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AGENTS PREDICT THAT CRUISE BOOKINGS WILL GROW SHARPLY IN 1993; GIVE CLIA ITS HIGHEST MARKS EVER FOR BENEFITS, SERVICES

 NEW YORK, Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Nearly nine out of ten travel agencies affiliated with Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) believe their cruise bookings will increase next year, with fully a third of them predicting substantially more business in 1993.
 According to a CLIA survey, 86 percent of agents felt that cruise business will increase in 1993, compared with 1992, and 33 percent of the total said the growth would be "much greater." Only two percent expected a decrease in sales.
 According to Rod McLeod, chairman of CLIA, "The bullish outlook among agents supports what the cruise industry has been saying -- that 1993 will be another record year for cruise passengers.
 "The cruise industry has unfailingly supported travel agents' cruise sales efforts, and has provided a vacation experience that is extremely responsive to their clients' wishes, he added. "That's a proven formula for success."
 McLeod, who is executive vice president of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., also cited the industry's "substantial and consistent promotional efforts for fueling the demand for cruise vacations."
 The "how's business" question was asked in the annual CLIA Benefits Study, a special survey taken each year by CLIA to measure response to the programs and services it offers agents. According to CLIA, agents gave the association its highest rating ever and strongly endorsed CLIA's training and educational enhancements.
 Overall, 94 percent of agents rated CLIA "good" or better, and 87 gave CLIA high marks for providing "value for the money."
 Particularly significant, according to CLIA, is the high level of "excellent" ratings the association received. "The travel agency audience is a tough one to please," said McLeod, "yet a third of agents gave CLIA an 'excellent' in 1992, compared with 19 percent in 1990. And another 42 percent judged CLIA as 'very good'.
 Among CLIA's highest rated services are its Cruise Manual and free consumer literature, the savings and priority placements for CLIA agents on familiarization cruises and CLIA's public relations efforts and consumer awareness activities.
 The vast majority of agents recognized CLIA as a good resource for industry information and for its leadership. Respondents also acknowledged its "knowledgeable personnel," innovation and prompt response.
 Jim Godsman, president of CLIA, noted that the agency sector's view of the cruise association "continues to improve -- and their input each year guides many of the decisions we make about the programs we offer."
 Examples, according to Godsman, are the improvements in the popular agency training classroom seminars, enhancements to the activities included in the National Cruise Vacation Month, the expansion of CLIA's training activities to include the Cruise Counselor Certification Program, and the CLIA Academy concept.
 "We're gratified that agents know that CLIA listens and responds," Godsman said.
 -0- 11~23~92
 ~CONTACT: Diana M. Orban Associates, 212-557-8448, for Cruise Lines International Association~


CO: Cruise Lines International Association ST: New York IN: LEI SU:

LD-TM -- NY086 -- 0793 11~23~92 18:21 EST
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Date:Nov 23, 1992
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