Cruise Planners' Top 10 Travel Trends for 2016

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Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, explores the trends that will impact travel in 2016

2016's Top 10 Travel Trends

Top 10 Travel Trends for 2016 according to Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative

“Travel is back in a big way and 2016 is already off to a strong start, and I am glad travel agents are playing a huge role in that growth,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners, the home-based travel franchise network.

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, reveals the top 10 travel trends that will continue to drive leisure travel into 2016. Cruise Planners is the nation’s largest network of home-based travel professionals and is already seeing double digit growth for 2016 sales, so is a good authority on what’s hot for travel in 2016.

“Travel is back in a big way, and 2016 is already off to a strong start—and I am glad travel agents are playing a huge role in that growth,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners, the home-based travel franchise network. “Also, consumers are booking further out. We are already seeing more bookings for 2016 and into the next few years.”

Below are the top travel trends for 2016, according to Cruise Planners.

1.    More Inventory: There are more cruise ships than ever before on the rivers and oceans, so the competition is heating up. Each cruise line is responding differently from exploring exotic itineraries to offering more value for clients and from building huge mega ships to introducing new, intimate river cruise ships—there truly is something for everyone. Overall, cruise lines are working hard to market to new-to-cruise travelers to experience their products and new ships are being built and announced often—so there will be even more cruise products to experience.

2.    Selling Early: Cruise lines are filling ships further out. From the business perspective, this means they are not doing deep discounts for last-minute cruises, but rather incentivizing travelers to book ahead with richer deals for a longer lead time.

3.    Travel Agents Offer Best Value: Since there are so many cruise ship products with each one having its own personality, it’s best to work with a travel agent who knows what products are available and can help pair a traveler with the best cruise ship to meet their needs. Also, a travel agent has access to the best deals and value possible, doesn’t cost the client any additional money and is a constant client advocate throughout the booking and travel process—it’s a true win/win.

4.    Younger Demographics are Traveling: Millennials are traveling more and more and travel and cruise companies are taking notice. For example, river cruise lines are expanding to seasonally focus on families/multi-generational guests with triple occupancy cabins. One example of this is how AmaWaterways partnered with Disney to attract families and is marketing to a broader and younger range of travelers.

5.    Merging Technology with Travel: Travel is technology—from using mobile travel apps to wristband room key access and travelers demanding advanced WiFi connections to robotic bartenders and even using live GoPro video content to help promote travel to consumers; technology and travel are forever fused.

6.    Luxury Expansions: With the evolution of Crystal Cruises’ luxury portfolio expanding into the luxury river cruise market, yachting, and air market, high-end travelers will expect more well-rounded inclusions from their vacations.

7.    Additional Offerings: Today, there are more all-inclusive sailings, more experiences and cultural excursions for clients. Finding the right adventure or excursion is the best way to create travel memories.

8.    Impact of Cuba: Travel to Cuba is being explored and it comes with international impacts. Many American travelers are interested in seeing it. Some want to go before it gets too “Americanized” while others are waiting until it has more offerings in line with American tourists.

9.    Social Impact Travel: More and more travelers are looking for a culturally immersive experience—from helping a local charity to meeting local artisans and children—travelers are looking to give back in a big way. Brands such as Fathom are offering an opportunity for travelers to visit a destination and give back.

10.    Themed Travel: There are more themed trips and cruises such as wine makers tours, beer cruises, Christmas markets, golf themed trips, music focused vacations, and more than ever before giving travel agents the opportunity to create their own groups and themed events.

“Everyone travels, so there are plenty of opportunities for our travel agents to shine and provide the best service for their clients.” Fee said. “Our travel agents are the best in the industry, and we encourage travelers to use a professional to do all the planning, negotiate the best deals and get the best vacation experience possible.”

Cruise Planners is the nation’s largest network of home-based travel professionals and is optimistic about 2016 travel and business growth. Cruise Planners has grown its business model focusing on training people with a passion for travel on how to become travel professionals. The franchise business has more than 1,400 travel agents and has expanded its sales mix to include more land-based travel while continuing to grow within the cruise segment. Those interested in investing in a Cruise Planners franchise should visit

About Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the travel industry. Cruise Planners operates a network of more than 1,400 franchise owners who independently book amazing vacation and travel experiences for their clients. The Florida-based Home Office Team positions franchise owners for success by providing innovative marketing, booking and lead-generating tools, as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives. The company continues to be lauded and has been named the No.1 Cruise Tour/Travel Agency by Entrepreneur magazine for 13 consecutive years. Cruise Planners was recently featured in Entrepreneur as one of the top 30 franchise innovators in technology, has been consistently named as one of the Top Women-Owned Businesses by the South Florida Business Journal, is listed on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America and was recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by The Sun Sentinel.

Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla. with more than 22 years of experience, Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line. Accolades include numerous Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly for the past seven years, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for 11 consecutive years (2004 – 2014), American Express Agency of the Year (2010), Royal Caribbean International President’s Award for Overall Achievement (2012 and 2014), Royal Caribbean International Home-Based Partner of the Year (2007-2013), Norwegian Cruise Line Franchise Agency of the Year (2011-2015), Celebrity Cruises Field Sales Account of the Year (2015), Celebrity Cruises Home-Based Account of the Year (2013-2014) and Celebrity Cruises Southeast Region Travel Agent Partner of the Year (2010), American Express Vacations Best of the Best Globe Award (2008-2015), Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2009-2014), Platinum Member of the 500 Club for Sales Excellence (2014), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises (2009-2012), Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Top Producer (2008-2014) and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer. Cruise Planners is one of the Top 50 franchises for Veterans according to GI magazine, the Top Franchise Brand for Veterans according to Franchise Business Review, has been named one of the Top 25 franchises for African-Americans by Black Enterprise magazine and is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. For more information, visit

Stay in Touch: Media can stay up-to-date with Cruise Planners by visiting our media room, following us on Twitter @Cruisitude or on Facebook. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should locate a travel advisor near them. For those interested in becoming a franchise owner, please visit the Cruise Planners franchise website.

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Caitlin Murphy
Cruise Planners
+1 (954) 344-8060 Ext: 117
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