Written By: Jennifer Kruse, Associate Director, Trade Recruitment & Engagement – Travel Weekly Events
Each year Travel Weekly accepts approximately 250 travel advisors into its STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program as a part of its CruiseWorld event.
The event will be held November 13-15 in Fort Lauderdale, with a pre-event training program with The Travel Corporation brands on November 12 and ship inspection opportunities on November 16 and 17. The CruiseWorld program will include general sessions featuring industry leaders and education, supplier training programs and breakout sessions, peer-led workshops, and the signature Exhibitor Showcase with suppliers from every facet of the travel industry.
STAR advisors strategically represent a diverse demographic, and possess varied levels of tenure and experience. The common qualifying criteria is the shared desire for professional development through education, networking, and in understanding how valuable supplier relationships can impact growth.
With nearly 500 applications received in the first few weeks of opening, the program’s popularity is undeniable. Why are your peers jumping to apply for this program? For many reasons:
Carol Ross with Cruise Planners has been in the business for less than three years and sees it as a catalyst this early in her travel advisor career. “The opportunity to be offered such a gift when you are starting your business is priceless. To be exposed to so much wisdom in one event would not only excite my passion for travel but set my business on a stronger path for success.”
Increased credibility is at the forefront for Ellen Geissel of Mouse World Travel, “Being a CruiseWorld STAR is a prestigious honor that I can share with my clients to further increase my credibility and value to them.”
Cheryl Ogle of Hey Wanna Go is motivated by the program’s reputation and rigor, “The STAR Program is well known for being ‘the’ way to grow in the cruise industry. As I understand it, it is extremely hard work, long hours, and a time of intense (but fun!) learning. I believe this program is exactly what I need as I grow my business.”
The STAR Program is structured to provide intense customized event programming while offsetting some of the financial expenses incurred by travel advisors to attend professional development events. Those who are selected to participate receive complimentary registration and complimentary hotel accommodation for two nights, and commit to full event engagement.
The benefits that past participants have seen are wide-ranging.
“Attending the STAR program was one of the best investments of my time,” said Dora Theiss, Destination Travel, LLC. “STAR enabled me to strengthen my existing partnerships at a new level, enrich communication with my clients, and create many new supplier relationships.”
“Being a STAR enabled me to make long-lasting relationships with other travel professionals. Meeting people face-to-face and learning about what makes their travel business stand out in this industry was key for me,” said Marianne Deiulio of Just Travelin’.
STAR Program positions are expected to fill completely, as in years past. Those interested in applying are encouraged to do so early. More information about the STAR Program can be found on the CruiseWorld website at www.cruiseworldshow.com/star.
Traditional registration is available for those who do not wish to apply for the STAR Program. Visit www.cruiseworldshow.com/register before May 17 to secure the lowest rate to attend.
Travel Professional Community members can save $25 off traditional registration fees by using discount code HBTA.