Today, Cruise Holidays is publicly announcing new programs and services for its franchise owners and frontline agents unveiled during the franchise network’s 2009 Annual Convention. The convention was held November 2-7, 2009, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas. About 175 franchisees, front line agents, suppliers and headquarters staff attended the event, themed “Building the Future Together.”

Looking to the future, the franchisor unveiled a number of programs and services all aimed squarely at helping franchisees achieve greater business success. Programs include:

Sabre Cruises Agreement: Provides frontline agents with a single source online booking engine that gives them easy access to Cruise Holidays’ preferred suppliers.

Cruise Holidays International Concierge: This service provides fully customized vacation options for customers traveling to Europe and South America. It is a “one-stop shopping” experience that provides the travel consultant with intricate plans for their customers’ European or South American vacations.

International Air Desk: The service leverages Travel Leaders Group’s immense buying power, and is designed to take the hassle out of selling international (and some domestic) air, as well as put more money in franchisees’ pockets. The free service allows agents to request quotes with no obligation, and in cases where the rate is commissionable, the agent receives a share of that commission.

Cruise Holidays Vacations: This service provides travel consultants with a means to book pre-packaged, unique, cruise vacations, including pre- and post-cruise hotel, along with air or an air credit. The vacations are designed for Cruise Holidays, leveraging the bundling expertise within the Travel Leaders Leisure Group. Destinations include Alaska, Europe and South America.

Cruise Holidays Hotels: By leveraging Travel Leaders Group resources, agents are paid top guaranteed commissions on competitively priced hotels, car rentals and activities. With this online tool, agents have access to more than 85,000 properties worldwide, including some all-inclusive options. Includes access to some of the lowest rates available. Payment of commission is made by Cruise Holidays headquarters directly to the franchise owner, eliminating the hassle of tracking commissions.

Urgent Sell List: This agent incentive program is designed to complete Travel Leaders Leisure Group group space that sails within 120 days and needs one (1) to three (3) staterooms to be sold in order to earn a Tour Conductor. Cruise Holidays agents not only have access to higher commission levels, but they earn an additional reward in the form of a cash gift card for making the booking.

Cruise Holidays Gift Cards: An additional product to offer clients that creates loyalty and repeat business. There are many uses for the gift cards, including life events (such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays), employee incentives or rewards, loyalty marketing, or as a fundraising tool. Wedding registry tools and marketing collateral are available to support the gift card program.

Independent Contractor Training Program: A comprehensive online training curriculum for agencies to attract, train and retain outside sales agents. A news release about the independent contractor training program was issued separately on November 9, 2009.

2010 Marketing plan: This plan builds off the layered marketing approach established by Cruise Holidays in 2009, and includes Web site, e-mail and traditional direct mail. All direct mail marketing pieces include a promotional code that directs users to a landing page on each and every franchise owner’s Web site. Cruise Holidays creates an e-mail marketing piece for every promotion, and the details for each promotion are loaded into Cruise Holidays’ operating system (CruiseWeb), so they are easy for franchise owners and frontline agents to locate. Marketing materials for 2010 include single-supplier promotions, as well as a new Compass magazine, which will be sent twice in 2010. It is a full color, glossy, 48-page magazine featuring in-depth articles and photographs of travel and destinations all over the world. This publication is different than any publication ever sent to Cruise Holidays clients. Cruise Holidays will also continue its “on your behalf” marketing for franchise owners, including the monthly Compass Online, a article and promotions-based e-mail.

CruiseWeb Enhancements: Major enhancements to Cruise Holidays’ proprietary back office system – CruiseWeb – have been completed. The client profile has been enhanced allowing better management of not only client history, but more importantly, management of future client interests in products and destinations and all client communications.

Special presentations were also made by key industry experts, including Greg Nacco, vice president of Cruise Specialists, who gave a presentation on how to be successful in the luxury segment. “We were thrilled to provide our Cruise Holidays franchise owners and frontline agents with insight from Greg Nacco, one of the brightest minds in the luxury travel sector. Cruise Holidays benefits from having Cruise Specialists as one of our sister companies, and our franchise owners and frontline agents enjoyed having the opportunity to network with Greg throughout the convention,” said Schiffner.

Cruise Holidays’ Web site vendor also gave presentations on Web site customization and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), both of which are essential to the newly unveiled Cruise Holidays Web site platform.

“This has been a watershed year for us at Cruise Holidays,” said Schiffner. Not only are we celebrating 25 years, but we are positioned to go forward with a strong vision and strategy, along with an exciting new dynamic of retail stores and home-based franchise owners working together to achieve success,” he added. “We achieve our direction by listening to our franchise owners, and then developing programs and services that are relevant to the success of their business,” said Schiffner.