Q. Why do consumers book cruise vacations with a travel agent?
A. Since travel is considered a highly prized purchase by most consumers – they want to know they’re booking a trip that is right for them, at the best possible price. With so much information available online, travelers want advice and expertise from someone they trust, especially when it comes to booking complex vacations. According to Cruise Lines International Association, approximately 85% of people will do significant research online, but will ultimately book with a travel agent when the cost and complexity of the vacation are deemed significant.
Q. Is the cruise industry still growing?
A. With the Baby-Boomer generation enjoying the freedom to travel in retirement and a growing interest in multi-generational cruising, the cruise industry is poised for continued growth. Since 1980, sales of cruise vacations have increased at an annual rate of 8.4%, almost twice the rate of tourism overall! 167 new cruise ships entered the market from 2000-2013 and 20 more ocean cruise ships will debut between now and 2018 to meet the growing demand. Cruising enjoys the highest satisfaction level of any vacation with 9 out of 10 cruisers saying they will cruise again. As cruise specialists backed by the most recognized brand in travel, the market opportunity for Expedia CruiseShipCenters has never been stronger.
Q. How will I benefit from the Expedia brand?
A. As part of the Expedia® Inc. family of brands, Expedia CruiseShipCenters Vacation Consultants can take advantage of a number of benefits including Expedia’s $50 billion in buying power and the trusted recognition that comes with being part of the #1 brand in travel. In addition, you’ll be able to earn commission on a wide range of vacation products including cruises, hotels, tours, car rentals and packaged vacations, while still offering them to customers at Expedia prices.
Q. How much does it cost to get started?
A. Starting your own business is a minimal investment with incredible potential. The one-time enrollment fee of $499 in Canada or $299 in the United States (plus tax) covers your set-up and training materials, while a nominal monthly fee of $15 covers your CruiseDesk license (our proprietary Customer Relationship Management system), personalized website, and unlimited permission-based email marketing.
Q. What are the work hours?
A. Joining the Expedia family gives you the flexibility to choose your work schedule based on your lifestyle. Whether you plan to work full-time or part-time, from home or from one of our retail locations, your business can be whatever you make of it!
Q. Why is it important for a travel agent to build personal brand presence?
A. A strong personal brand presence is synonymous with credibility and will give you the competitive edge. As an Expedia CruiseShipCenters Vacation Consultant, we help build you as a brand. We provide many marketing tools for our agents including personalized direct mail and email newsletters. Each of our consultants also has their own Customizable Personal Website complete with their photo, contact details, and “About Me” page. This personal website also includes a booking engine, so you can earn commission each time a customer books through your website. All of these marketing tools will help you grow your customer base and will build long-lasting relationships with your clients so that they return to book with you again and again.
Q. What type of training and support programs do you offer?
A. Our International Cruise Academy® is designed to give you all the skills you’ll need to start selling dream vacations – even with no industry experience. You’ll benefit from the interactive learning modules, online video library, and the support of your local Franchise Partner. Also, our 100+ Corporate Support team and your fellow Vacation Consultants are dedicated to helping you build a successful travel business.
Q. Where can I learn more?
A. Register now for the Discovery Presentation to learn more about the Expedia opportunity and how you can turn your passion for travel into a rewarding business.
*Research courtesy of Cruise Lines International Association
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