CruiseOne® & Cruises Inc.® 2012 National Conference Kicks Off At Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort

Opening Day of Weeklong Continuing Education Program Welcomes 750+ Attendees for Variety of Presentations, Panel and Interactive Workshops

October 16, 2012 // Franchising.com // Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – CruiseOne® & Cruises Inc.®, one of the nation’s top travel retail networks as part of World Travel Holdings (WTH), yesterday celebrated the beginning of their 2012 National Conference. The annual program, which has become one of the industry’s hottest events welcoming an impressive roster of industry leaders, features a week of dynamic speakers, presentations and workshops designed to help franchise owners and agents grow their businesses. More than 750 attendees gathered this morning for an exciting general session, which included a welcome address from CruiseOne® & Cruises Inc.® SVP and GM Dwain Wall, as well as remarks by Senior Vice President, Travel Industry Sales, Americas, Disney Destinations, Ed Fouche.

During his opening address, Wall cited impressive growth within the land sector, with land sales up 35% year-over-year, commenting, “cruising has been – and always will be – a core aspect of what we do. That said, our expanding land program symbolizes our commitment to continue to grow with the times and help each and every one of you be the best full-service travel professional you can be.”

Wall also motivated agents by citing a recent article by Yahoo! Finance’s Jim Citrin, reviewing the daily schedules and habits of the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs, asking “some people dream of great accomplishments, while others wake up and actually achieve them. Which one are you?”

Following Wall’s comments, Fouche welcomed the attendees with Captain Mickey by his side. Fouche also shared the attributes that comprise each of Disney’s six target consumer sectors. In addition, Disney’s marketing team shared a presentation encompassing some of the team’s most successful behavior practices and how to utilize them into everyday business. Attendees also received an update from CruiseOne® & Cruises Inc.’s Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Luis Zuniga. During his presentation, Zuniga discussed the power of leveraging each and every consumer marketing touch point and the importance of getting personal with customers. He also provided updates on several marketing programs set to launch in the coming year.

A cruise line executive panel was then hosted by David Crooks, Senior Vice President of Product and Operations for World Travel Holdings, including the following panelists:

  • Charles Dunwoody - Senior Director, National Accounts , Holland America Line and Seabourn
  • Andy Stuart - EVP, Global Sales & Passenger Services, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Joni Rein - Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Carnival Cruise Line 
  • Vicki Freed - SVP, Sales and Trade Support & Service, Royal Caribbean International              
  • Dondra Ritzenthaler - Senior Vice President of Sales, Celebrity Cruises

Upon completion of the cruise panel, John Diulus, Carnival’s Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships and Charters, discussed the line’s important relationship with agents.  Attendees then enjoyed a lunch sponsored by Carnival and had the opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops, which were organized by learning tracks including “Product,” “Business Opportunity,” “Sales,” “Marketing” and “Technology.”

Two of the day’s workshops were interactive panels, which brought together industry leaders to share category updates with attendees.  

The “Attracting and Qualifying Luxury Clients” panel featured:

  • John Wilson, Area Sales Director, Silversea 
  • Phil  Devillier, Director of Sales, Regent Seven Seas
  • Gene Shulman, District Sales Manager, Crystal Cruises
  • Joe Eastep, Regional Sales Director, Oceania
  • Carmen Corvos-Roig, Director of Field Sales, Azamara Club Cruises
  • Cindy Botelho, Business Development Manager, Cunard 
  • Charles Dunwoody, Senior Director, National Account Sales, Seabourn

The “Niche Cruise Panel” featured:

  • Terri A Haas, CTC, Chief Commercial Officer, Compagnie du Ponant
  • Dan Chappelle , Vice President, Sales, Windstar Cruises
  • James J. Applebaum, Director, Southeast Region, Paul Gauguin Cruises
  • Mitchell J. Schlesinger, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Voyages of Antiquity

Additional sessions throughout the day included, by learning track:

  • Product – “Land Destination Spotlights” and “Selling Land Tours”
  • Business Opportunity – “CruiseOne®: Building Value in a Franchise” and “$1M Ideas”
  • Sales – “Effective Presentation Skills”
  • Marketing – “Free and Low-Cost Online Marketing” and “Local Networking Made Easy”
  • Technology – “Using Technology in the Sales Process”

To become part of CruiseOne® or Cruises Inc.®, visit www.CruiseOneFranchise.com or www.SellCruises.com. To take advantage of the companies’ special offers and book travel with a local vacation specialist, visit www.CruiseOne.com or www.CruisesInc.com.

About CruiseOne® & Cruises Inc.® 

CruiseOne®, the nation's largest home-based franchise travel agent network, was founded in 1992. Cruises Inc.®, the original cruise travel host agency, was founded in 1982. Together, the companies’ 1,200+ agents are part of World Travel Holdings (WTH), one of the nation’s top travel retail networks. CruiseOne® & Cruises Inc. ® are industry leaders, providing agents with innovative support, training, marketing and technology programs to successfully grow their business. The companies have relationships with every major cruise line and many tour operators and as a result, offer the highest commissions in the business. Both are consistently recognized for their efforts, including being named Royal Caribbean’s “Partner of the Year,” Celebrity Cruises’ “National Account Partner of the Year” and Carnival Cruise Line’s “Travel Partner of the Year.”

A proud member of the International Franchise Association (IFA), MinorityFRAN, and VetFRAN, CruiseOne® is consistently ranked in major editorial awards including Entrepreneur magazine's "Top 500", Forbes magazine’s “Top 20 Franchises to Start,” the Franchise Market’s "Top 100 Companies,” and FranchiseBusinessReview’s “Top Low Cost Franchises.”

Media Contact:

Samantha Jacobs | Lani Gerlak
M. Silver Associates, 954-765-3636
On-site Cell Phone, 954-319-1787
Samantha@msilver-pr.com | Lani@msilver- pr.com

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