Why A Travel Franchise Is An Amazing Business Opportunity
A travel agent that can provide exclusive benefits, great discounts, and completely packaged vacations is invaluable. Travel agents tend to have loyal life-long clients with whom they have built relationships over the years. There are also many perks of being a travel agent.
Cruise Planners is an affordable, low-cost franchise opportunity at $10,995$6,995 with incentives for veterans/active military personnel, first responders, and current travel agents. You do not have to open a traditional brick-and-mortar travel agency location either.
There’s nothing quite like setting your own schedule and working when you want to. You can dedicate as much time as you’d like by working full-time or you can supplement your income by working part-time.
The commissions you deserve
As a Cruise Planners travel franchise owner, you’ll earn the highest commissions in the industry on all travel that you sell .
Travel Agency Franchise Profiles
Heres the deets on travel agency franchises as we know it thus far! Weve profiled some franchises to get a sense of their range. You can count on the fact that well be updating this info as we receive it! Below are the major players when it comes to travel agency franchises:
That will give you a good sense about whats out there in terms of travel agency franchises. But what about how that compares to a host agency? Read on, fearless reader.
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What Is A Travel Agency Franchise
A travel agency franchise is essentially a business in a box. Its like buying a housethe foundation and scaffolding are already in place. All you need is your moving truck. If an agent invests in purchasing a franchise, they are walking into an established brand . . . everything from marketing materials & plans, procedures & operations. A travel agent who purchases a franchise can bypass some business development when opening an agency.
Among other things, brand recognition is a major part of a franchisees investment. You can probably imagine what pops up first when you google the word fast food hamburger . For folks who dont want to invest the time and energy to build their own brand, this can be appealing.
Franchises, unlike hosts, are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission , so there are certain things theyre required to do by law:
Breaking it Down Further
The travel agency franchise model can be further broken down in two different types :
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Should I Use A Travel Agent Or Book Directly With A Cruise Line
One of the most common questions I find myself passionately answering both in person and on online communities , is about how to actually book a cruise. Should you use a travel agent or book directly with a cruise line? Ill tell you right out the gate that whether youre looking into your first cruise or well on your way to the highest levels of a cruise lines loyalty program, I highly recommend using a good travel agent, but lets talk about why by addressing some common questions and misconceptions.
Why Work With A Franchise Broker
A good franchise broker can help you to find the right franchise. They provide:
Recommendations based on their assessment of historical financial performance instead of just franchise marketing materials.
Franchise matches based on your goals, strengths, and passions.
Demographic analysis to find franchises that could work in your area.
A portfolio of franchises to meet almost any budget, interest, or goals.
Referrals to other specialists, like franchise lawyers.
Information on financing sources.
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Find Good Franchises In Your Target Industries That Are Still Available In Your Area
Given all of this, the immediate future for travel agency franchises is very uncertain. Is now a great time to get started, as a post-COVID spending boom lets new businesses fill the gaps created by others collapsing in the pandemic year? Is it a terrible time because of international restrictions and the costs of travel? At this point, its impossible to say.
These are surprisingly low-cost franchises to purchase. The cost of entry is low, with little expenditure on equipment and training. This means that theres also plenty of competition, which can create both challenges and opportunities. In current circumstances, this is an accessible, high-risk option for a franchise, but one that holds potential for strong long-term profits if the tourism industry recovers to its pre-COVID strength. Talk of 59.7% growth in 2022 can make the sector seem very appealing, but before jumping on board, its important to ask, are these estimates realistic? And how does each individual franchise fit into a tumultuous travel landscape?
The Travel Agency Franchise
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Who Owns Cruiseone/ Dream Vacations Franchise
In 2021, World Travel Holdings announced that it is merging its Cruises Inc. independent contractor and CruiseOne/Dream Vacations franchise business models. Starting in 2022, the company will be operating one franchise unit under the CruiseOne and Dream Vacations brands. WTH offers customers a wide range of vacation options from owned brands and private-label brands.
At the start of 2005, Brad and Jeff Tolkin leveraged their years of experience as operating executives in the travel industry to co-found World Travel Holdings. Since then, WTH has expanded through multiple acquisitions of travel companies. In 2006, WTH more than doubled in size with the acquisition of National Leisure Group , the largest cruise seller in America. WTHs CruiseOne franchise business comes from NLGs expansion in 2003. WTH later launched the travel franchise Dream Vacations in 2016. Franchisees can choose to operate under either CruiseOne or Dream Vacations.
Since 2016, nearly 85% of the franchise owners operate under the Dream Vacations brand, and 100% of all new franchise owners choose to go to market under the Dream Vacations brand.
Best Travel Agency Franchise Opportunities And Their Cost
Do you want to start a travel agency business
Dream Vacations is one of the leading travel and tour agencies in the United States of America. Dream Vacation franchisees sell travel packages, including travel protection, shore excursions, hotels and tours to individuals, couples, families, businesses and groups.
