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This Travel Franchise is Cruising Strong Cruise Planners and its franchisees are riding an exciting wave of renewed passion for travel and adventure.
The global travel industry is experiencing a resurgence. Leisure and business travel are growing at the same rate — a 42% year-over-year-to-date change from 2022 to 20231.
Riding this wave of renewed interest in travel and adventure is Cruise Planners, the travel agency founded in 1994 by CEO Michelle Fee along with a crew of travel industry veterans. Today, the brand boasts more than 2,700 franchise units with strong positive franchise growth in 2023.
This is why Cruise Planners comes in at #122 on this year's Franchise 500 list. The 2024 Franchise 500 is Entrepreneur's most competitive ever with 1,389 franchisors submitting which is a record number. This year, Cruise Planners scores in the top 5% for brand strength and top 10% for financial strength.
"The travel industry, and particularly the cruising sector, is experiencing a level of growth never seen before," says Theresa Scalzitti, Chief Sales Officer at Cruise Planners. "With overall travel sales up significantly and cruise sales growing remarkably over the past year, the pent-up demand has transformed into pure demand. This surge indicates a thriving market and an opportune time for franchisees to capitalize on the booming industry."
Pushing forward in 2024.
As a continually recognized leader in the travel franchise industry, being associated with Cruise Planners means being part of a brand known for excellence and innovation. "We offer more than 25 in-person training and networking opportunities, ensuring our franchisees are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed," Scalzitti says. "Our support extends beyond just technology, encompassing marketing, business development, and a collaborative culture that values each advisor's success."
Looking to the months ahead, Scalzitti says Cruise Planners will have a busy year, introducing several innovative tools and enhancements designed to empower their travel advisors and elevate the travel planning experience. Some examples include:
Maxx Intelligence: This new AI-powered tool within the CP Maxx platform is set to "revolutionize content creation for our agents," she says. It uses artificial intelligence and ChatGPT technology to help advisors effortlessly generate engaging content, enhancing communication with clients, and marketing efforts.
Where2Next Virtual Series: Enhancements to this series will provide an interactive experience, allowing clients to embark on a journey of learning and discovery about various destinations and travel suppliers, complete with exclusive offers.
LivePlanner Group Sessions: An upcoming feature that will allow advisors to conduct interactive planning sessions with multiple clients simultaneously, perfect for coordinating group travels or family vacations.
Traveltek Integration: Cruise Planners' enhanced booking engine will offer more robust capabilities, enabling advisors to make live bookings with an expanded array of cruise lines and access to cruise tours and group space.
"Cruise Planners is a brand that's built on a foundation of innovation, support, and community." Scalzitti says. "We're not just a travel agency network; we're a family of passionate travel enthusiasts committed to creating unforgettable experiences for our clients. Our investment in technology, comprehensive training, and a culture that celebrates success at every level make us a unique and exciting place for anyone looking to enter the travel industry."
Click here to learn more about Cruise Planners and their exciting franchise opportunities.
1 Travel Industry Trends 2023 | Mastercard