Last updated: 03:30 PM ET, Wed May 18 2016

Expedia CruiseShipCenters Sets Sail for Alaska

Host Agency & Consortia | Janeen Christoff | May 18, 2016

Expedia CruiseShipCenters Sets Sail for Alaska

PHOTO: Expedia CruiseShipCenters heads to Alaska on Radiance of the Seas. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

This year’s Expedia CruiseShipCenters annual conference is taking place at sea, onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance of the Seas May 15 to 20. Participants set sail from Vancouver, B.C. and are headed to Alaska.

More than 350 franchise owners, corporate support staff and travel industry partners are onboard for the event, which is focusing on the theme “Bigger, Better, Stronger, Together.” This theme emphasizes Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ goal to improve support and drive results toward its mission, which is to “empower franchisees with a proven system to grow a profitable and valuable business.”

READ MORE: Could Millennial Travelers Lead A Virtual Travel Boom? Expedia Thinks So.

An action-packed agenda features keynote speakers, workshops and panel discussions that are aimed at sharing best practices and helping franchisees prepare for the year ahead. In addition to keynote addresses delivered by industry executives such as Royal Caribbean’s Vicki Freed, highlights include an address from Matthew Eichorst, president of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. Eichorst will discuss market conditions and emphasize how franchisees can leverage resources.

“We look forward to bringing together industry leaders and key players onboard to celebrate our successes, share best practices and build lasting relationships,” said Eichhorst. “This year’s conference will focus on where we are today, where we are going and how our franchisees can leverage the Expedia group’s global cruise strategy to grow sales locally and boost their profitability. The success of our company is directly tied to the success of our franchisees, and we infuse our conference with the training, industry knowledge, and networking opportunities to equip them for success in the rest of 2016 and beyond.”

This year’s conference will focus more than ever on planning and performance for franchise owners to help them grow and build equity in their business. Other speakers include senior vice president, franchise and supplier performance, Geraldine Ree, and vice president of marketing, John Mast.

READ MORE: Are The Big Cruise Lines Drifting Away From North America?

The rapid growth of the cruise industry and Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ proven business model has led to expansion for the organization. Currently, it is looking to add 45 new franchises this year in cities that are within easy driving distance of cruise ship ports, which it believes is the ideal foundation for a new travel agency franchise.  There are 35 available franchise locations in the metropolitan and surrounding areas of New York and nine locations available in Orlando. Los Angeles has 20 locations available and San Francisco has 14 locations. Atlanta has 13 locations available and Seattle has 15.


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