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Serious Games Increasing Travel Agents’ Cruise Sales

News at FIU (Florida International University) has just published an interesting article titled “Can Video Games Boost Cruise Bookings?” summarizing the main findings of a new study conducted by Lizette Calvo, an alumna of the FIU doctoral program in curriculum and instruction, who is the study’s lead author and a co-designer of the Serious Game.

The Carnival Adventures game, developed for Carnival Cruise Lines, was intended to help agents sell cruises to people who are new to cruising, which requires an agent to know the options available that would appeal to young, single customers or to those traveling with children.

Travel agents who completed the game showing them the ins and outs of the cruise business were more likely to improve their knowledge of the Miami-based cruise line’s offerings and book more cruises. According to the study, travel agents improved their performance regardless of age, gender or whether they worked in the United States or Canada.

“Part of the game’s appeal was that it was fun and educational,” Calvo said. “In fact, various companies already use Serious Games – those designed to educate rather than entertain – to train employees.”

Calvo’s game rewarded travel agents with achievements and points that were assigned based on difficulty, accuracy and the speed at which questions were answered.

The cruise line has since developed a second game aimed at helping agents better understand the experiences available at various ports of call.

The study was co-authored by adult education and human resource development Professor Thomas G. Reio Jr and was published recently in the Journal of Management Development under the title “The Relationship Between Engagement And Knowledge Attainment In A Computer-Based Training Game And Job Performance Of Travel Agents”.

The focus of the study was to examine the relationship between engagement (as measured by total number of minutes playing the game) and knowledge attainment (as measured by total number of fun points) of travel agents while playing the Serious Game. In addition, to understand the relationship between engagement and total cruise sales (as measured by total number of cabins sold). The study focused on data which ranged from January 1, 2012 until December 31, 2014.

About Carnival Cruise Lines Learning Platform and Serious Games

Carnival Cruise Lines has a tradition of offering Serious Games to its travel agents.

In 2013, Carnival Cruise Lines updated its learning tools with the launch of Carnival Passport, a learning management system that housed all of the line’s training and education activities in one area, available within its travel agent Internet portal, With Carnival Passport, agents may select learning activities that best suit their particular educational needs. 

Carnival Passport included Carnival Adventures, the line’s social learning game for travel agents, with six levels: Fun Seeker, Extraordinary Explorer, Awesome Adventurer, Fantastic Voyager, Daring Discoverer and Grand Globetrotter. 

In 2014, based on feedback from its latest travel agent survey, Carnival Cruise Lines created a new collection of quick and easy Fun Games as part of its travel agent LMS.

Travel professionals indicated in the line’s survey that they enjoyed Carnival Adventures – the only travel agent social learning game in the industry – and they would also like shorter games that would fit more easily into their workday. The 12 games in the collection were designed to be completed within two to five minutes each. While playing the Fun Games, travel agents reinforced and enhanced their understanding of a variety of topics ranging from fleet to ship information.