Written By: Jennifer Kruse, CTA, ACC, LCS, Associate Director, Trade Recruitment & Engagement, Travel Weekly Events Following tremendous success, the STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program returns to CruiseWorld in 2017. The application to participate is now open. Planning for Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld is well underway. The event, slated for Nov. 15-17th in Fort Lauderdale, with ship inspection options November 14th, 18th and 19th, will include general sessions jam-packed with industry leadership, supplier training programs, peer training, a diversified Exhibitor Showcase and the opportunity to attend the event in an enhanced capacity as a ‘STAR’. The STAR Program is structured to provide customized event programming while offsetting some of the financial expenses incurred by travel advisors to attend professional development events. As part of Travel Weekly’s ongoing commitment to supporting the professional development and growth of the travel advisor community, this program will again help fund attendance for nearly 300 of the estimated 1,000 travel advisor attendees at CruiseWorld. “Since the program’s inception two years ago, we’ve seen real results from our advisor participants in regards to business grown and supplier partnership development. Supplier attendees continue to be impressed with the caliber of our travel advisor attendees, and the effectiveness of the in-person connections the program facilitates. Travel Weekly is dedicated to making financial and professional commitments to foster the growth of our industry through live events,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events for Northstar Travel Group. The core component of the STAR Program is a series of collaborative meetings scheduled between exhibiting supplier partners and pre-qualified travel advisors committed to business growth. Advisors who qualify for the STAR Program, and who are selected to participate, receive complimentary registration and complimentary hotel accommodation for two nights. Specific participation requirements and program criteria are detailed on the CruiseWorld website. STAR Program alumni are reporting excellent, and tangible, results following the event. “Thanks to CruiseWorld and the STAR Program, I received several client inquiries into vacations the first week following the conference. I was very fortunate to have been selected to participate in this program, ” said Christopher Mushrush of Starfish Travel, LLC. “I have benefitted greatly from CruiseWorld’s STAR Program by learning how to partner with suppliers to optimize my clients’ experience—my commissions,” added Roberta Hebenstreit of A Time To Go Travel. “January 2017 was my best month for bookings ever.” Traditional registration opportunities will be available for those who do not wish to apply for the STAR Program when event registration opens in early spring. And remember, CruiseWorld isn’t just about cruise. This event brings together all facets of the leisure travel industry. Exhibitor categories include: airlines, attractions, business tools, car rental, cruise, destinations, hotels and resorts, professional services, tour operators and packaged vacations and more. Whether attending as a STAR Program participant or a traditional attendee, CruiseWorld’s robust programming provides value for all types of travel advisors, from the home-based professional to the cruise-centered advisors, the seasoned veterans and those new to the industry. Register using code HBTA at checkout to receive a $25 discount on the full-conference program rate. For additional information about CruiseWorld, and how to apply for the STAR Program visit www.cruiseworldshow.com.