CruiseOne & Cruises Inc – which comprise one of the nation’s top travel retail networks as part of World Travel Holdings (WTH) – today revealed a 35% spike in land sales versus the same period last year. Citing a growing interest in diversifying amongst agents, the sister brands recently launched a new Land Certification Program, which has welcomed nearly 200 agents, with more than 70 already completing it.

“While cruising will always remain the core of our business, we know that it is important to continue evolving our offerings to the agent community,” said Dwain Wall, senior vice president and general manager for CruiseOne & Cruises Inc.  “Many consumers cruise annually but there are some who don’t, seeking other options. We are committed to helping our agents become true full-service travel professionals who are able to plan every imaginable type of dream vacation, and we expect for our land sales to continue to grow into 2013 as a result.”

The program helps interested agents become comfortable selling multiple product types. Designed as a flexible self-study program, it gives agents the opportunity to learn at their own pace, based on their own timeframe. With a comprehensive curriculum, the program features ten modules focusing on various aspects of land sales, including courses on navigating online hotel training programs, land vendor product sessions, destination-specific training and more. The course covers everything from air – a new offering as part of CruiseOne & Cruises Inc.’s SelectAir program – to travel insurance, increasing overall agent commissions and thus, profitability.“One of the biggest obstacles agents face in selling more land is understanding all of the product options available,” said Drew Daly, vice president of sales performance for CruiseOne & Cruises Inc. “As a result of our extensive Land Certification Program, agents now have a better understanding of all that is associated with a land vacation in order to assist them in choosing the right vacation for their customer’s individual needs.”

The land curriculum will be offered during their first-ever joint land and sea national conference, which is set to take place October 14 to 21 with four nights at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and three nights aboard Disney Dream. Each year, the network’s National Conference welcoming hundreds of franchisees and independent contractors, supplier partners and industry VIPs for a dynamic, week-long continuing education program. Marking the companies’ 20th and 30th anniversaries, respectively, this year’s CruiseOne & Cruises Inc. National Conference will include interactive general sessions, sales-building workshops, power networking opportunities and a keynote presentation by Jon Wolske of Zappos!

“The continuing education we have access to as part of CruiseOne is critical to the growth of our franchise and the Land Certification Program is no exception,” said CruiseOne Carrollton, Texas owner, Lucinda Belden.  “It is important for us to continue servicing our loyal cruise customers and at the same time, to attract new categories of customers. This program has helped us do that and we are already seeing results.”