Coral Springs, FL (PRWEB) October 28, 2013 - Cruise Planners-American Express Travel hosted its annual convention at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla. this past week, and kicked it off with an opening session that unveiled exclusive new technology and important industry announcements. With nearly 500 travel advisors at the sold-out event, the company predicted another successful year ahead based on strong sales and interesting projections.
The event opened with Cruise Planners CEO and Co-founder Michelle Fee introducing the Power in Partnerships theme, speaking to the strength of the Cruise Planners brand and how it has evolved over the years as the company rings in its 20th anniversary in January. "We have reached critical mass, which means we can leverage our power and partnerships even more for our agents," she explained. "This has been a fantastic year with the launch of some amazing technologies such as our mobile app and CP Social, as well as new programs including the Sea of Love LGBT Commitment Ceremony Cruise. All of these keep us at the forefront of the industry."
The company released impressive sales statistics, revealing record growth and giving agents a positive outlook for 2014. Cruise Planners has seen a 29 percent increase in cruise purchases during the past three years and experienced absolute growth in every cruise destination since this time last year. Interestingly, it’s not only cruise bookings that are up. The company’s land sales have grown by 121 percent in three years, proving Cruise Planners is a well-rounded travel company.
As a company that prides itself on being an industry leader in technology, Cruise Planners announced a number of new technologies to make the sales process even easier for travel advisors. Cruise Planners has improved its online reservations booking and management tool, which is now fully integrated with all major cruise lines, so each CP travel advisor is even more powerful. Cruise Planners will immediately introduce "live theme" video backgrounds for websites – a first in the industry. However, it was the update about the Value Tracker™ tool that really got CP agents energized. Value Tracker automatically tracks bookings and lets agents know when there is an opportunity for a value-add such as upgrades, added amenities, or savings to pass along to clients. Since it launched in May, is has provided more than $1.2 million in added value for agents.
Starting next year, agents will have mobile-friendly versions of their websites. Different from the mobile application, customers will soon be able to easily access agent sites to book travel with the swipe of the finger on smartphones or tablets. Another soon-to-be-offered innovation is the Smart Select™ tool, which will allow agents to automatically identify clients within their database who best match a specific marketing campaign to maximize efficiency and make the best use of each agent’s marketing dollars. The company will also offer a "Pro" version of Smart Select that will augment third-party psychographic and demographic information to reach the right customer with the message at the right time.
After the land portion of the national convention, the group set sail on the North American debut of the Royal Princess out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
For more information on Cruise Planners, please visit http://www.cruiseplanners.com. "Like" Cruise Planners on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CruisePlannersAmEx, follow Cruise Planners at @Cruisitude and stay up to date on convention by using #CPconv2013.
Named No.1 Cruise Tour / Travel Agency by Entrepreneur for the past 10 years and recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology, Cruise Planners positions franchise owners for success by providing them with innovative marketing, booking and lead-generating tools as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives.
Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line. Accolades include a record 11 Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly in 2013, Special Needs Group Accessible Travel Advocate Power Partners™ for 2012, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for eight years in a row (2004 – 2011), American Express Agency of the Year (2010), Royal Caribbean International Home-Based Partner of the Year (2007 – 2012), Royal Caribbean International President’s Award for Overall Achievement for 2012, Norwegian Cruise Line Franchise Agency of the Year (2011-2012) and Home-Based Agency of the Year (2010), Celebrity Cruises Southeast Region Travel Agent Partner of the Year (2010), American Express Vacations Globe Award (2008 – 2012), Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2009- 2012), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises (2009-2012), Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer and International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association Member. For information, visit http://www.cruiseplanners.com.
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Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation's largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry.