Showing up the competition: Cruise Planners wins Best in Show at the Travel & Adventure Show

Nationwide travel shows are yet another opportunity for Cruise Planners travel agents to sell to new clients and generate hot leads

In a convention center full of camels and zip lines, one may get easily distracted, but those looking for a travel expert to plan their next vacation know exactly where to go at the Travel & Adventure Shows: Cruise Planners booth. At each Travel & Adventure Show around the nation, Cruise Planners has two travel planning booths supported by travel agents advising and planned custom vacations on river cruises, land vacations and ocean cruises.

Cruise Planners brings our travel advisors from around the country to connect with 150,000 potential clients and work with them to uncover their dream vacation. This is a great opportunity for Cruise Planners travel advisors as they are introduced to a whole new world of travelers – or hot leads – and can potentially bring in large commissions just from new clients they meet at the show. At this year’s Washington D.C. event, one agent even sold an around-the-world cruise to a client they’d just met!

Annually, eight Travel & Adventure Shows are held nationwide and are attended by 1.5 million travel enthusiasts. With multiple booths at each show, hosted panels and executive presentations, Cruise Planners truly brings the Cruisitude. What’s more is that Cruise Planners agents are able to attract and service interested clients, no matter where in the country they are based in.

Cruise Planners also hosts a franchise booth at each show, giving you the chance to connect with our Franchise Sales Team in person and learn how you can be your own boss while igniting your passion for travel with a Cruise Planners home-based business. Come see us at one of our remaining travel trade shows for 2018.

MSN Names Cruise Planners as One of the Hottest Businesses to Franchise in America

This Proves There’s No Greater Time Than Now
to Invest in Yourself and Become Your Own Boss Today

Cruise Planners® is a blazing a path for entrepreneurs, and it’s not just because the theme of our most recent convention was CP Ignite.MSN Money

In fact, Cruise Planners® is the hottest travel business to franchise in America, according to MSN Money. Cruise Planners® ranks No. 9 on the overall list and remains as the No. 1 travel franchise on this list. (These results are based on Entrepreneur’s Annual Franchise 500 list, which Cruise Planners® has dominated since 2002.)Hottest Businesses to Franchise in America

Cruise Planners® offers a unique home-based franchise business model, where people with a passion for travel can learn about selling travel and become travel agents. Many other franchises on the MSN Money list are brick and mortar – meaning business owners have to fork over additional capital, retail space and rent money to maintain. Overall, these types of franchises require a LOT more cash to fund, let alone get off the ground.

That’s where Cruise Planners® squashes the competition because it’s more efficient and effective to operate a Cruise Planners franchise. You can work from home, or in a different travel destination each week because your business is designed to run from anywhere using the Technology Suite available to you.

If you have a passion for travel and are looking at the Hottest Businesses to Franchise in America – check out the top 3 franchises in the travel & tourism category:

  • Hilton Garden Inn requires $12.1 Million to $23.2 Million to get started
  • Motel 6, which requires a $2.6 Million to $3.8 Million investment
  • Cruise Planners®’ estimated startup cost is only $2K to $23K – what a difference for those looking to be their own boss.

Cruise Planners® offers a great value for a low-cost franchise. Included you get the training you need to run a successful home-based travel agency, even if you don’t have travel industry experience.

To see the complete list of Hottest Businesses to Franchise in America, check out: 24/7 Wall Street:

Ready to be your own boss while working from home and traveling the world? Check out our travel agency franchise opportunity webinar.

Cruise Planners Welcomes Travel Franchise Insider Scott Koepf to Senior Leadership Team

Koepf joins Cruise Planners in newly-created Vice President role after 30 years as an influential travel agent advocate


Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, welcomes Scott Koepf as Vice President of Strategic Development to the nation’s leading home-based travel agency network.

Koepf joins Cruise Planners after making the switch from competing travel franchise organization, Avoya. For Koepf, the switch was a logical one to make, noting that Cruise Planners’ industry recognition and legacy of innovation make them a standout when it comes to travel franchises. This move mirrors that of Cruise Planners VP of Sales and Marketing, Theresa Scalzitti, who chose Cruise Planners after supervising host agency partnerships at Royal Caribbean International.

“I’ve known Scott for more than 20 years and we are excited for him to join our powerhouse executive team,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “His impressive background in the travel industry allows us to tap into his diverse experience, skills and knowledge. Having Scott on our team will help us continue our mission to innovate, grow and evolve.”

This newly created role affirms Cruise Planners’ commitment to franchisee’s business development as Koepf will support the growth of the Cruise Planners network by leading the Training and Events teams and exploring new opportunities for strategic development. Koepf’s natural motivational training style and keen marketing and sales experience will be an asset for Cruise Planners franchise owners.

Cruise Planners, known throughout the travel agency industry for its signature “Cruisitude™,” will welcome Koepf in March 2018. “Cruise Planners’ reputation and innovations are exceptional, and I am thrilled to join Michelle, Vicky and the rest of the Cruise Planners team. Not to mention my lifetime desire to wear green shoes will now be fulfilled,” quipped Koepf.

For more than 30 years, Koepf has held a variety of roles within the cruise industry including travel franchise owner, onboard entertainer and various leadership roles with brands such as Cruise Holidays, Nexion and most recently, Avoya Travel where he served as Senior Vice President of Sales – experience that will serve him well in his new role.

“I am beyond excited to be joining the Cruise Planners family and be a part of such a successful and fast-growing company,” Koepf said. “I started my career in travel as a cruise franchise owner and now, I am coming back full circle to help each Cruise Planners franchisee achieve their goals.”

In the industry, Scott has served as president of NACTA and has been a champion for travel agents focused on growing the group’s membership and he is often quoted as an expert in travel media. 

“Cruise Planners dares to be different and since we are a unique company we welcome Scott for being a proven leader and advocate for travel agents,” Fee said. “I am a strong believer that when agents are having fun, then they listen and learn – Scott has a proven track record as a great communicator, entertainer and leader and knows the true meaning of Cruisitude™!”

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

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


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

“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,, 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