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Are You Looking for a Recession-Resistant Franchise?

4 Compelling Reasons to Consider Expedia CruiseShipCenters

As you research franchise opportunities, it’s important to consider the stability of each model and how your business will fare in the event of a downturn in the economy. While many things are in your control as the owner of your own business, the economy can have a big impact on both employees and business owners alike. Finding a recession-resistant franchise can help to minimize any negative impacts your business may experience during these times.

During tough economic conditions, some brands weather the storm better than others and throughout our 32-year history, Expedia CruiseShipCenters has persevered through more than one storm. With an exceptional product, a minimal expense business model, and a proven system for helping franchisees be successful, our company has not only survived recessionary periods since we began in 1987, but we have also taken market share and come out ahead of our competition.

Here are 4 ways Expedia CruiseShipCenters offers a recession-resistant franchise:

1. No inventory required

When you invest in many franchise businesses, a large upfront cost is often required for inventory — whether that be stock to fill your shelves, or food to have on hand to feed potential customers. Purchasing inventory is a fixed cost and a necessary risk incurred by many franchise owners, but not at Expedia CruiseShipCenters. Since travel is an experiential product which is supplied by external tour operators, there are no shelves to stock or physical products for our owners to purchase upfront. Through the power of technology, you can offer your customers thousands and thousands of different products to suit any travel budget and taste, without spending a cent on inventory. Plus, with the latest cruise line availability feeds updating automatically in your CruiseDesk system daily, your inventory will never go out of style, or be past its best-before date. The travel products you offer will always be fresh.

2. Cruising is always a great value vacation

While it’s true that consumers may cut back on frivolous expenses during a recession, real travellers – the kind who book with Expedia CruiseShipCenters year after year – will always make travel a priority. For someone who looks forward to their annual family cruise each year, travel is not a frivolous expense.

Plus, unlike products that stay at a static price point regardless of demand, cruising offers a vast range of options for any and every budget. If a client can’t afford their usual luxury cruise one year, they may choose to book with a premium line instead, or perhaps they’ll downgrade from a suite to a balcony. They could also choose to depart from a port within driving distance to save on the cost of the flight. With so much flexibility and choice, cruising allows travellers to travel, no matter what the economic conditions are. With industry-leading rates and commissions secured for our 25 partner cruise lines, you’ll be able to accommodate any travel budget through your Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise.

Need more convincing? If anything shows confidence in the future of the cruise industry, it’s the ongoing investments cruise lines are making in increased capacity. Even from 2007-2009 during the global economic recession, worldwide cruise capacity still increased by a whopping 1.44 Million passengers and continues to rise as billions of dollars are invested in new ships each year.

3. Our sales model is commission-based

With many franchise businesses, like fast-food or specialty retail, employee wages are an ongoing fixed expense of running your business. While you may be able to cut down on the number of staff members you have during difficult economic conditions, you will still require some staff to keep your business open and running smoothly.

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, all Vacation Consultants are Independent Contractors who are paid on commission only. This means that you will only pay your Consultants when a cruise is sold. Why is this important for a recession-resistant franchise? If employee wages are fixed and your incoming sales decline, this has a negative impact on your bottom line. If on the other hand, your employee wages drop as top line sales fall, your business has a much better chance of pulling through. If a Vacation Consultant doesn’t sell any cruises, they won’t earn any commission. You can bring on as many Consultants as you can support at your local Center and incur little to no risk as the fixed expenses for your business will remain the same. In the event of a downturn in the economy, no layoffs are required.

4. Cruise lines will do what it takes to fill their ships

Two-thirds of all cruise vacations are booked through travel agents according to PhoCusWright, travel agencies are an essential sales channel for cruise lines to leverage when they need help filling their ships. As one of the leading sellers of cruises in North America with a collective database of over two million cruisers, Expedia CruiseShipCenters will be one of the first brands cruise lines will come to with exclusive booking incentives to offer our customers such as onboard cash credits, free upgrades or reduced deposits. These added bonuses allow you to offer more cruising value to your clients, without having to reduce the price of the cruise itself which would eat into your sales, and your commissions.

In addition to these national booking incentives, you’ll also have local cruise line representatives knocking on your door to partner with you directly as an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchisee. They will offer you additional marketing funds to help put on events at your Center or fund local ad campaigns that promote both your business and their brand. While these “co-op” funds are available to your Center every year, cruise lines tend to make even more of these marketing dollars available during tough economic times. Best of all, this addition your local marketing budget won’t cost your Center a cent so you get to reap the rewards without any added financial risk.

