“O, Canada”: CruiseOne Expands North
CruiseOne, the franchise agency group based in South Florida, is expanding to Canada. Starting July 1, travel agencies and business entrepreneurs interested in starting a CruiseOne franchise in Canada will be able to begin the process that ultimately may result in their approval for a franchise.
Dwain Wall, the franchise group’s senior vice president and general manager, said that he expects the first franchise to be selected by year’s end, and the first Canadian CruiseOne agency to open in early 2011.
“We believe we can be fairly aggressive in this market,” said Wall, in speaking to reporters at a press conference. He said the company has a vision for a robust growth program: “Our goal is to have a significant footprint in Canada for us and for [the ability ] to be able to do the marketing to drive consumers to market.”
He told reporters that CruiseOne has done all the legal “due diligence” to begin operating in Canada. CruiseOne will focus first on Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta along with other provinces. He said the company will need to do more work before entering the French speaking provinces but that's ahead.
Wall says his group has done its homework in understanding the Canadian travel seller reuirements; “It’s not as simple as saying ‘take our model and move it to Canada.’ That’s not the way we grow.”
CruiseOne currently has more than 600 agencies in the U.S., and plans a global expansion. It currently has one franchise in Norway, and Canada will be the next big push on the international side.
Starting July 1, travel agents and entrepreneurs will be able to add their names to a pre-sales waiting list for a CruiseOne franchise. They may email their interest to [email protected].
Also, CruiseOne announced a new partnership with CLIA as part of its training efforts. In a new scholarship program put together with CLIA, all new CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. agents will receive their first year of CLIA membership – normally a $99 fee – for free.
In addition, any existing CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. agents may join CLIA and receive 50 percent discount off that membership fee. Even better, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. will fund 50 percent of CLIA renewal fees for its agents moving forward.
Also, the CLIA luxury cruise specialist designation is now being incorporated into CruiseOne and Cruises Inc’s own proprietary luxury certification.