15 Years at the Top: Cruise Planners Continues Its Legacy as the No.1 Travel Franchise on Entrepreneur’s Annual List

Cruise Planners is a low-cost, home-based travel powerhouse that does not require industry experience

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – January 11th, 2018 – Many people wait until retirement to travel the world, but smart business people are investing in the No.1 travel franchise to own, Cruise Planners®, and traveling as part of their career. For 15 years, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, has ranked as the best travel franchise to own on Entrepreneur’s Annual Franchise 500 list.

15 Years at the Top: Cruise Planners Continues Its Legacy as the No.1 Travel Franchise on Entrepreneur’s Annual List

Cruise Planners continues its legacy as the No.1 Travel Franchise on Entrepreneur’s Annual List for the 15th consecutive year. Click to view video.

“Being the best in travel franchising for 15 consecutive years isn’t just an honor, it’s a legacy, especially as we approach our 25th year of connecting people with a passion for travel and their dream careers,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “Cruise Planners consistently blurs the boundary between franchisor and family and the meaningful relationships we have between our Home Office Team, franchisees, their clients and our partners – combined, of course, with the industry’s most innovative technology and marketing – is the secret to how we continue to sizzle.”

2017 was marked by many advances for the company, including a suite of technology all designed to provide highly efficient and targeted insight for franchise owners to market to and work with their clients. With all technology and marketing developments, Cruise Planners innovates with the franchisee in mine, providing high-tech solutions to strengthen the connection between travel agents and their clients. The most recent innovations include:

  • Alexa Skills—The first-ever Artificial Intelligence for a travel franchise company was introduced by Cruise Planners and includes two voice-activated skills using Artificial Intelligence. One skill acts as a virtual personal assistant for Cruise Planners agents and the other is a hands-free way for customers to connect with their travel agent as they plan and countdown to their vacations.
  • CP Maxx™—Cruise Planners’ next-generation booking and customer relationship management system for faster, streamlined results that “Maxximizes” business, efficiencies and profits
  • CP Insights™—Highly-efficient and targeted insight for franchise owners to market and work with their clients to provide relevant marketing and customized travel offers.
  • CP View™—Tool that curates data across the Cruise Planners network to anticipate client buying habits and target the right clients, leading to increased sales, brand credibility and stronger relationships.  

“Even as the travel industry has gone through changes over the past two decades and even as people questioned the relevancy of travel agents, Cruise Planners has consistently remained a top franchise opportunity,” Fee said. “Franchise owners can feel confident when choosing Cruise Planners as we aren’t just the best today, we were the best yesterday and we won’t stop innovating to ensure we continue to be the best for decades to come.”

About Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry. Cruise Planners operates a network of more than 1,800 franchise owners who independently book vacation and travel experiences for their clients. The Florida-based Home Office Team positions a nation-wide network of franchise owners for success by providing innovative marketing, booking and technology tools, as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives. The company continues to be lauded and has been named the No.1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 15 consecutive years. Cruise Planners was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology, has been consistently named as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses by the South Florida Business Journal, is on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, has been ranked as the #1 travel franchise by Franchise Business Review for 6 years in a row, and was recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Sun Sentinel since it started ranking companies.

Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. since 1994, Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line and land vendors including Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Viking Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Travel Impressions and Sandals and Beaches Resorts. Accolades include numerous Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly and Travvy Awards from travAlliance media, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for 13 consecutive years (2004-2016). Cruise Planners is one of the Top 50 franchises for Veterans according to GI magazine, the Top Franchise Brand for Veterans according to Franchise Business Review, has been named one of the Top 25 franchises for African-Americans by Black Enterprise magazine and is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Visit our website, www.cruiseplanners.com, for the full list of awards and honors or for more information. 

Stay in Touch: Media can stay up-to-date with Cruise Planners by visiting our media room, following us on Twitter @Cruisitude or on Facebook. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should locate a travel advisor near them. For those interested in becoming a franchise owner, please visit the Cruise Planners franchise website.    