For more information about the economic stability of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise model and how you can become a part of our growing brand, we invite you to continue learning about our opportunity. Complete the form below for immediate access to our franchise brochure or review the essentials about our travel agency franchise opportunity here

Learn More

Expedia CruiseShipCenters continues to search for new franchise owners across North America. Are you interested in business ownership? If you’re ready to learn more about owning your own Expedia CruiseShipCenters complete the form below to receive our franchise brochure or review the essentials about our travel agency franchise opportunity here.

Inspiring our Franchisees to be Top Performers

Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ Franchise Owner Recognition Program

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters we play hard and work hard too. Being a part of the exciting and constantly evolving travel industry means that our franchise owners get to reap the rewards of the industry while working diligently with their Centers to achieve and exceed the goals they have set each year with the support of their dedicated Franchise Performance Coach . We are dedicated to helping each one of our more than 255+ franchise locations accomplish these goals and push beyond them in all facets of their business from the recruitment of Vacation Consultants and in turn their Center sales performance. We believe that all that hard work and dedication deserves to be recognized and have a specific program designed to reward our top performing franchise owners, the Presidents Circle.

The Presidents Circle Recognition Program

Our robust recognition program, consists of four achievement levels beginning with Silver, Gold, Platinum, and the peak, Diamond. Each level encompasses performance thresholds for franchise owners to strive towards each year. All franchise owners who achieve our Diamond level status are invited to attend a complimentary cruise for two hosted by our President, Matthew Eichhorst, along with other Executive Team members as a celebration of their success and achievement.

This year, a record of 31 Expedia CruiseShipCenters locations achieved Diamond level of our President Circle – the highest honor for those who achieve $7.5 Million single location booked sales. This past July, Diamond level franchise owners set sail onboard the luxurious Cunard Line’s, Queen Victoria, and enjoyed a 9-day Baltic Sea cruise visiting history rich ports of call including, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Visby, Hamburg and St. Petersburg. The Diamond cruise is not only a reward for outstanding performance but also an opportunity for franchise owners to network with fellow top achievers and find further inspiration for continued success in the years ahead.

Join Forces with a Top Performing Brand

Being part of a $95 billion global travel company, Expedia franchise owners not only benefit from many travel perks but also the significant support in place helping them accomplish their business goals and our Presidents Circle provides a great opportunity for that dedication to be honored. Each of our franchise owners work closely with their devoted Franchise Performance Coach as their committed business advisor ensuring they’re on track to achieve their goals. Qualifying for any of the four levels of our Presidents Circle is a great accomplishment and we strongly believe our franchise owners success is our success.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters is proud to be a leading retail travel agency franchise in North America and we are constantly striving to be better. At this year’s World’s Leading Cruise Lines Excellence Awards we were honored to receive three prestigious awards, Princess Cruises – Presidents Award, Carnival Cruise Lines – Retail Partner of the Year and Holland America Line – Franchise Agency Network Award. As an industry leader, we’re committed to building strong relationships with our franchise owners, travel industry partners and customers as displayed by these recent awards.

Koreen McNutt – Senior Director, Global Cruise Supply Commercial Strategy and Services

Learn More

Expedia CruiseShipCenters continues to search for new franchise owners across North America. Are you interested in business ownership? If you’re ready to learn more about owning your own Expedia CruiseShipCenters complete the form below to receive our franchise brochure or review the essentials about our travel agency franchise opportunity here.

Meet some of our Newest Franchise Owners

Join forces with Expedia the most recognized brand in travel

Are you considering a career change? Imagine owning your own Expedia CruiseShipCenters retail travel agency franchise and serving your community as navigators of spectacular vacation experiences! The cruise industry is booming with 27.2 million people expected to set sail in 2018 according to Cruise Lines International Association, we continue to grow our brand and are seeking new franchise owners across North America. You might be surprised to learn that previous travel experience isn’t a requirement for our exciting opportunity – in fact, our franchise owners come from a variety of backgrounds but share the common trait of strong leadership skills and a passion to recruit and train a team.

Last year we welcomed 24 new friendly faces to the Expedia family. Meet a few of our newest franchise owners who have recently opened their doors.

Clay Platt – Chula Vista, CA

Franchise owner, Clay Platt, has always had a love for travel from a young age. Before he married his wife of 25 years he completed his pilot license and enjoyed flying to Baja California for fun, his interest in travelling continued throughout his career as a long-distance driving instructor for semi-trailer truck drivers. When he discovered the Expedia franchise opportunity he knew it would combine his passions of recruiting and training a team and travelling. Clay’s positive attitude and presence in his local community has made his Expedia CruiseShipCenters a great addition to the community in Chula Vista, CA.

