Published on : Saturday, November 4, 2017
The 2017 National Conference for Cruises Inc. ®, CruiseOne® and Dream Vacations aboard the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, concluded with a farewell message from Senior Vice President Debbie Fiorino; words of wisdom from Brad Tolkin, co-chairman/CEO of parent company World Travel Holdings; and Drew Daly, general manager of network engagement and performance, as well as the revealing of the location of the 2018 National Conference.
Tolkin provided a high-level overview of the state of the travel industry and personal advice for being an entrepreneur. He noted that despite the headwinds faced in the third quarter, overall the industry is still stronger than ever due to longer booking windows and increased cruise sales prices, innovative new cruise ships and products on the horizon, millennials and more. His advice for entrepreneurs — focus intensely on the customer experience, emit pride in one’s service, be bullish on closing the sale and embrace trends to create tailwinds toward ACHIEVING success.
Daly’s motivational presentation “What do you want to ACHIEVE?” encouraged attendees to think about who or what inspires them and reflect on what obstacles they face which may prevent them from ACHIEVING their personal and professional goals. He then drew parallels to the role a travel agent plays in helping consumers overcome their fear of travel, especially in today’s society. He noted, “Travel agents should share to inspire . . . whether it is posting on social media, talking about recent vacations or displaying souvenirs in one’s home or workplace. People want to hear first-hand experiences about their next dream vacation. By sharing to inspire, travel agents not only share happiness and help their customers ACHIEVE their bucket list and dream vacations, but also ACHIEVE individual professional success.”
After much anticipation all week, it was revealed that the 2018 National Conference will take place on Norwegian Bliss, giving attendees the opportunity to experience a Mexican Riviera cruise departing out of Los Angeles.