Cruise Planners Shows Commitment to Franchisee Growth through New Virtual Associate Training Program

Franchise owners can focus on growing their home-based businesses by easily adding associates as members of the franchise’s selling team

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is making it easy for franchise owners to grow their businesses by introducing a new virtual associate training program. The newly-launched program helps franchise owners confidently recruit new associates to join their growing franchise businesses by offering travel agent mentorship, flexibility to work from home and a new training platform to onboard associates with ease and professionalism.   

“Our goal is to help our franchise owners grow their business exponentially and we know associates are a great way to extend their sales force,” said Vicky Garcia, COO and Co-Owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “The added flexibility with the new virtual associate training program allows for faster onboarding with interactive and engaging e-learning content which is completely mobile-friendly and accessible 24/7.”

New Virtual Associate Training Program

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, introduces a new virtual associate training program, making it easy for franchise owners to grow their businesses.

As small business owners, Cruise Planners franchisees have the ability to run their business with associates as extensions of their salesforce working alongside, yet independently, as a full-service travel agent. Associates will benefit from virtual training
over the course of 12 days, which includes multiple live check-in sessions to ensure all associates fully understand each topic. This new approach to learning is appealing to both associates and franchise owners since it offers greater flexibility to take the courses anytime, anywhere.

Cruise Planners top-producing franchise owners who have associates are the most successful in the business model since they are able to increase their overall sales. Based on that data, Cruise Planners recently rolled out this new virtual associate training program with that in mind so more franchisees can bring on new associates through this well-received program.

“As a Franchise Owner, giving my new associates an option to train “virtually” allows them to get a great training right away from the convenience of their own home office so they can start selling,” said JJ Kuykendall, Cruise Planners franchise owner based in Oak Ridge North, Texas. “With the virtual training program, I can track my associates’ progress and see their test results, allowing me to manage my business as efficiently as possible.”

Franchise owners get support in growing their franchisees through the industry’s best technology, strategic marketing, hands-on business development coaching and in-person and virtual training opportunities.

“By introducing the new associate training program, it provides associates the opportunity to quickly onboard within the travel industry to start selling under the mentorship of a franchise owner, which truly is a win-win,” Garcia said. “When associates join Cruise Planners, they have the benefit of being under someone already established in the travel industry and can focus on selling travel instead of running a business.”

One of the biggest hurdles to bringing on associates is the commitment – both time and money – so this new program helps franchise owners easily bring the right people to train on Cruise Planners’ proprietary technology, tools and marketing programs. This is valuable because the training is tailored to the associate – since their needs are different than someone who is investing in full franchise ownership.

Cruise Planners, a leader in franchise training and technology, has invested in industry-leading training technology in the form of a new online/virtual training platform and a team dedicated to building the industry’s most effective and award-winning training programs. The virtual associate training program is online, flexible and optimized for tablet, smart phones and personal computers with dynamic timing elements, so it is self-paced while also holding the associates accountable.

“Everything we do is designed to make it easier and more efficient for our travel agents – whether franchise owners or associates – to be as successful as possible,” Garcia said. “We are confident this new training program, combined with all the other great training tools we offer, will continue to skyrocket our agents to success.”

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 (2009-2015), Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Top Producer (2008-2014) 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.

Cruise Planners Training is Key to New Franchisee Success

Cruise Planners Convention is a favorite among agents as they are able to expand their travel industry skill set while networking with the Cruise Planners family.

At Cruise Planners, franchisees are provided with a surplus of training opportunities to help them reach their full potential. From the award-winning, in-person, new franchisee training program to more extensive, ongoing training opportunities, Cruise Planners supports travel advisors through all stages of business operation. Training opportunities include regional events focused on new tools and strategies for agents to continually improve their travel agency business and online learning tools giving agents on-demand access to virtual training focused on sales, marketing, travel brand knowledge and so much more. Also, there are in-person training events hosted around the country including boot camps, regionals and the annual convention, which is the brand’s biggest event of the year.

The Cruise Planners six-day new franchisee training operates throughout the year in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and prepares new agents as they transition into the travel world.

“Onboarding training is one of the main reasons I found the transition from my other travel agency so seamless,” said Rodney George, a Naples, Fla. Cruise Planners travel agency franchise owner who previously was with another host agency. “I was booking trips live for my customers with Cruise Planners mobile technology during training!”

Rodney George, Cruise Planners franchise owner based in Naples, Fla., enjoys Cairo, Egypt
Rodney George, Cruise Planners franchise owner based in Naples, Fla., enjoys Cairo, Egypt on an Oceania Riviera excursion.

The annual Cruise Planners Convention is a favorite among agents as they are able to expand their travel industry skill set while networking with the Cruise Planners family.

“I attended my first convention in 2016 and talk about fun, educational, motivational and did I say fun?!” said Sandy Keel, Cruise Planners franchise owner, Jacksonville, Fla. “This is an amazing learning opportunity for anyone who is serious about growing his or her business.”

Sandy Keel, Cruise Planners franchise owner based in Jacksonville, Fla., shopping in France.
Sandy Keel, Cruise Planners franchise owner based in Jacksonville, Fla., shopping in France.

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 franchise.