The company was founded in 1991 and they have been franchising since 1992, about 27 years ago. Dream Vacations has her corporate head office at 1201 W. Cypress Creek Rd., #100 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 and the current CEO of the company is Brad Tolkin.
Dream Vacations offers in-house financing to cover only franchise fee but they are open for negotiations. The Parent Company of Dream Vacations is World Travel Holdings and they are seeking new franchise units throughout the United States of America.
- Initial Franchise Fee $495 $9,800
- Ongoing Royalty Fee 1.5 to 3%
- Veteran Incentives 20% off franchise fee training fee waived for business partner training fee waived for first veteran/military spouse associate, reduced by 50% for additional associates and marketing assets.
Cruise Planners was founded in 1994 and they have been franchising since 1999, about 20 years ago. They have their corporate head office at 3111 N. University Dr., #800 Coral Springs, FL 33065 and the current CEO of the company is Michelle Fee.
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The 8 Things Longtime Travel Agents Wish Theyd Known When They First Started
Becoming a successful travel agent may be harder than you think. Photo: Shutterstock.com
No matter the jobs, people have certain expectations coming into them. For many travel advisors, early expectations might include low-cost, carefree travel, daily client inquiries and bookings, and never-ending commissions rolling in.
Sure, most new advisors understand its not going to be easy, especially in their first year or two. But the actual experience of the first couple of years of business often jars with that initial theoretical understanding of whats required.
To help shortcut the learning curve for new advisors, Travel Market Report spoke to experienced travel advisors to find out what they wish theyd known when they first started out.
1. Its harder than you think. Expect to be cash poor your first year.When you start in this business, the first year is very, very tough, said David Locke, co-owner of Seize the Seas, an Avoya Travel member agency.
Alan Rosenbaum, owner of an Atlanta-based Dream Vacations franchise said much the same thing. I knew it wasnt going to be easy, but I didnt realize how hard it would be. Its harder than you think.
Essentially, Locke said, youre working for free. You work, you learn, you learn on the job, and you build a book of business. But you dont get paid until the people actually travel.
Your cash comes in and your business snowballs, he said of getting past the first year.
Becoming Franchisee Gives New Life To Longtime Ic
For nearly 19 years, Donna Abbene was an independent contractor affiliated with Cruises Inc. She was new to travel when she joined, and her journey in the industry mirrors that of many advisors.
I had a great love of travel, cruising, Abbene, who is based in Kings Park, N.Y., said. I knew way too much about any given cruise ship, statistics and the whole business that was just insane that any normal person would know.
A travel agent friend of hers worked with Abbene to plan a family cruise, and when the trip was in the bag, the friend suggested Abbene herself would make a good agent. She did some research and joined Cruises Inc.
While cruises remain her favorite product to sell, shes expanded her repertoire over the years as her clients have asked for different kinds of vacations.
Last fall, World Travel Holdings announced it would sunset the Cruises Inc. host agency and brand, and it offered ICs the chance to buy a franchise or affiliate under an existing franchisee.
The choice for Abbene was an easy one: She would buy her own franchise.
As a franchisee, she said, she could likely increase sales and have even more control over her business. The newness also held appeal after being in business for nearly 19 years.
That feels very exciting to me, that I now have the opportunity to own my own franchise, she said. Its kind of giving me a little bit of new life, especially coming through all of Covid. Its giving me a focus and a direction.
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Minding Your Budget: The Buck Stops Here
You dont want to run out of money when your house is only half built. Regardless what way youre leaning, its important to make a budget thats realistic and will anticipate expenses .
Though money doesnt make everyones world go around, sometimes the answer is as simple as cost. And this swiftly brings me to the the biggest difference between starting up as a franchisee and aligning with a host: The almighty dollar.
What Is A Typical Cruise Planners Franchise Salary
With Cruise Planners, you dont just sell cruises, you also sell all-inclusive resorts, river cruises, hotels, excursions, land tours, car rentals, passports, and more, and youll earn a commission on each of these items. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average travel agents salary is $42,350. However, as a business owner, if you want to earn more, you can. It all depends on how much time and effort youre willing to put in.
Besides the commissions youll earn, youll also receive discounts on travel, complimentary upgrades, travel perks, and amazing travel experiences!
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No Other Franchise Can Give You What We Can
Our Customers Love Us
Our Franchisees have a 20% increase in repeat customers, 96% customersatisfaction rating and incredible brand loyalty.
A Powerhouse in the Travel Industry
We are part of World Travel Holdings, the worlds largest cruise agency. Gaininstant affiliation as part of a powerhouse in the travel industry withunrivaled buying power, relationships and resources.
Were in the TOP 3%
We are ranked in the top 3% among more than 4,000 operating franchise systemsworldwide. Our franchising program is second to none in the travel industry!