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Media Contact:
Caitlin Gardner, Director of Public Relations
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
CGardner@cruiseplanners.com
954-344-8060

Why More People Under 40 are Becoming Travel Agents

One Young Travel Agent Shares how She Gained Financial Independence and Travels the World as a Cruise Planners Franchise Owner

Coral Springs, Fla. – August 9, 2017 – During the past 3 years, Cruise Planners has seen a 66% increase in franchisees under 40 joining the growing travel agency network. Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel representative, is the nation’s largest network of home-based travel agents who customize and plan a variety of vacations for all types of travelers.

As a profession, travel agents are making a resurgence with the number of travelers using a travel agent reaching an six year high in 2016 according to MMGY Global’s Portrait of the American Traveler. One factor could be Millennials are traveling the world more and are the age group most likely to use travel agents. Also, anyone who has started a travel search online knows how overwhelming it can be to experience information overload during an internet search. Because booking travel without support can be overwhelming, travel agents show their value by offering professional guidance, the best value offers and insider information for booking a vacation.

“It’s been only four years since I drank the Cruise Planners ‘green Kool-Aid’ and it has been the best decision of my life…besides marrying my husband,” said Lori Osgood, 33, a Cruise Planners franchise owner based in Jacksonville, Fla. “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be this successful so quickly.”

Osgood is one of more than 1,800 Cruise Planners franchise travel agency owners who enjoys the benefits of working from home while selling vacations. As a franchise owner she is able to operate her independent travel franchise, while being her own boss, one of the many career perks important to young professionals. 

“With Cruise Planners, I am a part of a family, have built some amazing friendships and have a fantastic support system from the Home Office Team and other franchise owners,” she said. “When I started my original career, I figured I could travel the world when I retire, instead I have turned my passion for travel into my career and we get to travel now rather than later.”

Cruise Planners franchise owner Lori Osgood, right, of Jacksonville, Fla. is pictured with her husband Richard Osgood
Cruise Planners franchise owner Lori Osgood, right, of Jacksonville, Fla. is pictured with her husband Richard Osgood at Stingray City in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

 

By focusing on industry relationships, she was able to propel her business and credits the growth of her franchise to the Cruise Planners training program and ongoing business development support she receives. As a budding entrepreneur, she regularly collaborates with other franchise owners in her area and proactively reaches out to the travel partners to create opportunities to network and learn from each other.

“These exclusive Cruise Planners events have been vital in the growth of my franchise,” she said. “Since being a successful travel agent requires me to travel and experience destinations, it’s important that I am able to work anywhere in the world and the Cruise Planners technology allows me to do that.”

Osgood works closely with her business development training coach and has set goals for the coming year as she continues to push past personal milestones in her travel career. As a relatively young travel agent she specializes in family vacations, destination weddings, honeymoons, and more.

“You definitely get out what you put in and I went all in as a franchise owner,” she said. “I will share with anyone who will listen about how much I love being a travel professional with Cruise Planners and selling the world.”

About Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry. Cruise Planners operates a network of more than 1,800 franchise owners who independently book amazing vacation and travel experiences for their clients. The Florida-based Home Office Team positions a nation-wide network of franchise owners for success by providing innovative marketing, booking and technology tools, as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives. The company continues to be lauded and has been named the No.1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 14 consecutive years. Cruise Planners was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology, has been consistently named as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses by the South Florida Business Journal, is on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, has been ranked as the #1 travel franchise by Franchise Business Review for 6 years in a row, and was recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Sun Sentinel since it started ranking companies.

Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. with more than 22 years of experience, Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line. Accolades include numerous Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for 13 consecutive years (2004-2016), American Express Agency of the Year (2010), Royal Caribbean International Chairman’s Award (2015), Royal Caribbean International President’s Award for Overall Achievement (2012 and 2014), Royal Caribbean International Home-Based Partner of the Year (2007-2013), Norwegian Cruise Line Elite Agency of the Year (2016), Norwegian Cruise Line Franchise Agency of the Year (2011-2015), Celebrity Cruises Home-Based Partner of the Year (2016), Celebrity Cruises Field Sales Account of the Year (2015), Celebrity Cruises Home-Based Account of the Year (2013-2014) and Celebrity Cruises Southeast Region Travel Agent Partner of the Year (2010), Travel Impressions Best of the Best Globe Award (2008-2016),  Sandals Top Host – Worldwide, Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2009-2016), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises (2009-2016), Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Top Producer (2008-2016) and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer. Cruise Planners is one of the Top 50 franchises for Veterans according to GI magazine, the Top Franchise Brand for Veterans according to Franchise Business Review, has been named one of the Top 25 franchises for African-Americans by Black Enterprise magazine and is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. For more information, visit www.cruiseplanners.com.

Stay in Touch: Media can stay up-to-date with Cruise Planners by visiting our media room, following us on Twitter @Cruisitude or on Facebook. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should locate a travel advisor near them. For those interested in becoming a franchise owner, please visit the Cruise Planners franchise website.  

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Media Contact:
Caitlin Gardner, Director of Public Relations
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
CGardner@cruiseplanners.com
954-344-8060

How to Start a Travel Agency from Home

If you have a passion for traveling and want the freedom of being your own boss, consider starting a home based travel agency. Not sure how to start a travel agency? Think about joining a travel franchise, such as Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, which comes with many benefits to help you and your new travel agency business succeed.

Why Start a Travel Agency Business?

Starting a travel agency franchise with Cruise Planners, gives you access to some of the best tools and training in the industry. Starting a travel agency from home without the support of a franchise can be difficult, especially trying to learn the ins and outs of the travel industry and building a client list. By starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, you will have in-person training to become a travel agent and the back end support so you can keep your travel agency business flourishing. Most importantly, Cruise Planners is the link between you (the travel agent, franchisee) and cruise and travel companies, hospitality brands and worldwide destinations. By starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, instant credibility is then added to your travel agency as Cruise Planners is an American Express Travel Representative and offers access to exclusive American Express Card member benefits.

You don’t have to go through this process of starting a travel agency alone. Starting a travel agency with your partner, family member or friend is made easy at Cruise Planners. Take a look at the story of mother/daughter travel agency owners and their journey from a corporate career to a travel agent career with Cruise Planners. Find out the most efficient ways on how to become a travel agent.

Finding the right Travel Franchise

Once you’ve decided to start a travel agency through a franchise, selecting the right franchise is the next step. Do your research and find out which franchise is the best fit for you. Does the mission of the franchise match yours? Do they provide tools to help you reach your goals and have a successful travel agency business? Is this a low cost franchise? How do travel agents make money as a travel franchise owner? Consider these questions before making the big decision on which travel franchise to join. Cruise Planners’ franchise sales team can help walk you through all of these questions and help you get one step closer to travel agency business ownership as a home based travel agent. Contact our franchise sales team to find out how to start a travel agency.

Franchise Military/Veteran Benefits

Are you active military, a military veteran or a first responder that’s interested in starting your own business? Cruise Planners might be the franchise for you. Check out the Cruise Planners’ Armed Forces and First Responders Initiative Program to learn about the special discounts, savings and more available to you and your family. Many of Cruise Planners travel agents are military veterans, find out how this military couple started their own travel agency business by using their army background to their benefit and became travel franchise owners.

Benefits of Starting a Travel Agency with Cruise Planners travel franchise

Many travel franchises offer training and support. From the comprehensive 6-day onboard travel agent training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to year-round training and networking opportunities such as boot camps and the annual convention, and online courses, the support found at Cruise Planners is non-stop. During these trainings, you’ll learn about every element that goes into operating your travel agency along with in-depth learning opportunities about the industry.

Because of the low franchise start cost of starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, and the added ability to work from home, or on the go traveling, makes Cruise Planners one of the most profitable frachises to start.

Travel Agent Training Academy

In addition to in-person training, Cruise Planners offers live and on-demand webinars as a part of the travel agent training and is accessible at home or on the road with Cruisitude Academy. Access videos and tutorials that you can utilize through Cruisitude Academy as a home based travel agent to your benefit to help maximize your sales. Unfamiliar with the business aspect such as marketing, public relations and advertising? as a Cruise Planners home based travel agent, you will learn all about these areas from first-hand experiences from travel professionals.

