|Left to right: Drew Daly, Rosemarie Reed and Debbie Fiorino of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. unveil the new Dream Vacations brand. // Photo by Susan J. Young|
Look for some CruiseOne agencies to switch to a new franchise agency brand – Dream Vacations – that will launch as part of the CruiseOne portfolio, effective April 4, 2016.
While cruise sales for the CruiseOne brand, a division of World Travel Holdings, are shaping up to be very robust in 2015 and into 2016, the reality is that many CruiseOne franchise owners have been asking the brand’s leaders for a way to more effectively portray what they sell – both cruises and land vacations.
Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc., told 800 travel agents, agency franchise owners and vendors attending the agency groups' annual conference on Norwegian Escape that the land side of the sales portfolio has been growing in double digit increases each year.
|The Dream Vacations logo.|
“In 2011, we added the tagline ‘Dream Vacations Start Here’ to our company messaging to convey that our franchisees sell more than cruise vacations,” said Fiorino. “Now, in 2015 as the industry continues to evolve, it is only natural for us to have a brand reflecting every vacation type our franchisees sell.”
To the cheers of audience members, Fiorino told the agents that CruiseOne franchise owners will have a choice of branding that best reflects who they are as an agency. CruiseOne owners can switch to Dream Vacations branding at no charge, or stick with the CruiseOne name. Potential new franchise agency owners will be able to choose either brand.
CruiseOne and World Travel Holdings have been negotiating to purchase the appropriate URL and secure other related copyright elements.
Fiorino said World Travel Holdings is making “a six-figure investment in the URL,” plus spending six to seven figures in additional investment moving forward on marketing and recruitment efforts.
The organization will have a better indication of just how many of their existing CruiseOne franchises plan to switch once “sign-ups” are calculated at the end of this week’s annual conference.
That said, Rosemarie Reed, vice president of marketing, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc., said that she thinks approximately 30 percent of existing CruiseOne franchise owners will make the change initially. Over time that’s expected to rise to at least 50 percent.
Agencies won’t pay to switch, and will not have to sign new franchise agreements – but rather just use updated “marks,” and will receive some incentives for reprinting business cards and securing new Dream Vacations marketing items.
Reed said that’s perfect for agencies trying to better appeal to Millennials who are focused more on the experience than a product. “The timing could not be better,” Reed says, given the number of Millennials now seeking experiential, “dream” vacations” – which mean different things to different people.
When Dianne Howcraft, a CruiseOne franchise owner in Hilton, NY, recently pitched a friend two potential trips – one cruise and one land – she expected the friend to come back and book one of the two options. Instead, she didn't hear back so called the friend who thanked her for the cruise quote but said she had decided to go with the land quote and booked it on the Globus site herself.
Bottom line? The client thought she was doing Howcraft, her friend, a favor, as she thought the CruiseOne agent only booked cruises and couldn’t book the land.
Reed also says that in reaching Millennials it’s important to be disruptive in the marketplace, much as Royal Caribbean International is doing its new “Come Seek" branding campaign.
Dream Vacations franchisees will have access to the same marketing, support and training benefits as CruiseOne franchisees. In conjunction with the launch in the second quarter of 2016, the marketing program will be revitalized and offer increased value to CruiseOne and Dream Vacations franchisees, as well as cruise lines.
CruiseOne executives say each marketing piece will influence consumer behavior by having consistent messaging that shares the value proposition of a travel agent and that encourages engagement with the franchisee by driving traffic to each franchisee’s individual Dream Vacations website.
The U.S. Travel Association reports that in 2014 approximately 78 percent of domestic travel was for leisure purposes. Recognizing that many people do not cruise every year, Dream Vacations is also an investment in the growth of the franchisees’ land business, executives told Travel Agent.
“Dream Vacations is a win-win for everybody,” added Fiorino. “Cruise lines will also benefit because we can further tap into the first-time cruiser market by cross-selling cruises to new customers who come to us by way of a villa or resort vacation.”