Youll earn 100% of the industrys highest paid commission.
Access Exclusive Promotions
We fully fund $500,000 a year for promotions on behalf of our FranchiseOwners, providing your clients with exclusive offers found nowhere else.
Multiple Customized Websites
Your customers can book travel directly on your multiple consumer-facing,mobile-friendly websites that have been customized for your business.
Weve built a culture that promotes peer networking. Through regional eventsand our annual convention at sea , youll learn how other franchisees built their business.
$9,800 Initial Investment
Youll find no bigger value for your initial investment.
No Travel Experience Necessary
Nearly all of our home-based cruise franchise owners had no prior industryexperience, but they all have one thing in common, a passion for travel and anentrepreneurial spirit!
Storefront Franchises Going Strong
While the number of home-based agents has proliferated in recent years, franchisors of more traditional models Expedia Cruises, Travel Leaders Network, American Express and BCD among them are just as bullish about their businesses.
Although they have some aspects in common with home-based models, the buy-in costs and ongoing overhead arent among them.
And most brick-and-mortar franchise agencies are leisure/corporate hybrids, with one notable exception: Expedia Cruises.
Since the pandemic began, Expedia Cruises has added more than 20 franchisees, along with the attendant number of agents required to operate those locations, according to president Matthew Eichhorst in total, there are more than 5,000 Expedia Cruises agents.
Eichhorst is a big believer in the brand consistency that results from both franchising and the strength of the Expedia brand name . By the very definition of an independent contractor, a host agency cannot impose brand compliance on an IC, he pointed out. Expedia Cruises brand consistency, combined with behind-the-scenes technology, is what makes Expedia Cruises a success, he said.
Shawn Friesen bought his first Expedia Cruises franchise in 2007, opening it in Ontario. And to Eichhorsts point, it was the Expedia name that called to him.
If you were buying a pizza franchise, you would want Dominos, not Bobs Pizza, he said. I knew that the technology was best in class. It had the best chance of success.
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This Is Your Opportunity Turn Your Business Dreams Into Reality
With a low-cost franchise that has low overhead and no inventory, the world is your oyster when you start a travel agency franchise with us. Pursue your dreams of running your own home-based travel business AND seeing the world by helping others plan the vacations theyve always dreamed about.
Our home-based franchise opportunity has changed the lives of our 1,500 franchisees, and it could change yours too. What we hear most from our franchise owners is, I wish I did this sooner! So, what are you waiting for? Become your own boss with Dream Vacations. Become part of the Dream Vacations family and position yourself to be on the receiving end of the greatest rebuild the leisure travel industry has ever seen. Youll become part of a travel industry powerhouse where you can.
Franchisors Investment And Energy
She noted that the commitments for a franchisor, both financial and ethical, are significant.
Its also a very transparent business, she said, and not everyone is interested in doing the necessary legwork. The state franchisor agreements must be approved annually and require thorough audits of the company and its owners, she said.
Were an open book, so were very careful, Garcia said. Everything we build, every service we offer, every support we offer, its very intentional. We know were under a microscope with every single franchise owner, so we want to make sure we take care of them. We found the recipe.
Fiorino agreed that the reasons Garcia cited are why Dream Vacations and Cruise Planners are likely alone, for the time being, in the home-based franchising space.
I think it takes a lot of investment and energy to run a franchise organization, she said, and also pointed to the highly regulated nature of franchising, noting its a more difficult business model to build up and grow than, for instance, host agencies.
It would be hard for someone because of the brand recognition, the experience and the backing of World Travel Holdings, Fiorino said. Its not as easy to break into, and to have that faith in the company.
But could the right, motivated party enter the space as a new home-based franchisor?
I never say never, Fiorino said.
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How Is Cruiseone/dream Vacations Franchise Positioned In The Travel And Hospitality Industry
The Travel, Hospitality, and Leisure industries intersect with multiple industries, such as Food & Beverage, Hotel, Recreation, and Tourism. As it is both a capital and labor-intensive industry, it relies on investments in fixed assets. This industry generates over $1.6 trillion in economic output, representing 2.8% of GDP.
The travel and hospitality industry has grown tremendously over the last few years as flights have become more affordable and people are willing to spend their money on vacations and travel. Under the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry can expect some changes in consumers demand, where people will tend to travel more within the borders than abroad. Cruises are one of the rapidly growing markets within the travel and tourism sector. The largest market for cruises is seniors 65 years or older who have time and disposable income to spend on these types of leisure activities. CruiseOne franchise offers one of the most comprehensive options for customers, which is considered a head start for franchisees operated under the WTH.
CruiseOne and Dream Vacations compete in the Travel and Hospitality Industry against other travel agencies and in-house travel departments such as Cruise Planners, Expedia Cruiseshipcenters, and Itrip Vacations. CruiseOne and Dream Vacations franchises also compete against other franchisees in your territory.