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In the News: Record Breaking Bookings for Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®; Sails 300th Franchise Agreement

The article was published September 2019 in prnewswire.com

September 09, 2019 // prnewswire.com // Bellevue, Wa. – Expedia CruiseShipCenters, a leading cruise travel agency franchise, announced the awarding of its 300th franchise agreement, reaching a major milestone for the rapidly expanding retail travel agency franchise. The milestone was achieved as a result of two multi-unit agreements that will bring Centers to Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Expedia CruiseShipCenters signed its first multi-unit agreement in 2018 and the multi-unit franchise opportunity has proven to play a strong, strategic role in the brand’s rapid expansion.

This milestone only builds momentum for the brand as it works toward an overall growth vision of reaching 500-locations in North America over the next five years. As the cruise industry continues to surge with 30 million passengers expected to cruise by 2027 – a 34 percent increase from five years prior – Expedia CruiseShipCenters is poised to capitalize on the growing industry. The cruise industry has made tremendous waves this year with a $69B investment that will debut 24 new ocean liners and 20 new river ships by year-end.

“The industry is hot and as we continue to grow and innovate, we aim to become the number one retail cruise agency in North America,” said Matthew Eichhorst, President of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. “This 300th signed agreement milestone is a true testament to the strong Franchise Partners we’ve grown with and our incredible corporate team. It is a time to celebrate and continue to build as we march toward our next growth goals.”

This milestone was achieved on the foundation of a strong 2018 as Expedia CruiseShipCenters awarded 26 new franchises and achieved over $790 million in gross bookings. Most notable, Expedia CruiseShipCenters was ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500 ranking. The prestigious ranking is a testament to the brand’s ability to grow its footprint across North America while continuing to provide unparalleled franchisee support and customer service.

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, customers can choose from numerous vacation possibilities over land, sea and air, including customized trips, coach and rail tours and insurance – all at Expedia Group prices. Centers offer personal vacation consultations in person, through email or over the phone, so customers have the freedom to book when, where, and how they choose. As part of the Expedia Group family of brands, customers get to enjoy the best of two worlds; competitive pricing on a wide range of travel products and expert, personalized advice from a real person connected to a locally owned business.

With plans to open 35 new franchise locations throughout 2019, Expedia CruiseShipCenters continues to provide business opportunities for driven team leaders who want to build income, equity, and a great lifestyle with a retail business they are passionate about. The brand has eyes set on key development markets including Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, Illinois, and Washington.

About Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 291 retail travel agency franchises. As part of the Expedia Group family of brands, the company’s more than 6,400 Vacation Consultants facilitate the booking of 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 over 30 years.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

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In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Pearland, TX

We are excited to announce Theo Nobel opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Pearland, TX

Theo’s Center is located at 11401 Broadway St. suite 105, Pearland Texas.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: 5 helpful tips to help manage the pressure of making quick business decisions

The article was published on August 2019 thriveglobal.com

August 7, 2019 // Thriveglobal //

It’s easy for any leader to become overwhelmed by the sense of responsibility in managing the pressures of making quick business decisions.

It’s natural to worry about making a bad or wrong decision during a high-pressure situation. If we had the opportunity, of course, we’d all prefer enough time to analyze the situation and work through all the alternatives; however, that’s not always the case.

So, how do you handle the anxiety of managing quick, important business decisions? If done right, pressure can result in focused attention, clear thinking, and unambiguous priorities.

Looking for some leadership expertise on the matter, I reached out to Matthew Eichhorst, president of Expedia CruiseShipCenters, for perspective. As head of the leading land and cruise travel agency in North America, he offered 5 helpful tips to help manage the pressure of making quick business decisions.

1. Be Knowledgeable of the Facts

The better you understand all elements of the decision, the stronger of a position you’ll be in. Do your research, and analyze information to help clarify the problem and inform the solution. If you know all the facts like the back of your hand, you can quickly call on them as you’re working through your options.

2. Visualize the Outcomes

Go ahead and make predictions and visualize the outcomes of the various options you have available. Ask, what are the short-term effects? What are the long-term effects? What stakeholders will be impacted? What new programs, initiatives, tools will be needed as a result of this decision? Do we have the infrastructure and budget to support these? By clearly predicting the outcome of your decisions and challenging yourself to visualize where this puts you in a day, week, month, year, etc. will help you regain your perspective.

3. Find Balance Between Data and EQ

Data is great, but the overwhelming amount that might be available to you could actually hinder your decision-making abilities. Make sure you also rely on your emotional intelligence to guide you.

4. Embrace the Journey of Finding your Answers

It is important to consider other viewpoints outside of your own, so be open to receiving–and incorporating–feedback from your friends, your business peers, your vendors, your clients, etc. Once you’ve done your due diligence, create the optimal condition for the answers to find you. “When I’m faced with making a big decision, I’ll sometimes put the decision making on the back burner temporarily and take the time to explore new terrain on my dirt bike, cruise around on my Harley, or play a round of golf,”  Eichhorst shared. He adds, “This helps to clear my head and depressurize the situation.”