Paul Coplan – Glenview, Il

Franchise owner, Paul Coplan, is a long-standing resident of the Northern Chicago area. Before owning his own Expedia franchise, he was the sole proprietor at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange as well as a managing partner of Triangle Trading LLC for 27 years. He was ready for a career change and his experience in mentoring and leading teams made him a perfect fit for the Expedia CruisShipCenters franchise opportunity. Paul and his wife have three children and they love traveling in their spare time.

Brenda and Eric Skogen – Castle Rock, CO

Franchise owners, Brenda and Eric Skogen, opened their Center in December 2017 in Castle Rock, Colorado. Brenda came into the business with some previous travel experience with certification as a Travel Counselor and as a Global Travel Professional and has been in the Corporate Travel Management industry for over 20 years. Eric has more than 15 years of progressive IT education was the IT Director for Briotix – a company specializing in workforce performance solutions. Both Benda and Eric’s shared experience supporting and managing large groups of people has given them the ability to recruit and lead a strong team of Vacation Consultants. When Brenda heard of the Expedia Franchise opportunity she knew it was something she wanted to pursue. In their free time, Brenda and Eric enjoy boating and spending time with their three kids, three dogs, and two chinchillas.

Lisa Maxwell and Al Acorn – Bowmanville, ON

Franchise owners, Lisa and Al, have been married for 11 years and opened their Center in Bowmanville, Ontario in September 2017. Prior to franchise ownership, both Lisa and Al worked at Ontario Power Generation, Lisa for 28 years working her way up the ranks to become the Maintenance Specialist and Al for 33 years as a Senior Advisor. After Lisa’s retirement she became a Vacation Consultant at a nearby Expedia CruiseShipCenters and was inspired to build equity in her own Center. Lisa and Al’s experience training and managing teams has given them a great foundation to opening their own Expedia franchise and recruiting a team of their own Vacation Consultants.

When you join forces with Expedia CruiseShipCenters no previous travel experience is required. We set our franchise owners up for success, providing the tools and training necessary to hit the ground running from day one. We continue to search for passionate leaders across North America who are eager to open their own business and join the most recognized brand in travel.

Learn More

Are you ready to be your own boss? To learn more about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters opportunity, complete the form below and receive our Franchise Information Report, which includes more detail on our proven system and how you can bring our retail travel agency to your community.

You can also learn more by reading the essentials about our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here

Meet the Franchise Services Start-up Team

Dedicated Resources Guiding You Through Opening Your Center

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we take great pride in providing new franchise owners with the tools and guidance to set them up for success. From the moment you sign your Franchise agreement and join the Expedia family our Startup Team of Franchising Managers and Franchise Service members help guide you through the process to launch your Center. The first step is beginning our startup process where our dedicated Franchise Services team will support you through your physical location selection, Center design and construction planning, licensing, and getting set-up with all suppliers to hit the ground running.

Meet Alicia Reilly – Franchise Services Manager

Alicia is an experienced Expedian having worn a variety of hats within Expedia CruiseShipCenters over the past 10 years she knows the business inside and out. Alicia’s background in project management and hospitality has excelled her in the role as Franchise Services Manager. She works closely with each new franchise owner guiding them through every step of the startup process. She works closely with the Franchise Service Coordinator throughout location set-up and compliance with the franchise agreement seeing them through to the milestone of officially opening their doors for business! Get to know Alicia better in this Q&A!

What advice would you give franchise owners?
Trust the system and believe in yourself! This can be an overwhelming endeavor but with our tools and support you will find the process is efficient and focused on getting your doors open as quickly as possible.

What is of your favorite vacation?
While on a multi-generation family trip to Amsterdam (which was also incredible) my husband and I got to leave the kids behind with my in-laws and we took the high-speed train to Paris for a few days. This has been on my bucket list since I was a little girl. A few of the highlights included drinking champagne while sitting on top the Eiffel tower overlooking the city at night, riding bikes along the river discovering the most beautiful parts of Paris and tasting the most amazing macarons along the way… I was in heaven.

Where is your next dream vacation?
Cambodia has been on my list for a long time now and is one of the few places my husband has not been to, he has travelled the world and is usually my tour guide on any vacation we take – it will be a new adventure to visit a country where we are both experiencing it for the first time.

Meet Lyzbeth Aranda – Franchise Services Coordinator

Lyzbeth’s passion for travel and tourism led her to accomplish a Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Business Administration in her hometown, Mexico City. After moving to Canada, she completed a Marketing Management certificate as well as a Business and Hospitality Management certificate. She worked at Air Canada Vacations as a Groups Coordinator and gained a solid background in communication and support. Lyzbeth’s role as Franchise Services Coordinator is managing all technical and supplier set up for all new franchise owners, relocations, and refranchising locations. Her positive attitude, previous work experience and fluency in three languages makes her a strong asset supporting the franchise startup process!

