Conference Preview: What to expect on Columbus Day

Conference Preview: What to expect on Columbus Day

Ace unveils two more speakers, an early booking discount and plans to launch a website based on agents’ owncruise experiences. Lee Hayhurst previews the September 20 event. See below for more details on early booking

Columbus Day will see the launch of a website by the Association of Cruise Experts (Ace) that will draw on agents’ own cruise experiences to promote the sector to the public.

The Greatest Journeys site will focus on the destinations that cruise ships visit and Ace is looking for agents to write about their experiences and tips ahead of the site’s launch.

The website will be marketed on social network sites including Facebook and Twitter and Ace hopes it will become a source of inspiration for would-be cruisers.

Agents’ details will be included on the site in the hope that visitors will be encouraged to get in touch and book.

Greatest Journeys will also be the theme of National Cruise Week on September 15-23.

Ace director Andy Harmer said: “We want to position travel agents who have been on a cruise as the experts on either that itinerary or on a particular port of call. It’s an opportunity not only to position agents as the experts but also to tell people about the experiences you can have on a cruise.

“People want to hear from other people who have actually experienced what they are talking about. Because the agent has done the trip that will increase trust and give the site integrity.”

Harmer said destinations consistently rank as the most important factor when consumers choose a cruise.

The website is being developed by Ace, which already has some reviews prepared for when it launches. The URL is being kept confidential until September.

“The more write-ups we can get before we launch the better,” Harmer added.

“We would like as many people as possible to write pieces for us.”

Ace would also like to include agents’ own images of their cruises.

Agents who would like their experiences included on the site should email

Book now for early-bird rate

Delegates planning to attend the Ace Columbus Day have until Tuesday, July 31, to qualify for a special early-bird rate of£55 for members.

The fee will increase to £65 from August 1 and will go up again as the event gets closer and places are filled.

Ace hopes to host 400 delegates during the day at the Burlington Hotel in central Birmingham on September 20.

Most of the allocated accommodation in the conference hotel has already been booked, but Ace said there are plenty of other hotels close by.

Click here to book your place


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