Cruise Planners executives at the inaugural Luxury Travel Forum August 8-10, 2017 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (L to R): Theresa Scalzitti, VP of Sales and Marketing; Michelle Fee, CEO and Co-Founder; Vicky Garcia, COO and Co-Owner

Cruise Planners recently hosted the inaugural Luxury Travel Forum in Fort Lauderdale. The luxury-dedicated event is in reaction to an increase in travelers booking luxury vacations through travel advisors, the company said. 

“Luxury travel continues to grow and Cruise Planners travel professionals are now even more equipped to plan customized high-end vacations on land and on the sea,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “Luxury travel is the whole package, starting with personalized service a travel professional offers from the very start to the high-end, attentive experience they have throughout their land or sea travels.”

Keynote speaker, Frank J. Del Rio, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. encouraged travel professionals to book higher-end travel because of the dividends.

“You can sell one luxury cruise and make the same commission as you would selling ten mass market cruises at ten times the work," he said. 

He also stressed the perceived value with luxury travel that the travel professional can uncover – especially with more inclusive amenities based on what each guest deems to be luxurious. 

Edie Rodriguez, President and CEO of Crystal Cruises, also presented, and other luxury partner presentations included Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Seabourn, Abercrombie & Kent, Micato Safaris, Tauck, Viking Cruises, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Marriott International Luxury Brands.

Cruise Planners is continuing to develop more upscale training opportunities for travel professionals in order to drive more high-end sales. 

“We are committed to the luxury travel segment and know our agents are even more energized to sell high-end travel,” Fee said. “Whether they are looking to expand their luxury sales or have been in the luxury segment for years, Cruise Planners travel professionals are focused on luxury travel and are a force to be reckoned with as they collaborate with each other, our industry partners and our Home Office Team.”

Cruise Planners said luxury travel sales are up 35 percent in 2017 compared to all of 2016.