Coral Springs, Fla. – January 8, 2012 – Cruise Planners/American Express, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry, is ranked No. 44 out of 500 franchises in Entrepreneur magazine’s 33rd Annual Franchise 500 Issue and for the ninth year in a row ranked the No. 1 franchise in the travel industry category.
“Our ultimate goal as a turnkey franchise business model is to establish the framework to help franchise owners succeed, and we do this by creating and implementing tools and programs so our home-based travel advisors become smart entrepreneurs in a competitive market,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners/American Express. “In addition, as an American Express Travel Service Representative agency, franchise owners earn instant credibility with their affiliation to a well-known brand.”
Staff members at Entrepreneur began asking franchisors to participate in the ranking survey back in July 2011. After spending several months calling, e-mailing, researching and analyzing hundreds of franchise companies in order to determine the rankings, 799 companies make the first cut and out of those the top 500 made the official Franchise 500 ranking. For the past three decades Entrepreneur magazine has been perfecting the ranking procedure and proprietary formula to present the world’s first and most comprehensive franchise ranking.
“The dedication, enthusiasm and innovation of our Home Office team demonstrates why we are, once again, ranked at the very top of the cruise and travel category on Entrepreneur’s list,” continues Fee. “With our reasonable start-up costs and business-in-a-box framework, we hope to continue to be recognized as a franchise opportunity for the stay-at-home moms, veterans, baby boomers, retirees or anyone just looking to be their own boss and sell the experience of travel.”
Entrepreneur magazine judges all the companies by the same criteria with financial strength and stability, growth rate and the size of the franchise as the most importance factors. In addition, the magazine also researches the number of years the company has been in business and working as a franchise as well as start up costs, litigation and if the company provides financing.
About Cruise Planners/American Express
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Services Representative, is the largest home-based travel agent network in the cruise industry with more than 800 franchise owners across the country that independently book cruises and associated travel. Named No.1 Cruise Tour / Travel Agency by Entrepreneur magazine for the past eight years, Cruise Planners positions franchise owners for success by providing them with innovative marketing, booking and lead-generating tools as well as professional development and hands-on training with the industry’s top executives.
Headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line. Accolades include Agency of the Year from American Express (2010), Royal Caribbean International Home-Based Partner of the Year (2007 – 2010), Norwegian Cruise Line Home-Based Agency of the Year (2010), Southeast Region Travel Agent Partner of the Year from Celebrity Cruises (2010), four coveted Magellan Awards from Travel Weekly in 2010, American Express Travel Representative Excellence Awards (2004 – 2010), Globe Award from American Express Vacations (2008 – 2010), Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2009, 2010), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises (2009, 2010), and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer. For more information, please visit www.cruiseplanners.com.
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Holly Zawyer / Deserae del Campo
Cheryl Andrews Marketing