Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Coasts Through 2018 with Continued Expansion; Hosts Mid-Year Anchor Meeting
Cruise Industry Leader Continues North America Expansion; Industry Experts Reflect on Future Cruise Trends
June 25, 2018 // Franchising.com // Bellevue, Wash. - The top cruise travel agency franchise in North America, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, experienced significant expansion in 2018 with six new Centers having debuted so far this year and several additional locations projected to open by year-end. The franchise network and industry leaders recently gathered together on the Norwegian Bliss to discuss the surge of the industry and the future of cruising, which was then followed by Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ mid-year Anchor Meeting in Bellevue, Wash.
Expedia CruiseShipCenters just came off a milestone-heavy 2017 with strong operating performance while opening 25 new franchise locations and welcoming a record-breaking 1,773 new Vacation Consultants. Adding to these notable growth achievements over the past year, Expedia CruiseShipCenters also broke into Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500 ranking. Riding this wave of success, Expedia CruiseShipCenters plans to open more locations in 2018 than they did in 2017 with a particular focus on Florida, Texas, Georgia, Illinois, Washington and Arizona.
“Expedia CruiseShipCenters has experienced solid growth the past few years and we plan to continue the momentum throughout 2018 and years to come,” said Matthew Eichhorst, President of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. “This surge of the industry has led to the rapid growth within our brand. As the industry continues to flourish, we are excited to see what the remainder of 2018 has in store for us.”
The mid-year Anchor Meeting brought together industry experts including Matthew Eichhorst of Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Aman Bhutani of Expedia Group, Orlando Ashford of Holland America Line, Vicki Freed of Royal Caribbean International, and Charles Sylvia of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to discuss the travel trends consumers can expect to see in the near future. Some of the discussed cruise trends of 2018 include: transformational cruise travel, more sailings to colder destinations, widespread use of onboard smart technology, sustainability/eco-friendly ships and itineraries, and budget friendly options.
“It’s an exciting time for the cruise industry - there’s more than 100 ships on the market giving customers more options for cruise travel” said Eichhorst. “CLIA estimates that over 27 million passengers are expected to cruise in 2018, so the Anchor Meeting was a great chance for key industry experts to come together to strategize and celebrate our thriving industry.”
With the cruise travel industry expected to continue its rise throughout 2018, Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ growth is in part driven by this continued demand. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) report, more than 7.2M passengers are expected to cruise this year- a 20.5 percent increase over the last five years. Additionally, 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships are scheduled to debut. After years of stagnant performance, the cruise industry is coming back with a vengeance, contributing more than $126B in total output worldwide.
About Expedia CruiseShipCenters
Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of 255 retail travel agency franchises. As part of the Expedia Group family of brands, the company’s more than 5,000 Vacation Consultants sell a wide range of vacation products including cruises, flights, hotels, vacation packages, tours, excursions and more. The company has been navigating spectacular vacation experiences for customers across North America for 30 years.
Expedia and CruiseShipCenters are trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. or its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2018 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST #2029030-50 and CST #20893-43
SOURCE Expedia CruiseShipCenters
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