Travel Agent Training Certification

Cruise Planners offers an exclusive training and travel agent certification program that teaches travel agents how to plan destination and weddings at sea. Certified Cruise Planners travel agents offer superior service for engaged couples, so take advantage of this opportunity to potentially expand your client list. From land to sea trips, become an expert in all aspects of travel and a wedding specialist as a Cruise Planners home based travel agent.

Travel Agent Home Office Support

Around the clock support is provided by the Business Development Team at the Cruise Planners Home Office. Providing the best travel agency tools and technology to travel agents is extremely important at Cruise Planners. You will have access to the advance technology available that is designed to give Cruise Planners travel agents the ability to work from home or on the go. Share this technology with your clients as they have access to a travel agency mobile app designed specifically for them where they can view their upcoming trip personalized by Cruise Planners home based travel agents and more.

Travel Agency Marketing and Promotion

Travel franchises such as Cruise Planners, positions travel agents to achieve and exceed all of their goals. Cruise Planners is one of the best franchises to own and provides new home based travel agents with an initial list of potential clients to reach out to and build their very own client lists. Create custom ads, flyers and more available through the Magellan and ADDY Award-winning marketing and advertising strategies at Cruise Planners.

Join the Crusitude™ lifestyle and turn your love for the travel industry into being a successful home based travel agent today as a Cruise Planners travel franchise owner. No experience is needed when you join a travel franchise, so enjoy the freedom to create your own schedule and work from home or on the go. By combining the travel agent training and support with Cruise Planners’ award-winning marketing and technology tools, you can become a travel agent operating a successful, home based businesses. Check out our top 10 reasons to join a travel
franchise today and start your journey to becoming a travel agent with one of best franchises to own Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative.  

JOIN US FOR A FREE FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY WEBINAR 
Please join us for an upcoming travel franchise opportunity webinar in which you can learn more about the features and benefits of owning your own Cruise Planners travel franchise.

Like Father, Like Son – How a Mutual Love of Travel Turned This Duo into Entrepreneurs

Cruise Planners’ business-in-a-box model has changed the lives of franchise owners across the U.S. by helping them build successful careers in the travel industry. With Father’s Day around the corner, father-son team, Neil and Jason Hantman, share their Cruise Planners success story.

Neil and Jason Hantman, share their Cruise Planners success story
Father and son, Jason and Neil Hantman, are Cruise Planners franchise owners based in Coconut Creek, Fla.

With travel industry experience under their belts – Jason is a former Norwegian Cruise Line employee and Neil as a former Wyndham Worldwide employee – Cruise Planners was a perfect business opportunity for the father and son team. “Both of us have a passion for travel and we enjoy helping others fulfill their passion,” Neil said. Even though travel industry experience is not necessary, in 2014, Neil and Jason discovered that Cruise Planners had exactly what they were looking for and opened their franchise, based in Coconut Creek, Fla.

This father-son team find their personal connection and mutual love of travel make them ideal business partners. “There is an element of trust and we can use our own experiences to assist our clients,” Neil said. The Hantman duo credits the many tools available through Cruise Planners for helping them operate their business smoothly, including “the ease of use of Cruise Planners technology, support from the Home Office Team and Cruise Planners partnerships throughout the travel industry,” he said.

Cruise Planners franchise owners use their extensive knowledge of the travel industry to create memorable and personalized trips for each client. Looking for the perfect Father’s Day surprise getaway? The Hantman duo recommends a fun-filled weekend cruise packaged with specialty dining and an unlimited beverage plan. Make the trip extra special by adding on adrenaline-filled excursions such as parasailing and jet skiing to ensure the ultimate Father’s Day adventure.

WANT TO START YOUR OWN TRAVEL AGENCY?

Contact us, by calling 888-582-2150 or register for an upcoming franchise webinar, for more information about starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners.