FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Cruise Planners/American Express, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry, will host its annual convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, November 17-22, 2009 with the last two days taking place aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas during its inaugural sailing. The Cruisitude theme will set the tone for the high-energy convention, which will provide more than 300 franchise owners with new measurable sales and marketing tactics to implement for the upcoming high season.
“Cabin count is increasing, so the tides are definitely shifting and we’re starting to come to the surface,” said Cruise Planners CEO Michelle Fee. “It’s critical our agents have the tools necessary to capitalize on this shift. We are going to use this year’s convention to present new practical applications for our agents and provide direct access to industry leaders.”
Highlights of the convention will include an important announcement about Cruise Planners University (CPU) and industry updates and forecasts from top executives at Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines. This year, for the first time, Cruise Planners’ convention will feature three tiers of education led by three levels of industry professionals: cruise line executives, Cruise Planners Home Office executives and member agents.
“The times are changing and we need to think differently,” continued Fee. “Our mission is to empower our agents with the resources and know-how to reach new markets by utilizing the right mix of our advanced technology and marketing programs as well as a few tricks we have up our sleeve.”
Convention workshops will showcase tactics on targeting niche groups, utilizing industry software, navigating social networking sites and breaking down loyalty programs, just to name a few.