New resources, upgrades to bookings tool announced at Cruise3Sixty
Company reveals first Cruise Planners mobile iPhone app and location of 2011 CP Convention
Coral Springs, Fla. – April 21, 2011 – Cruise Planners/American Express, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network in the cruise industry, announced advancements to its popular bookings and reservations management tool, eREZSM, along with new training courses for Cruise Planners University (CPU) and innovative technology coming soon for all home-based travel agents. The announcement was made during a press conference at Cruise Line International Association’s cruise3sxity travel agent conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Friday, April 15.
Cruise Planners/American Express has launched its new and improved web-based eREZSM 2.0 as a cleaner, more user-friendly system, allowing agents to better manage and organize their business, client reservations and payment scheduling whether at home or on the go. In addition, eREZSM 2.0 now allows agents live access to marketing data and tools, as well as cabin availability on major cruise lines by using the tool’s new live bookings system.
“The majority of our agents work from home and we want to provide them with the most convenient way to book and manage all of their reservations without feeling lost or overwhelmed, which is why we are always finding ways to improve our programs,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners/American Express. “The new eREZSM is simple to use, has a consistent flow and ultimately helps the agents save time and make money.”
At cruise3sixty, the company also announced new tracks for its successful CPU, the online education program, now adding an MBA and PhD track for agents en route to certification. Also on the horizon is an individually customized mobile iPhone app for the more than 700 Cruise Planners agents. The app can be downloaded by agents’ clients, allowing the consumer to book all travel arrangements through their smartphones.
“Using smartphone technology for our franchise owners was a marketing strategy we knew would assist them with overall sales and client outreach,” said Vicky Garcia, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Cruise Planners/American Express. “It is an easy way for clients to have all the information they need to book a cruise with their own personal Cruise Planners agent, all done from the palm of their hand if they so choose. We are continually working on ways to bring cutting-edge tools to our home-based agents. Mobile marketing is a new way for our agents to reach the younger generations who might see the value of a travel agent, but use different methods to communicate and plan their travel.”
Big news about Cruise Planners’ upcoming 2011 Convention was also disclosed at CLIA’s travel agent conference. This year’s most anticipated event for Cruise Planners’ agents will be held at the five-star, all-Jacuzzi-suite, El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya, Mexico on October 22-26, 2011. Already booked are guest speakers Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president of sales for Celebrity Cruises, and Ellen Bettridge, vice president of retail travel network at American Express Travel as well as a river cruise panel discussion, and a member-to-member forum with discussions such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” where the network’s top producers will share best practices. More topics are in the works.
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 700 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 innovating 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 (2010), Globus Family of Brands Premier Agency Partner (2010), Platinum Circle Member with Viking River Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises Top Producer (2009). For more information, please visit www.cruiseplannersfranchise.com.
Holly Zawyer / Deseraé E. del Campo
Cheryl Andrews Marketing