The most popular questions asked at the International Franchise Expo in New York city answered!
Our Franchise Advisors recently returned from the International Franchise Expo (IFE) in New York city and had some great conversations with individuals like yourself researching the many franchise opportunities before you. IFE is the largest franchise tradeshow in North America held in New York city annually and geared towards potential franchisees with more than 400 opportunities in attendance with all levels of investment. One of our favorite things about attending tradeshows is getting to meet candidates in person and answer their burning questions about the Expedia franchise opportunity. As someone currently researching franchise opportunities we thought you would be interested in learning the answers to the top five questions we were asked at the show.
1. Why invest in a retail travel agency franchise when all travel is booked online?
This is a question we’re asked all the time and it’s a great one. A common misconception is that in today’s digital world all things travel related are booked online when in reality that’s simply not true. With so much information at our fingertips researching vacations and reading reviews can quickly become all-consuming and when it comes to booking more complicated, high value vacations like cruises, the expertise and service provided by a travel agent is unparalleled. Plus, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the demand for travel agents is consistently increasing as 75% of cruisers choose to book with a travel agent. Having a retail storefront establishes recognition in your community as a destination for booking travel and it provides a space to host events like cruise nights while creating an environment where your independent Vacation Consultants can share their knowledge and work together.
2. How are you related to Expedia?
The Expedia name is synonymous with travel and that’s a huge benefit to our owners as they open their doors in the local community. Expedia partnered with CruiseShipCenters® in 2007 following more than two decades of consistent growth. The travel giant was drawn to the massive opportunity that a retail travel agency franchise system presented that was able to capture an area of the market that online bookings simply can’t compete with – personalized, one-on-one service and expert advice that only a travel agent can provide. Today, with Expedia, Inc. as our parent company our potential has been unleashed – it means we can leverage $64 billion in buying power and get the best pricing and offers with the most sought after suppliers in the travel industry.
3. How do you recruit travel agents and who trains them?
Recruiting and leading a team will be a big part of your role as an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise owner but fear not, we’re here to help you through the process. As a new owner you’ll learn how to sell travel so that you can support and train your team. Selling travel won’t be your #1 role, but it’s important that you learn how to. The travel agents your team will be comprised of will come from your local community and will often be individuals you meet out in your regular life that you present the opportunity to after experiencing their superb customer service skills. You’ll also host recruitment nights in your location where potential travel agents can come in to learn more about the independent consultant opportunity.
4. How much does it cost?
The investment required to get your Expedia CruiseShipCenters location up and running ranges from $99,430 and $183,900 which includes working capital for your first few months of business. In the realm of retail franchise businesses, our start-up costs are relatively low as there is no inventory needed to get started selling travel products to your customers. The nature of selling travel as a business is unique as commissions on bookings are paid out at the time of travel. This means if you sell a cruise that departs in three months, you and your team will receive commission in three months when the cruise departs. Over time as your team continues to grow you’ll find the time between commission payments decreases and payments will be coming in more frequently and in larger amounts!
5. What makes a good location for my retail center?
Your Expedia CruiseShipCenters location will become a hub of activity so it’s important to be accessible to your customers, agents, and walk in traffic. The ideal location will have high visibility in a shopping center in high-traffic area of your city or town. Ideally, your space will be around 1,000 square feet allowing for agent work areas that can be easily rearranged to create space for hosting marketing events and seminars. Your market area will be determined at the time you sign your franchise agreement and is based on demographic criteria that factors in population density, average and median income, and local competition.
At Expedia CruiseShipCenters we understand that there are a great deal of questions and considerations to take into account when researching the right franchise opportunity for you and we love supporting you through that process. Tradeshows like IFE provide us the opportunity to answer the many great questions that potential candidates like yourself have that are important when choosing the best franchise for you.
Ready to learn more about becoming a Franchise Partner with the retail travel agency backed by the number one brand in travel? Fill out our request for more information below and speak with one of our Franchise Advisors to continue exploring the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity.