report to discuss next steps and to maintain momentum on a topic that is important not just to CLIA and its members but to the U.S. travel industry. CLIA is delighted to continue to play a leadership role in this effort and to engage other constituencies with an interest in addressing this challenge.