What advice would you give franchise owners?
My advice to new franchise owners is to keep your motivation and excitement level high while building your business, even if takes longer than expected, when you work hard for your dreams, at the end of the process, you will feel great satisfaction once you see the positive results.

What is of your favorite vacation?
I have been very fortunate to have great travel experiences to share, each place has its charm and travelling it has always helped me to discover new Cultures and gastronomy. One of my favorite trips so far was traveling to Europe with my mother, we visited some of the major cities such as London, Brussels, Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris, they have lots culture and architecture to offer and we really enjoyed all the incredible food!

Where is your next dream vacation?
My next dream vacation will be visiting Asia: Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, I haven’t visited Asia before, so I am sure it will be amazing discovering their ancient temples and to visit an elephant and tiger sanctuary; and I would love to go to Ko Phi Phi Island in Thailand.

The start-up process is an important step in the launch of your business as a new franchise owner. At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we are committed to setting you up for success from day one. Alicia and Lyzbeth are dedicated to helping open your doors four to six months after signing your Franchise Agreement.

Learn More

Are you ready to be your own boss and launch your own business? Learn more about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity and complete the form below to receive our franchise information brochure here.

Supporting You Through Our Startup Process

Discover the dedicated training & support you’ll get through the process of building and launching your retail travel agency

So you’ve completed your due diligence and have decided that a travel agency franchise with Expedia CruiseShipCenters is the perfect fit for you. What happens next?

In our organization, we take a great deal of pride in the startup and onboarding support that we provide our new franchise owners to make sure we set you up for success. Our team of Franchising Managers and Program Specialists are here to help you launch your business with a strong start in every aspect – from finding your perfect location and store build-out, through to recruiting and training your dreamteam of Vacation Consultants.

With over 255 Expedia CruiseShipCenters open and 25 new Centers opened in 2017, we recognize the importance of having a strong team to help with the startup, on-boarding and launch of each location. That’s why we have dedicated teams at our Corporate Support office who are committed to providing all of the help you need to feel confident in each step of launching your new business.

Watch our Startup and Onboarding support video to meet a few members of the team that will guide you through the path to opening your Expedia CruiseShipCenters location.

Let’s explore in more detail the startup and onboarding support we provide to set our franchise owners on the path to success.

Phase 1: Startup Support

You’ll begin the first step of the startup process immediately following the signing of your Franchise Agreement. Your Franchise Development Manager will introduce you to the Startup and Onboarding team by conference call, kicking off your search for your perfect location. The Startup team will be your go-to resource to get your space ready for customers from location search and selection to the design and build out of your franchise. With the assistance of a third party real estate company, the Startup team will work with you to find the perfect location that ticks all of the boxes for great accessibility for customers and staff, strong visibility in your community, and a large enough space to accommodate a hub of activity. During this step, you’ll also receive guidance though the application process for the necessary licensing needed to operate a travel business in your community.

This process can be the longest component of your setup but the goal is to have your doors open within nine months of signing your franchise agreement. Remember, we’re in this together and our team will be there to help guide and support you every step of the way.

Path to Franchise Opening

Click to enlarge

Phase 2: Onboarding Support

The second step of launching your new travel franchise is onboarding and recruitment. This encompasses everything to do with recruiting and training your dream team of Vacation Consultants, to managing operations and growing your business. An important step in your training will be learning the how to sell travel as a Vacation Consultant so that you can successfully train and support your future team. During your onboarding, you’ll also attend our week-long intensive franchisee training program called Cruise Management Academy at our corporate headquarters where you’ll learn Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ tools, systems and support that will help you manage your team while you grow your business. By the time you open your doors, the goal is to have at least 15 Vacation Consultants trained and ready to sell travel to your community.

The culmination of your efforts will be opening your doors for business and planning your Grand Opening event! From that point onward you’ll receive ongoing support from your Franchise Performance Coach and team at the Corporate Support office as you run the day to day operations of your travel business. Our goal is to set you up for success and provide ongoing coaching and support as you build and grow your Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise.

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, we are committed to helping our franchise owners become exceptional leaders who can build a strong team and become the go-to cruise experts in their local community. Setting our franchise owners up for success is our purpose and we’re committed to helping you achieve your business and lifestyle goals.

Learn More

Are you ready to begin the Expedia franchise discovery process? To continue exploring the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity, complete the form below and receive our franchise information brochure. You can also learn more by reading the essentials about our franchise opportunity here.