5. Have a Bias to Action

Once you’ve analyzed the facts, made a decision, and developed a plan, take action and commit to it. Once you’ve started executing the plan, it’s harder to fall back into indecision. Throughout the process, it’s important to thoughtfully take risks, and recognize that when it comes to big decisions, sometimes we must fail in order to succeed.

About Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 291 retail travel agency franchises. As part of the Expedia Group family of brands, the company’s more than 6,400 Vacation Consultants facilitate the booking of 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 over 30 years.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

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In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Ocoee, FL

We are excited to announce Dawn Von Graff opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Ocoee, FL.

Dawn’s Center is located at 2462 Maguire Road, Unit 20, Ocoee, Florida.  If you are in the area drop by to visit her beautiful Center!

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Laguna Niguel, CA

We are excited to announce Jane Shobe and Chris Meyer opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Laguna Niguel, CA.

Jane and Chis’s Center is located at 23866 Aliso Creek Rd, Laguna Niguel, California. If you’re in the area stop by and congratulate them!

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six-step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Georgetown, ON

We are excited to announce Randy and Judy Bradford opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Georgetown, Ontario.

Randy and Judy’s Center is located at 378 Mountainview Road South, Unit 6, Georgetown, ON. This is their third Center to open!

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Record Breaking Bookings for Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Princess 3 Day Sale

The article was published on July 2019 in Franchisefarm.info

July 11, 2019 // FranchiseFarm //

Bellevue, Wash. – The top cruise travel agency franchise in North America, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, continues to exceed expectations as they book their clients on the perfect cruise adventure. From June 6-8, 2019, all Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise locations worked together to secure a record number of cruise vacations for families and travelgoers.

In a large-scale effort to provide as many cruisers possible a once-in-a-lifetime experience at an incredible value, Expedia CruiseShipCenters collaborated with Princess Cruises in a bold three-day-long promotional event. Travelers had the opportunity to access unbeatable deals, the best value on new itineraries, various exclusive Expedia® Extras such as free drinks, free gratuities, $50 onboard cash credit, over $750 savings in onboard coupons, reduced deposit, and more.

“The Princess 3 Day Sale took the saying ‘It takes a village’ to a whole new level,” said Matthew Eichhorst, President of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. “Everything fell into place. Our success was due to our dedicated team members who supported each other through the entire weekend. Marketing drove great lead generation and technical support handled our entire back end so bookings could be made seamlessly. This was an all hands on deck experience and everyone came together in stunning fashion.”

Princess Cruises allows travelgoers to take the plunge to discover new things, take in new cultures, try new decadent cuisines and come back home feeling relaxed and refreshed. If you’re looking for an award-winning cruise line that offers world-class entertainment, gourmet cuisines, enriching activities, blissful relaxation, and vast destination options, Princess Cruises has it all.

At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, customers can choose from numerous vacation possibilities over land, sea and air, including customized trips, coach and rail tours and insurance – all at Expedia prices. Each franchise location offers personal vacation consultations in person, through email or over the phone, so customers have the freedom to book when, where, and how they choose. As part of the Expedia Group family of brands, customers get to enjoy the best of two worlds: competitive pricing on a wide range of travel products and expert, personalized advice from a real person connected to a locally owned business.

Join a company that cares. With an Expedia CruiseShipCenters travel franchise, you can enjoy the benefits of owning a retail business, while making dream vacations come true.

About Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 291 retail travel agency franchises. As part of the Expedia Group family of brands, the company’s more than 6,400 Vacation Consultants facilitate the booking of 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 over 30 years.

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

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In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Newest Center in Mount Pleasant, SC

We are excited to announce Ana Rincon opening the doors of our newest Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Ana’s Center is located at 1117 Market Center Blvd. Unit #100 Building B, 29464, SC


For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Makes Waves in Florida with Aggressive Franchise Development Plans

Cruise Industry Leader Announces New Multi-Unit Signed Agreements; Sets Growth Goal for 20 Additional Locations by 2024

 

June 11, 2019 // Franchising.com // FLORIDA – Expedia CruiseShipCenters, the top cruise travel agency franchise in North America, has announced targeted expansion plans to bring additional retail travel franchise locations to Florida. Joining the 17 existing locations already open and operating across the state, three additional locations in development, and three recently signed multi-unit agreements, the leading travel franchise brand aims to have 20 more locations open and operating throughout Florida over the next five years.

Folded into an overall growth vision for the brand, its Florida development efforts are key to Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ goal to reach its 500-location milestone in North America over the next five years. Kickstarting this latest expansion are two locations set to open this summer in Ocoee and Plantation, and one location set to open this fall in the Bradenton area.

