Charles Sylvia, CLIA's vice president of trade relations, implored travel advisors to ask their clients not to cancel cruises because of the CDC's Level 4 travel warning.
During the weekly Coffee Talk webinar -- hosted by Royal Caribbean International senior vice president of sales, trade support and service Vicki Freed -- Sylvia reiterated CLIA's position that the cruise line trade group was "perplexed" by the CDC's decision to raise the travel warning and direct Americans not to cruise.
He said travel advisors need to be armed with information that shows how safe cruising is relative to other travel and leisure activities.
"Folks, we've done a lot of work," he said. "We've come together as an industry, and we've got this figured out right. So what we need from you, and what we need you to do with your clients because I know that they're calling with concerns, what we need from you is confidence and empathy and for you to speak with your clients in an informed way."
Sylvia said, "The first thing I want to ask you, because I myself am a 28-year travel advisor, please, when they call and they state that they're looking to cancel, please, first and foremost, ask them to not cancel. Ask them to not cancel and explain why."
He said advisors should have statistics ready such as "the fact that more than 2 million people have sailed on our ships safely since the resumption has begun."
"There's so much great information, and it's at your fingertips. We shared it with not only all of the hosts of the franchises and large agencies out there but for all of our travel trade members, so that you are empowered with this information and you can speak confidently with empathy and in an informed way."