Strong Consumer Demand for Cruise Travel Cited as One Reason for Franchise Network's Growth
June 17, 2008 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis, MN – The numbers speak for themselves. While endless discussion continues over the nation's economic challenges, SeaMaster Cruises – a home-based cruise-selling franchise organization – is showing why it's still a buyer's market for those looking for a smart business opportunity. On the heels of its fourth anniversary, SeaMaster Cruises continues to grow faster than the national average, increasing its overall number of franchise units by 27% over the last year alone, to a total of 128. According to FRANdata, less than 3% of all travel-related franchise systems can boast growth of more than 25% over a three year period.
Placing that into larger context, the SeaMaster Cruises network began in May 2004 and attracted 33 franchisees in its first year of operations. Its steady growth pace has continued even as the economy has been less than robust, welcoming its 128th franchisee in May 2008.
SeaMaster Cruises General Manager Mark Schiffner cites three major factors in the network's success:
"While we fully anticipated that we would have to provide some sort of incentive to attract franchisees in our first year, they came to us even more quickly than we predicted," said Schiffner. "Regardless of the state of the economy, everyone wants to make a sound financial investment. SeaMaster Cruises offers the right combination of low investment and strong potential."
Even as vacationers closely examine their options, the cruise market itself has remained resilient. For example, cruise ship capacity in Europe has grown more than 20% in the past year, as travelers strive to make the most of their dollars on the Continent. That's a big selling point for those making a vacation investment, and SeaMaster franchisees are helping them capitalize on it.
As far as franchise costs, that, too, has worked to SeaMaster Cruises' advantage. The franchise fee of $9,500 has remained steady since 2004. As a home-based business, franchisees don't have to make major investments in overhead, either. Even SeaMaster Cruises' marketing plan for franchisees is low-cost. "We encourage our franchisees to get out there and network to build their businesses," said Schiffner. "We're selling relationships as much as we are selling cruises. Because the vast array of cruise offerings can render uninitiated cruise travelers unsure of what's right for them, it's one of those decisions that remains best made after consultation with a real knowledgeable person versus going online. And for those organizing a large affinity group, or planning an incentive trip or fundraiser at sea, it's a must."
To learn more about becoming a SeaMaster Cruises franchise owner or to locate the SeaMaster Cruises Personal Cruise Expert nearest you, visit www.seamastercruises.com. Or, call 800-824-1281 to learn about this franchise opportunity.
SeaMaster Cruises, a home-based, cruise-only franchise organization, is part of The Travel Franchise Group, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Travel Acquisitions Group. In addition to SeaMaster Cruises, TTFG brands include: Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, Cruise Holidays and Results! Travel®. In 2008, SeaMaster Cruises was ranked by Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 in the top 15 of all new franchises.