Entrepreneur Magazine and Black Enterprise Rank Cruise Planners-American Express Travel High in Top Franchise Ratings

Company Ranked No. 1 in Travel Industry Category and Among Top 25 for African-American Franchisees

December 17, 2012 // Franchising.com // CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Cruise Planners – American Express Travel, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry has, once again, ranked high in Entrepreneur magazine’s Annual Franchise 500 issue. Jumping an impressive ten spots since 2012, from No. 44 to No. 34, Cruise Planners – American Express Travel is now in the top 6.8 percentile of franchises in the country, according to the magazine. Moreover, in Entrepreneur’s “Travel Industry” category, Cruise Planners – American Express Travel ranked No. 1 for the tenth consecutive year, an outstanding testament to the company’s innovative style and longevity within the industry.

“We strive to ensure that our new franchise owners, some who are new to the travel industry, are fully equipped with everything they need for success. With our award-winning marketing strategies and cutting-edge online courses featuring our signature technology, Cruise Planners – American Express Travel franchisees have a wealth of knowledge and tools at their fingertips. This allows them to be successful travel advisors in today’s competitive market,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners – American Express Travel.

Meanwhile, the company was just named one of the Top 25 franchises for African-Americans by Black Enterprise magazine. This distinction recognizes the opportunities for the African-American community in the lucrative cruise travel industry and validates Cruise Planners - American Express Travel for its expansion in diverse markets all across America.

Both magazines conduct comprehensive investigations into franchises throughout the US, asking franchisors to participate in the ranking survey and spending several months calling, e-mailing, researching and analyzing hundreds of franchise companies in order to determine the rankings. Now in its 34th year of ranking franchises, Entrepreneur magazine is known as one of the most reliable sources for future franchisees to learn about potential business opportunities. Accordingly, Black Enterprise magazine has been ranking franchises for more than a decade and has become a leading source of information for entrepreneurs within the African-American community.

According to Fee, “Both Entrepreneur and Black Enterprise recognize that franchisees and their clients have come to know the Cruise Planners – American Express Travel name as a reliable brand within both the franchise and travel industries. As cruise travel has become increasingly popular in recent years, opportunities for home-based agents have multiplied and franchisees who have joined the Cruise Planners-American Express Travel network have seen their investment grow.”

Entrepreneur magazine judges all the companies by the same criteria with financial strength and stability, growth rate and the size of the franchise as the most important factors. The magazine also researches the number of years the company has been in business and working as a franchise as well as startup costs, litigation and if the company provides financing. Black Enterprise magazine’s process includes analyzing minority participation as well as judging franchisee satisfaction, growth of industry, cost of entry and success rate.

About Cruise Planners - American Express Travel

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 ten 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.

Media Contacts:

Holly Zawyer | Jessica Drouet
Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications
P: 305-444-4033
holly@cam-pr.com | jessica@cam-pr.com

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