Michael Akana, ECC

Michael Akana, ECCS



“Travel, new experiences and diverse culture challenge our assumptions about the world.”

Michael Akana is one of the few travel agents certified by the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) as an Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar (ECCS) the highest level of certification available from CLIA. In 2024, Michael was inducted into the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Hall of Fame as Elite Cruise Counsellor (ECC) of the year. Michael is also certified by the Travel Institute as a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) and The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) as a Verified Travel Advisor (VTA). Michael earned a Master of Science in Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism from California State University East Bay (CSUEB).

Michael brings the organizational experience of professional work with a variety of government, educational and human services organizations including Stanford University, County of San Mateo, the YMCA, Shelter Network, the Core Social Services Network, and El Centro de Libertad. Michael currently volunteers with Kiwanis and the American Red Cross.

Michael Akana tackles a variety of topics as a writer, speaker and facilitator–Travel Sales, Agency Ownership and Perspectives on the Industry; Government and Community Relations; Organizational Change; Environmental Change; Quality and Process Improvement; Ethics and Leadership; Disaster Planning and Recovery; Program Design; and Logic Models.

In addition to industry-specific topics, Michael designs and trains on branded, proprietary, or custom systems. He consults on systems design; data management; program design from concept through funding and execution; consumer life-cycle; contact management; documentation of systems, policies and procedures.

Michael offers a small travel agency owner’s perspective on the travel industry, operating an independent travel agency under his own name, Michael Akana.  He is registered as a Seller of Travel in California; is a member of ASTA, CLIA, and TTRA; is accredited by IATAN; and serves on CLIA’S Strategic Trade Advisory and Review Board (Star Board). Michael is an agent for Dugan’s Travels.

Current projects include authoring, co-authoring, and advising on books for agents, consumers, and students of travel.

Michael sees his contribution to travel education as distinct– “We are fortunate in the travel industry to already have many good educators and training programs. I am more interested in gaps in concept, organizational structure, and program design. There is tremendous opportunity in seeing our flaws, gaps in processes, and redundant tasks that are not helpful.

“We may accomplish more by doing less.”