 

Cruise Planners’ Business Model is Ideal for Armed Forces and First Responders – Earns Praise from Franchise Business Review

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is once again recognized by Franchise Business Review as Top Franchise for Veterans

Coral Springs, Fla. – March 7, 2017 – Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, the nation’s largest home-based travel agency franchise network in the industry, is recognized by Franchise Business Review for its commitment to transitioning, training and supporting veterans, the active military community and their spouses. Franchise Business Review is a national franchise market research firm that provides industry benchmarks for franchisee satisfaction. The recognition identifies Cruise Planners as a Top Franchise for Veterans showing that the company is an outstanding brand evaluated by those who know the company best—the franchise owners. The company recently expanded its military incentive program to include Armed Forces and First Responders.

Cruise Planners has expanded its Veteran’s Initiative to now include all Armed Forces (active and retired) and the First Responder Community since it offers the ideal home-based franchise business.
Cruise Planners has expanded its Veteran’s Initiative to now include all Armed Forces (active and retired) and the First Responder Community since it offers the ideal home-based franchise business.

“We know that armed forces personnel and first responders are ideal for our franchise model as their leadership skills and our on-the-job training allow them to run their own business, without needing travel experience,” said Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “We are committed to helping the military and public service communities transition to civilian life by being small business owners and entrepreneurs using the Cruise Planners business model.”

Cruise Planners recently revamped its Armed Forces and First Responders Initiative Program, which is dedicated to making it easy for the entire military and first responder community to combine their passion for travel and entrepreneurial spirit. The program includes up to $4,000 in benefits, incorporating additional tools for success such as a marketing credit, more than 25 percent in savings, free Cruise Planners military or first responders postcard and allowing an additional attendee to the Cruise Planners’ six-day training program. The wealth of support and benefits that Cruise Planners offers has helped the military community to account for nearly 20 percent of Cruise Planners franchise owners. People with a passion for travel and a connection to the military should become a work from home travel agent with Cruise Planners by visiting www.cruiseplannersfranchise.com.

Cruise Planners Franchise Owner, Russ Russell, is a United States Veteran who was able to combine his military experience and passion for travel and turn it into a lucrative small business. Those looking to start a travel agency with Cruise Planners should visit www.cruiseplannersfranchise.com.  

“With the right training and support, you can sell travel and be successful, and I knew my passion for travel would be a recipe for success,” says Russ Russell, U.S. Veteran and Cruise Planners franchise owner. “The path to building a successful business is not an expressway; it’s more like a meandering country road that eventually gets you where you want to go so long as you have the right map to guide you. Cruise Planners provides a turn-key, business-in-a-box strategy to make me successful.”

Cruise Planners gave Russell the tools, guidance and support to become a travel professional and an expert in his field. He then took his military training and utilized it to become successful in just a few short years. Those looking to become a travel agent with Cruise Planners should visit www.cruiseplannersfranchise.com.

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 (2009-2015), Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Top Producer (2008-2014) 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 at http://www.cruiseplannersfranchise.com/.    

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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

Cruise Planners Remains in Top Spot as Best Travel Franchise to Own on Entrepreneur’s Annual Franchise 500 List

Cruise Planners is No. 1 within the travel category for 14 years in a row

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – January 10, 2017 – Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, the nation’s largest home-based travel agency franchise network in the industry, continues to have a strong hold on best travel franchises to own. This is the fourteenth consecutive year that Cruise Planners has earned the spot on Entrepreneur’s Annual Franchise 500 List, making it one of the best franchises to own.

“We are always thinking up creative ideas for innovating and enhancing our marketing and technology for our travel agents, since we know we have to constantly be on our A-game to maintain this position,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “This year our key focus has been on maximizing and building more innovative technology and marketing tools for the franchise owners and they love it.”

Reasons Why We Are the Best Franchise to Own

Cruise Planners is a franchise that offers financial strength and stability, has a great reputation in the travel industry and years of proven experience that make it a successful franchise. Since Cruise Planners’ main goal is to ensure its travel agents are the most successful travel agents in the industry, the company is constantly developing new tools designed for the agents to run their business seamlessly. Below are some of the new technology programs rolled out for franchise success, which helped secure the No. 1 ranking and being one of the best franchises to own.:

  • CP Insights: Cruise Planners believes in and has invested in solutions that incorporate economic, demographic and behavioral segments in data mining to target the right client at the right time with relevant promotions, sales and marketing pieces.
  • CP View: Another new tool helps agents match sailings and itineraries with special audiences based on customer data, sales trends and consumer behavior. The goal is to serve up clients that would be ideal targets – with a few clicks in the Cruise Planners system; a marketing communication is created to generate new business.
  • Automated Email Confirmations: Cruise Planners agents can simply email any reservation from hundreds of vendors and have the fields instantly input into the back-end business management system to help Cruise Planners travel agents get paid faster and with less manual entry.

“Cruise Planners will continually develop new tools, which allow our travel agents to stay ahead of the competition, so they can compete with the best of the best with confidence,” Fee said. “Our focus is to help our agents communicate with their customers with amazing turn-key marketing combined with world-class travel agency technology allowing them to compete with the big online agencies. Cruise Planners agents are high tech, yet high touch through our proprietary tools.”

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 (2009-2015), Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Top Producer (2008-2014) 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.

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