March 22, 2011 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis, MN — Cruise Holidays, North America's oldest cruise-specialty travel franchisor, has signed a deal with United Kingdom-based Global Cruising, Ltd, for Global Cruising to become Cruise Holidays' first-ever British master franchisor. The agreement opens the door for Global Cruising to expand its current operations using the Cruise Holidays brand name, along with the franchisor's industry-leading programs and services.
Global Cruising was launched by CEO Martin Greenslade in 2004. It currently has nearly 30 franchisees in the United Kingdom. As an overall company, Global Cruising takes on the Cruise Holidays name effective immediately. Its current franchise owners will transition to the new brand over time. Global Cruising's future growth strategy includes the conversion of existing cruise-focused agencies in the UK as well as new start-up retail locations that will use the Cruise Holidays brand name.
To maximize its growth potential, Global Cruising will implement Cruise Holidays' technology systems, including CruiseWeb – the company's fully-integrated back office to front office system – which offers full cruise booking, customer relationship management and accounting capabilities. Global Cruising will also make use of Cruise Holidays' Web site program and layered marketing approach, providing maximum operating efficiency, providing the business with control on resources and increasing margins.
Citing the maturity of the North American cruise market, the deal also gives Global Cruising the advantage of having a strategic partner that can foresee industry trends that will carry over to the United Kingdom. There are currently about 750 travel agencies total in the UK, doing about two billion pounds annually in cruise business, compared to 17 billion dollars in North America. Additionally, it's estimated that cruises account for only about 10 percent of the total overseas packages for the UK, showcasing the opportunity for additional growth.
Mark Schiffner, vice president and COO of Cruise Holidays, cites the overall growth and momentum of Cruise Holidays as one reason the partnership with Global Cruising makes sense. "The relationships we have with our franchise owners are extremely strong and are the reason for our continued success. Together, we have created marketing and technology programs that are industry leading. Cruise Holidays continues to have a special level of trust and cooperation with its franchise owners, and that is what helps us continually guide the future of Cruise Holidays in such a positive direction," said Schiffner.
Global Cruising also stands to benefit from Cruise Holidays' position within Travel Leaders Leisure Group, which is a division of Travel Leaders Group. The parent company is a 14 billion dollar travel company that already includes approximately 30% of all travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada under its umbrella.
"We will provide as many resources as possible, not only Cruise Holidays' programs and services, but also our considerable resources from our other owned and operated brands and our long term vendor relationships, to help put Cruise Holidays in an even greater position to succeed in the UK," said Tom Baumann, president of Travel Leaders Leisure Group.
As Cruise Holidays' master franchisor in the UK, Global Cruising will be responsible for supporting and growing the Cruise Holidays franchise in the UK.
"With nearly three decades in cruise franchising, Cruise Holidays will provide a superb resource for Global Cruising, both in terms of our development as a cruise agency and as a franchisor," said Martin Greenslade, CEO, Global Cruising, Ltd.
"The United Kingdom in particular continues to grow at an exponential rate. With this comes an insatiable appetite for new and unique cruise holiday experiences, something which our cruise travel professionals will be in a prime position to take advantage of," added Greenslade.
"When we began our search for a strategic partner, we were most impressed with Cruise Holidays' focused and efficient operation and their emphasis on relationship selling. We will offer that same level of efficiency to our current franchise owners as well as potential conversion agencies," said Tony Childs, managing director of Global Cruising.
Cruise Holidays is the oldest cruise-specialty retail franchise in North America, with stores and home-based franchise owners in both the United States and Canada. Cruise Holidays is also a distinguished provider of land tour vacation packages. Founded in 1984, Cruise Holidays is part of Travel Leaders Group. With approximately 30% of all travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada under its umbrella, Travel Leaders Group serves millions of individual leisure travelers, as well as select corporate clients and destinations.
Travel Leaders Leisure Group serves worldwide travelers through distinct, company-owned and franchise leisure travel brands, including wholly-owned, leisure-focused Travel Leaders® offices, Cruise Holidays®, Cruise Specialists®, CruiseDeals.com®, SinglesCruise.com®, All Aboard Travel, Luxury Travel Network and Elite Journeys. Each brand specializes in its own unique niche in the travel industry ranging from luxury cruises and tours to singles cruises, value-priced cruises, packaged cruise and land vacations, full-service leisure travel, and independent business travel opportunities.
Travel Leaders Group is a $14 billion travel services parent company comprised of multiple operating subsidiaries offering leisure, business and franchise/ consortia travel products under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. It is made up of six divisions: Travel Leaders Leisure Group, Travel Leaders Franchise Group, Travel Leaders Corporate, Tzell Travel Group, Vacation.com and Travel Leaders Technology.
Global Cruising was founded in 2004 by CEO Martin Greenslade. The Global Cruising name was developed in 2005, and the business welcomed its first franchise owner in 2008. Managing Director Tony Childs joined the company in 2008 and together they have grown the business to its current level of 27 franchisees.