FRAMINGHAM, MA, March 7, 2016 – The Travel Institute and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today announced an official partnership that brings together the two organizations’ more than 90 years of certification and training expertise to benefit the industry’s dedicated community of travel professionals in 2016 and beyond.

In addition to increased promotional support of each other’s certification efforts, the formal relationship provides each organization’s community of certified professionals with a number of valuable new benefits. The first to be offered in 2016 include:

  • Recent graduates* of CLIA’s Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC) and Master Cruise Counselor (MCC) programs receive three free months of basic membership with The Travel Institute, providing free ongoing skills training during those months. The membership offer will be communicated twice during the year.
  • Recent graduates of The Travel Institute’s Certified Travel Associate (CTA), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC), and Certified Industry Travel Executive (CITE) who enroll in CLIA’s ACC or MCC programs receive 10 continuing education credits (CEUs) toward The Travel Institute’s annual CEU requirement, plus two free classes from CLIA offered twice per year.
  • CLIA is offering 10 credits for CTA recent graduates toward CLIA’s ACC and 10 credits toward MCC for CTC or CTIE recent graduates.

“Partnering with The Travel Institute is a natural fit for our two organizations,” said Cindy D’Aoust, Acting CEO, CLIA. “As two of the leading professional development organizations in the travel industry, we share a common goal of supporting travel professionals, by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. I’m looking forward to seeing the great work we can accomplish together in the future.”

“The partnership is particularly timely given our recent announcement that proclaims 2016 as The Year of the Travel Professional,” said Diane Petras, CMP, CTIE, chief operating officer, The Travel Institute. “This year-long focus will clearly differentiate the dedicated travel professional from the travel hobbyist, and we’re delighted to have CLIA as a partner and ambassador behind this campaign.”

In addition to the new benefits announced today, the two organizations are developing other support initiatives for their respective certified graduates throughout the coming year. For example, National Plan A Cruise Month reinforces using a CLIA Certified Travel Agent and a Congressional Resolution designated October as “Cruise Travel Professional Month.” Coming up second quarter at The Travel Institute is an all-new management webinar series, “Learn. Lead. Innovate.” for travel professionals interested in developing their leadership skills. 

* Recent graduates are defined as those that graduated from January 1, 2015 to present. CLIA members interested in this new program can email 

About The Travel Institute

Established in 1964, The Travel Institute serves as a community of knowledge and insight for all travel professionals. Through innovative education programs, professional certifications and customized learning solutions, The Institute fulfills its non-profit mission to promote a standard of industry knowledge and excellence. For more information about The Travel Institute, visit or call (800) 542-4282.

About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. The association has 15 offices globally with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 23 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. Members are comprised of the world’s most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. The organization’s mission is to be the unified global organization that helps its members succeed by advocating, educating and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community. For more information, visit or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.

Media Contacts


CLIA                                                                                                                       The Travel Institute

Sarah Kennedy                                                                                                 Carla Smith, CTA

(202) 759-9313                                                                                                  (781) 237-0280, Ext. 121