Cruise Planners Shows Commitment to Franchisee Growth through New Virtual Associate Training Program

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Franchise owners can focus on growing their home-based businesses by easily adding associates as members of the franchise’s selling team.

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, introduces a new virtual associate training program, making it easy for franchise owners to grow their businesses.

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, introduces a new virtual associate training program, making it easy for franchise owners to grow their businesses.

“Everything we do is designed to make it easier and more efficient for our travel agents – whether franchise owners or associates – to be as successful as possible,” said Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners.

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is making it easy for franchise owners to grow their businesses by introducing a new virtual associate training program. The newly-launched program helps franchise owners confidently recruit new associates to join their growing franchise businesses by offering travel agent mentorship, flexibility to work from home and a new training platform to onboard associates with ease and professionalism.

“Our goal is to help our franchise owners grow their business exponentially and we know associates are a great way to extend their sales force,” said Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “The added flexibility with the new virtual associate training program allows for faster onboarding with interactive and engaging e-learning content which is completely mobile-friendly and accessible 24/7.”

As small business owners, Cruise Planners franchisees have the ability to run their business with associates as extensions of their salesforce working alongside, yet independently, as a full-service travel agent. Associates will benefit from virtual training
over the course of 12 days, which includes multiple live check-in sessions to ensure all associates fully understand each topic. This new approach to learning is appealing to both associates and franchise owners since it offers greater flexibility to take the courses anytime, anywhere.

Cruise Planners top-producing franchise owners who have associates are the most successful in the business model since they are able to increase their overall sales. Based on that data, Cruise Planners recently rolled out this new virtual associate training program with that in mind so more franchisees can bring on new associates through this well-received program.

“As a Franchise Owner, giving my new associates an option to train “virtually” allows them to get a great training right away from the convenience of their own home office so they can start selling,” said JJ Kuykendall, Cruise Planners franchise owner based in Oak Ridge North, Texas. “With the virtual training program, I can track my associates’ progress and see their test results, allowing me to manage my business as efficiently as possible.”

Franchise owners get support in growing their franchisees through the industry’s best technology, strategic marketing, hands-on business development coaching and in-person and virtual training opportunities.

“By introducing the new associate training program, it provides associates the opportunity to quickly onboard within the travel industry to start selling under the mentorship of a franchise owner, which truly is a win-win,” Garcia said. “When associates join Cruise Planners, they have the benefit of being under someone already established in the travel industry and can focus on selling travel instead of running a business.”

One of the biggest hurdles to bringing on associates is the commitment – both time and money – so this new program helps franchise owners easily bring the right people to train on Cruise Planners’ proprietary technology, tools and marketing programs. This is valuable because the training is tailored to the associate – since their needs are different than someone who is investing in full franchise ownership.

Cruise Planners, a leader in training and technology, has invested in industry-leading training technology in the form of a new online/virtual training platform and a team dedicated to building the industry’s most effective and award-winning training programs. The virtual associate training program is online, flexible and optimized for tablet, smart phones and personal computers with dynamic timing elements, so it is self-paced while also holding the associates accountable.

“Everything we do is designed to make it easier and more efficient for our travel agents – whether franchise owners or associates – to be as successful as possible,” Garcia said. “We are confident this new training program, combined with all the other great training tools we offer, will continue to skyrocket our agents to success.”

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 1,800 franchise owners who independently book amazing vacation and travel experiences for their clients. The Florida-based Home Office Team positions a nation-wide network of franchise owners for success by providing innovative marketing, booking and technology 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 travel franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 14 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 on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, has been ranked as the #1 travel franchise by Franchise Business Review for 6 years in a row, and was recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Sun Sentinel since it started ranking companies.

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, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Award for 13 consecutive years (2004-2016), American Express Agency of the Year (2010), Royal Caribbean International Chairman’s Award (2015), 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 Elite Agency of the Year (2016), Norwegian Cruise Line Franchise Agency of the Year (2011-2015), Celebrity Cruises Home-Based Partner of the Year (2016), 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), Travel Impressions Best of the Best Globe Award (2008-2016), Sandals Top Host – Worldwide, Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2009-2016), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises (2009-2015), 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 http://www.cruiseplanners.com.

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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Media Contact:
Sara Matulonis, Public Relations Team
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
SMatulonis(at)cruiseplanners.com
954-344-8060

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Caitlin Murphy Gardner
Cruise Planners
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Sara Matulonis
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