Cruise Planners travel counselors enthusiastically returned to in-person events earlier this month at the host agency’s annual convention at the El Dorado Royale in Cancun, Mexico.
“The power of Cruise Planners is strong, we are ready to put the pandemic behind us and focus on the future of travel,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and Founder of Cruise Planners. “Our travel counselors have been incredibly resilient and the performance of our entire team continues to solidify our leadership in the industry. “
Fee continued, “We are fighters, we are not going to stop innovating, marketing and helping our network grow in the future. There is no going back, there is only a look to the future.
During the five-day event, executives at Cruise Planners reflected on several new programs introduced in 2020 due to the pandemic, including the Where2Next Virtual Travel series with twelve events completed, resulting in total revenue of $ 20 million. Plus, the all-inclusive resort tool has centralized hundreds of resorts into one easy-to-search and filter location within Cruise Planners’ exclusive booking tool, CP Maxx.
“Cruise planners’ conventions never disappoint. They are always filled with fun and engaging high quality productions, videos and most importantly, their exciting new announcements when it comes to innovation, ”said Vicki Freed SVP, Trade, Sales Support and Service for Royal Caribbean International. “Cruise planners certainly didn’t stop during the pandemic and they will go into the future stronger than ever. “
Looking ahead, Cruise Planner’s leadership team, including Michelle Fee, CEO and Founder; Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner; Brian Shultz, DSI; Theresa Scalzitti, CSO; and Scott Koepf, senior vice president of strategic development, shared over twenty major announcements to the network.
The new SOAR dashboard analysis contains 120 different metrics to analyze their business and puts more emphasis on setting and tracking business goals. Meanwhile, the Enhanced Sales Opportunities Tool makes it easy for advisors to track the sales stage of their leads and integrates with Task Manager for follow-up reminders.
Cruise Planners advisors will now also have access to enhanced website customization options, giving them the ability to further customize their website homepage to showcase the franchisee’s unique attributes, services and specialties. Landing page templates, including dedicated vendor pages, will also help advisors create professional landing pages on their websites to promote groups or promotions.
Cruise Planners has taken its social media program, CP Social to a new level, giving advisors daily automated posting to Facebook and Instagram, the power to create and deploy Facebook and Instagram ads, manage their directory listings, and their reputation through reviews and responses. The new “CP Pro Elite” program includes daily Facebook and Instagram posting, Facebook digital ad boosts, directory listings and reputation management, all in one easy-to-use dashboard.
Coming soon, a new hotel booking engine that integrates American Express hotel programs, improved commissions and savings for customers.
“If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past 18 months, it’s that travel counselors need to be able to inform, support and communicate with their clients in a timely manner. Having cutting-edge technological tools will allow them to work more efficiently and never miss a step, ”said Fee.
Next year, Cruise Planners will host five Bootcamps, two Elite events, three CP Tech Days, a Land and Luxury event, and an annual convention – announced for November 2022 and will include an inaugural commercial navigation of the new Norwegian Prima – for a total of 12 in-person events available for advisors in 2022 in addition to six STAR University training events for new franchisees.
Counselors will also be able to receive this designation after completing the Romantic Travel Specialist program.
Several Cruise Planners franchise owners have shared how Cruise Planners have helped them with their franchise.
Melinda White said her Cruise Planners FB group page has helped her easily stay in touch with her more than 4,000 subscribers. With the additional Home Office assignments, her clients were aware of all the latest protocols and are more comfortable contacting her for travel.
“I am happy that over the years I have created great relationships with my customers and with suppliers. It certainly got me through the last 18 months, ”said Carolyn Leibowitz.
Kelly Brewer knew she had to pivot, selling more land. She said the all-inclusive CP tool has helped her navigate this landscape, in order to sell the right product to her customers.
Fee said, “Cruise Planners, with strong supplier partnerships, will help rebuild the travel industry and propel us into the future. “