Cruise Lines International Association’s World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) will shatter previous participation records by nearly 25 percent as travel agencies across North America team up with CLIA member cruise lines and other partners to dramatically stimulate sales. Leading up to WLCN’s October 14 date, over 4,000 virtual, or online, events and 1,262 traditional, or live, events had been registered, with more likely at the last minute as agents continue to step up to take advantage of CLIA’s and member lines’ marketing support to reach consumers.

“We are beyond thrilled that travel agents have embraced World’s Largest Cruise Night in record numbers this year. There’s never been a more important time to create your own stimulus package and WLCN is a unique opportunity to boost cruise sales through high-visibility virtual or traditional events designed to reach those customers most likely to cruise. Once again, with this increased level of participation, we have the potential to break all records,” said Bob Sharak, executive vice president, CLIA.

At press time, WLCN ‘09 represented a nearly 30 percent increase in virtual, or online, events over last year and an 10 percent increase in live events ranging from in-store cruise night promotions to partnerships with such companies as Mercedes Benz targeting the most affluent consumers. American Express is teaming up with CLIA member agents by offering a $10 American Express-branded prepaid card every time a booking of $1,700 or more is made with any American Express® Card made during the promotional booking window.

Immediately at the end of October, CLIA will survey participants to determine and report on total number of bookings and their sales value as well as total commissions for World’s Largest Cruise Night. Virtual WLCN will remain online through October 31.