Multi-unit agreements have played a strong, strategic role in the brand’s rapid expansion across the state. So far in 2019, Expedia CruiseShipCenters has signed three multi-unit agreements that will bring a total of 10 new locations to Florida. Avid entrepreneur Kristan Hamill will bring four locations to the Brandon and Bradenton areas. After 15 years of growing 40 Domino’s franchises, Hamill was ready for her next adventure in travel. Edgardo Rivera, an emergency physician and former U.S. Air Force Officer, will bring three locations throughout Orlando, Kissimmee, and Lake County. Debbie Moreland, a former McDonald’s multi-unit franchisee, is pursuing a second-act career and will add three locations throughout the Jacksonville area. As the cruise industry continues to surge, Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ multi-unit franchise opportunity has provided eager Franchise Partners a path to entrepreneurship that allows for extensive growth.

“According to Cruise Lines International Association, 2.1 million people from Florida took a cruise in 2018, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year. As demand for cruising continues to increase with 30 million passengers expected to cruise in 2019, we are confident that the number of cruisers in Florida will continue to rise,” said Bob Tipple, Vice President, Franchising. “Florida is home to three of the busiest cruise ports in the world: Port Miami, Port Canaveral, and Port Everglades. With a total of five cruise ports in the state, more than any other in the U.S., we’re confident our strategic expansion will remain strong and steady.”

Expedia CruiseShipCenters awarded 26 new franchises, achieved over $790 million in gross bookings, and exhibited 17 percent year-over-year growth in 2018. Riding this wave of success, the brand plans to open even more locations this year with a particular focus throughout Florida including all across the Panhandle, including Tallahassee, Florida’s east coast, from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville, and South Florida, including the greater Miami area. The company is also focusing on a strategy to acquire independent travel agencies with great real estate locations and re-brand them under the Expedia CruiseShipCenters banner.

With plans to open 35 new franchise locations throughout 2019, Expedia CruiseShipCenters continues to provide business opportunities for driven team leaders who want to build income, equity, and a great lifestyle with a retail business they are passionate about.

 

The article was published on June 2019 in Franchising.com

 

About Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 291 retail travel agency franchises. As part of the Expedia Group family of brands, the company’s more than 6,400 Vacation Consultants facilitate the booking of 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. © 2019 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

In the News: Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® Reversing the Tide featuring Bob Tipple, VP Franchising

The article was published in May 2019 in Cruise Week

Bob Tipple, VP franchising, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, reports how this company is expanding in an unexpected way: storefronts.


The fact that a company with “Expedia” in its name is becoming a force in brick and mortar cruise selling is one reason Tipple’s report is not just a boring story of growth. But numbers do help tell the story: “We’ve got 37 more [franchisees] in development as we speak, so this will definitely be a banner year for us,” says Tipple.

Right now, the primary focus of expansion is the Southeast: “We’ve grown exponentially in Florida over the last couple of years, and now Georgia with several multi-unit locations,” notes Tipple.

Moving forward, the Northeast will be a focus. “Also, our focuses are Texas, California, and Illinois, as the greater Chicago area is gaining traction,” he says.

One reason Tipple is confident growth in storefront locations will succeed is that it comes in tandem with cruise expansion: “These five, six thousand passenger ships are just an absolute boon for capacity. And they need us to help fill those cabins.”

The Big Myth
While Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ foray into physical retail locations is not what one might expect from the Internet giant, that’s not the only unexpected thing about this expansion. Just ask John Q. Public what they would think of a successful web company opening a bunch of storefront cruise agencies.

Says Tipple: “When you ask the average person on the street about [storefront] travel agencies, they go, ‘Oh, retail travel agencies? Aren’t they going away? Or haven’t they gone away?'”

He calls it “a big myth” but one that is understandable. “When is the last time we ever would’ve walked into a travel agency to book a flight or a nice hotel somewhere?” asks Tipple. “It’s just way too convenient to do it yourself, and we’ve been trained over the last 20-odd years to do that online.”

But, he continues, using phrases everyone in this business has heard regarding cruise sales: “When it comes to cruising and the complexity and the higher cost of a cruise vacation, that’s where the expertise and the guidance from a travel professional is really gaining steam.”

Enter The Young
The third unexpected feature of Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ expansion is that younger people, relatively speaking, are coming into the business as franchisees.

Tipple draws a contrast with home-based consultants and franchisee operators in this regard. “Regarding the home-based consultants, I would say a lot of them are in a second career,” he says. “But as we bring brand new franchise partners on board, that group is getting younger.”

Specifically, Expedia CruiseShipCenters has opened franchises over the last two years where a lot of the owners grew up cruising with their parents or grandparents. “Some owners are in their late 30s, and many are in their 40s,” he reports.

And oftentimes, a younger franchise owner coming into the business is looking to recruit a team of people in their same general age group.

“So they’re not necessarily going out to look for the 62-year-old second career person,” says Tipple. “They’re looking for somebody who wants to build their own business as a travel consultant. They’re looking for people who have their own circle of influence.”

Whether at home or storefront, he says the demand is growing. “Now these new Gen-Zs are coming along. These people do all their research online, but they don’t know what to do when they finish the research. That’s where the help of a real travel professional comes in.”

For more details about the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise opportunity fill out the form below or take a look at this six step overview of our retail travel agency franchise opportunity here.

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