Forum equips agents with insight and tools to increase their sales skillset to best service luxury travelers
Cruise Planners is committed to helping our travel agents boost their luxury travel sales. Why? Because luxury travel means higher ticket vacations which result in higher commissions. Cha-ching! We developed the Luxury and River Cruise Forum to help our agents perfect the art of seeking, servicing and retaining luxury clients and it’s working: Cruise Planners luxury sales are up 46% and river cruise sales up 61% over 2017.
What defines a luxury vacation? Personal and professional travel service from start to finish, delicious cuisine, never-want-to-leave-this-bed accommodations and a unique experience that can’t quite be duplicated. River cruises often embody these characteristics, so they are a favorite choice of luxury travelers, along with high-end resorts and small ship cruises. Luxury travelers seek out travel agents who can anticipate and exceed their travel desires, making Cruise Planners travel advisors the perfect fit for these clients.
Hosted by Cruise Planners Executives
At Cruise Planners training events, you can expect to hear from the best. Our executives have decades of travel industry experience – and more than a century between them – have an active hand in planning and leading events such as the Luxury and River Cruise Forum.
- Michelle Fee, CEO and founder, led the Luxury Partner Executive Panel
- Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner, led the Luxury Agent Insight Panel and the River Cruise Partner Executive Panel
- Theresa Scalzitti, VP of Sales & Marketing, led the River Cruise Agent Insight Panel and a session on utilizing Cruise Planners’ luxury travel resources
- Scott Koepf, VP of Strategic Development, held sessions on qualifying luxury customers and hosted workshops in which agents were able to craft actionable takeaways from the forum
Insights from Travel Executives
One of the best ways to understand a travel product is straight from the source, so executives from leading travel partners presented at the event and shared what differentiated their offerings and what clients would be ideal for their brand. In addition to joining panels, travel partners met with Cruise Planners travel agents during one-on-one networking meetings and brainstormed tangible actions agents can take after leaving the event. Keynote speakers at the event included:
- Mark Conroy, Managing Director, Silversea Cruises
- Larry Pimentel, President and CEO, Azamara Club Cruises
- Edie Rodriguez, Americas Brand Chairman, Ponant Cruises
Best Practices from Top-Producing Cruise Planners Travel Agents
Cruise Planners prides ourselves on our family atmosphere and our travel agents love coming together to share what their best practices are when it comes to boosting travel sales. Two groups of Cruise Planners top-producing agents joined the stage to talk about luxury and river cruise travel, answering questions from fellow agents and sparking plenty of new ideas.
For more information about what sets Cruise Planners apart in the travel industry and how our training is designed to help you best run your travel agency business, no matter whether you’re a new franchisee or a seasoned travel veteran, sign up for one of our upcoming webinars or request more information.
Ranked as the Best Travel Franchise to Own
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. Technology and marketing set Cruise Planners apart and consistently receive accolades in the travel and franchise industries as a leader in “martech” and Cruise Planners also sets franchisees up for success through top-notch training and support.
Travel Agent Training and Support
But that’s not the only thing, 96% of Cruise Planners’ franchisees agree: Cruise Planners’ training and support is excellent according to Franchise Business Review, a franchisee satisfaction market research firm. While other franchisors fall short when it comes to training and support and usually received their lowest rankings from franchisees in that areas, Cruise Planners is way ahead of the curve. Additionally, the survey confirmed that 93% of franchisees are happy with the training and support they receive, a data point that Cruise Planners takes great pride in.
Cruise Planners offers a wide range of training opportunities both online and in person to make sure franchisees are always ahead of other travel agents and online competitors and equipped with the right tools to be successful. Best of all, these trainings are designed to meet your needs and fit into your schedule, making the Cruise Planners franchise model work for you.
Take a closer look at what it means to be a travel agent in the 21st century
20 years ago, when the internet was in its infancy and online travel booking sites were years away from existing, travel agents were found inside travel agency shops where posters of tropical vacations and classic cities donned the walls. You may not see many of these shops anymore, but that doesn’t mean that travel agents have gone extinct–they’ve just evolved with the times.
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, was founded in 1994 at a time when home-based travel agents didn’t exist and has continued to thrive for more than two decades, even as travel agency storefronts are less prominent and the internet plays a major role in researching and booking travel.
Work From Anywhere as a Travel Agent
A small number of Cruise Planners franchise owners do have actual storefronts, but most Cruise Planners franchisees are home-based, with a home office or the kitchen table serving as their command center. As a Cruise Planners franchise owner, you’ll have the tools to work form anywhere, so you can head to a coffee shop for a change of scenery or even work while traveling.
You can connect with clients however you’d like, via phone calls, texts, emails, in-person meetings or using the mobile chat through your website–however you and your customers prefer. This means your client base can stretch from Alaska to Florida and everywhere in between.
The Importance of Travel Agents
So why is it that people are using travel agents and not booking direct online? At Cruise Planners, we believe the internet is for looking and a travel agent is for booking. With all the different travel sites and destinations out there, Cruise Planners travel agents serve as travel matchmakers, finding clients the ideal vacation that fits their interests and budget, so they don’t spend hours getting lost and overwhelmed on the internet. Best of all, Cruise Planners travel agents provide a variety of in-person and virtual training options, so you build your expertise and experience in the travel industry and provide customized recommendations to your travel clients.
Become a Work From Anywhere Travel Agent
Best of all, being a Cruise Planners franchise owner lets you get to live out your passion for travel while being your own boss, working from home and making other’s travel dreams a reality. Learn more about becoming a travel agent by downloading our virtual brochure or watching one of our upcoming webinars.
Cruise Planners remains the ONLY travel franchise on INC’s 5000 list year after year
Each year, Cruise Planners continues to grow and catch the eye of travel brands and business brands. Not only is Cruise Planners the #1 travel franchise according to Entreprenuer magazine, it also remains the ONLY travel franchise on INC’s 5000 list year after year.
This is a nationwide ranking of all business models, not just franchises so a true nod to the successful business model that Cruise Planners has designed. And Cruise Planners has ranked as high as #3,671. This is all thanks to our legacy of providing people with a passion for travel a low-cost franchise that can yield high returns.
With Cruise Planners mobile technology, you can run your own travel agency business from anywhere. Best of all, owning a Cruise Planners franchise requires no travel experience. Our home-based business model has travel agency franchise owners in all 50 states and trains you to be a travel professional selling all vacations – not just cruises. To learn more about what makes Cruise Planners stand out and why you would want to invest in a Cruise Planners franchise, check out our listing on Inc.