Top-ranked travel franchise continues rapid expansion in the greater Seattle area with future plans to open 14 additional Expedia CruiseShipCenters
With the Pacific Ocean in its backyard, cruising is of vital importance to the dynamic economy of the Seattle – Tacoma metropolitan area. Just how important? According to the Port of Seattle, nearly 960,000 cruisers are expected to depart from the city’s port in 2016, which, in turn, will add millions to the area’s economy.
In order to meet the demand for cruising in the greater Seattle area, Expedia CruiseShipCenters will open three new travel franchise locations before the end of 2015. Two of the new travel franchise locations, situated in the Seattle suburbs of Bellevue and Lake Forest Park, recently opened their doors to the cruising community, while the third location in Sammamish will open for business in November.
“We know that distance to port is a key decision making factor for cruisers,” says Matthew Eichhorst, President of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. “We’ve chosen Seattle as a prime market for our travel franchise opportunity because of the fact that the city serves seven of the major cruise lines, who in turn, will launch over 200 itineraries from Seattle in 2016. Following both the industry’s significant investment in the Seattle area, and the rising popularity for cruising in the culture-at-large, we plan to open an additional 14 travel franchise locations in the Seattle area in the coming years.”
Now is the perfect time to launch your travel franchise in Seattle
With a population of over 3.6 million people, the Seattle – Tacoma metropolitan area has a tremendous demand for new Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise locations. Seattle is the primary departure point for most of the Pacific Northwest and with over 7 million people living in the nearby metro areas of Seattle, Portland and Spokane, it is a potentially lucrative market to operate a retail travel agency focused on cruising.
With two downtown cruise terminals, 11 premier ships depart from Seattle and in 2016, over 203 cruise ships will visit, carrying over 960,000 people.
The positive effect of the cruising industry on the Seattle area is likely to increase as the popularity for cruising in the United States continues to exponentially expand. As recently as October of 2015, Cruise Lines International Association, an organization which conducts continual analysis of the industry, released the findings from their “2014 Economic Impact Analysis,” and the study proves what our travel franchise owners already know – the cruise industry is booming.
“Cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record $21 billion in the U.S. in 2014, up 16 percent since 2010 and representing a new peak in U.S. cruise industry expenditures,” CLIA reports in a press release. “CLIA’s 2014 Economic Impact Analysis, an independent study commissioned by CLIA and conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA), shows that total contributions of the global cruise industry to the U.S. economy reached a record $46.09 billion in 2014, up 4.5 percent from the previous year. This includes generating 373,738 U.S. jobs paying more than $19 billion in wages and salaries.”
Seattle and beyond – Expedia CruiseShipCenters targets port cities for expansion
Expedia CruiseShipCenters has nearly 200 travel franchise locations open or under development in North America, and has plans to open 150 more travel franchise locations over the next three years.
“Our vision is to be the largest cruise retail network in North America and a trusted brand for cruisers in their communities,” Matthew says. “In the year 2020, we plan to have 500 Expedia CruiseShipCenters locations, with 300 of those stores in the United States.”
Not only are we seeking entrepreneurs who are passionate about travel to open 14 new travel franchise locations in the greater Seattle area, we have plans to open 30 new locations in New York City, as well as several in every major port city in the United States.
With our course charted for explosive growth, Expedia CruiseShipCenters will continue to be a leader in a thriving, vibrant industry. According to CLIA, 23 million people are expected to cruise in 2015. As large as the cruising industry has become, Expedia CruiseShipCenters has grown at three times the rate of the cruise industry overall, enjoying an average sales growth of 20% annually since we launched our brand more than two decades ago.