December 05, 2012 // Franchising.com // CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Cruise Planners – American Express Travel Executive Team including CEO & Co-founder Michelle Fee, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Vicky Garcia, and Chief Financial Officer Tom Kruszewski set the stage for what the company expects to be a successful 2013 at the opening session of the Cruisitude™ Revolution, the company’s 16th annual convention that took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, late last week and concluded with a special two night preview cruise aboard Celebrity Reflection.
With continued growth of land tours sales and CP Vacations, a completely packaged vacations program that provides agents with access to more than 300 packages, as well as early bookings for 2013 already up 27 percent compared to the same period last year, the convention was buzzing with “Cruisitude” throughout the three-day event that included training on exclusive company technology and presentations in best practices regarding social media, marketing and customer service from experts in the industry.
Along with several new marketing initiatives and technology for travel advisors, a new consumer app was announced during the convention. With a naming competition currently underway, Cruise Planners – American Express Travel’s Home Office has already received more than 500 potential names for the application that will be available for iOS and Android. The winning app name will be announced before the end of the year and will be available for download as of January 2013.
For the first time in the convention’s history, the company focused on social media to engage advisors throughout the convention with important takeaway tips and polls conducted via text message, which were measured in real time to gauge important advisor interest, confidence and contest results.
“Interestingly more than 70 percent of agents polled said they expect big growth in the coming year,” said Fee. “We presented some strong sales results, which will really set the stage for great things in 2013. Demand for buying cruises is consistently strongest from January through April, so we are confident our advisors got the message and left convention ready to take advantage of this short, but crucial booking window.”
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Services Representative, is the largest home-based travel agent network in the cruise industry with more than 800 franchise owners across the country that independently book cruises and associated travel. Named No.1 Cruise Tour / Travel Agency by Entrepreneur magazine for the past nine years, 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 winning a record nine Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly in 2012, Special Needs Group Accessible Travel Advocate Power Partners™ for 2012, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for 7 years in a row (2004 – 2011), Agency of the Year from American Express (2010), Royal Caribbean International Home-Based Partner of the Year (2007 – 2012), Norwegian Cruise Line Franchise Agency of the Year (2012) and Home-Based Agency of the Year (2010), Southeast Region Travel Agent Partner of the Year from Celebrity Cruises (2010), Globe Award from American Express Vacations (2008 – 2012), Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2009- 2012), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises (2009-2012), and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer. For more information, please visit www.cruiseplanners.com.
Holly Zawyer | Jessica Drouet
Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com