The course that leads to franchise ownership is unique and our franchisees come from a wide range of backgrounds
Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® owners come from all walks of life, from big cities and small communities. Each year we see a unique array of franchise owners join our team each who came to us on their own path. Their reasons for choosing to open a travel agency vary from the desire for a change of career, to wanting to earn income on their own terms – on a schedule they can dictate. While our franchise owners come from a wide range of backgrounds and personalities, they do share strong leadership skills and of course, a passion for travel.
2015 was a record year for Expedia CruiseShipCenters as we welcomed 40 new locations in the United States and Canada and we’re looking forward to many new additions to our team in the years to come. We’re thrilled highlight a few of our newest franchise owners who joined our team or opened their doors over the past year.
Patrick Walker & Heather Fahle – Frisco, TX
Franchise owner, Patrick Walker, is a retired Coastguard veteran following a 26 year career which included a 13 year placement in Kodiak, Alaska, with his wife Nickie and seven children. Ready for his next adventure, Patrick and his sister, Heather, decided to get into business ownership through a franchise and were searching for the right fit. The pair worked with a franchise advisor who provided them with a wide array of franchise opportunities to consider before deciding on Expedia CruiseShipCenters. As creative problem solvers with a passion for people and of course, travel, they found the ideal combination where they can interact with customers, enjoy flexible work hours, and be rewarded for their hard work.
Elbert Stockberger – Bellevue, WA
Franchise owner, Elbert Stockberger, enjoyed a fruitful career in the corporate world and was eager to step out of his comfort zone and be his own boss. At 49, he recognized an entrepreneurial spirit in himself and began investigating franchise opportunities that related to his interests. He decided that investing in an Expedia travel franchise was a way to set both he and his partner up for a new phase in their life together – building an income stream in an industry they both enjoy. The Expedia brand piqued his interest initially but ultimately the decision was made by the alignment of Elbert’s income, lifestyle, wealth and equity goals with the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity.
Tanya & Rodney Scott – Gainesville, VA
Franchise owners Tanya and Rodney Scott have been married for 22 years and have five children. As a stay-at-home mom and girls youth and High School Lacrosse coach, Tanya was looking for a change that would provide flexibility as a mother as well as the rewards of running her own business. Tanya recognized the opportunity in her community for a trusted travel agency and during the validation process found the Expedia franchise opportunity to be perfect fit. The proven franchise model has allowed her to build a business – not only at a physical location – but one with a scalable network of Vacation Consultants that can be grown over time. Tanya’s infectious personality has helped her to network in her community and help to build her team, her customer base, and in turn, her business.
Lyle & Renee Curry – Edmonds, WA
After a successful career of nearly 20 years with Microsoft Corporation and experience in consulting and training roles, Lyle was ready to be his own boss. That’s when he and is his wife Renee – a teacher of nine years in Washington state – began working with a franchise advisor who presented to them the Expedia Franchise opportunity. Prior to their tech and education careers, the couple also had experience working in the travel industry with Alaska Airlines which helped them develop a shared passion for travel. The brand recognition of Expedia paired with the company’s growth plans and strategies presented the perfect opportunity for them. After careful analysis, they decided that an Expedia franchise was the franchise opportunity they were searching for.
Now is the perfect time to launch your travel franchise
Are you ready for a career change? The Expedia franchise opportunity sets franchise owners up for success with our training, support and proven system – no industry training or experience is needed. There’s never been a better time to join the travel industry with a retail franchise. Unlike many retail businesses, the cruise industry has not been diminished by the rise of consumers shopping online.
Cruise Lines International Association, notes in their 2014 North American Market Profile of the industry that most cruises are sold by travel agents, not through websites. In fact, 70% of cruisers opted to book their vacations using a travel agent. The thriving cruising market, as well as consumer trends towards personalized service, have allowed Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchises to have viable, profitable businesses that reflect their owners’ passion for travel.
Expedia CruiseShipCenters is gearing up for expansion
Expedia CruiseShipCenters has more than 200 travel franchise locations open or under development in North America, and has plans to open 150 more locations over the next three years.
With our course charted for explosive growth, Expedia CruiseShipCenters will continue to be a leader in a thriving, vibrant industry. According to CLIA, it is estimated that 24 million people will cruise in 2016. 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 for more than two decades.