In 2018, Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. outpaced the industry average and underwent double-digit capacity growth, according to a "year in review" from the three brands. The World Travel Holdings businesses attributed their success to technology investment, inventive marketing and network engagement and growth.
Last year, home-based travel agency franchises Dream Vacations and CruiseOne, and host agency Cruises Inc. took several steps to improve its technology. They improved the consumer website to make it more intuitive, resulting in three times the number of online bookings than the same time last year. The Groups Registrations tool has been modified to accept credit card payments and provide increased flexibility in how group payments are made. Going into 2019, the company plans on streamlining and simplifying land vacation bookings and building an integrated itinerary builder and app.
Dream Vacations, Cruise One and Cruises Inc. also attributed their success to their marketing strategies. In 2018, they worked with lifestyle brands like Tumi, Swarovski, Wine.com and Beyond Proper, exposing their brand to new potential clients. They also expanded their Virtual Cruise Event program, an event with special promotions and gift that were valued up to $500. With 40 percent of franchise owners now using direct mail to contact clients, the corporate office of Dream Vacations/CruiseOne have decided to cover the cost of direct mail for franchisees starting this year.
During the past year, Dream Vacations, Cruise One and Cruises Inc. have worked to engage with its franchises and employees. The companies’ vice president of engagement led open-forum weekly engagement calls to about 1,500 agents at over 50 in-person events. Agents who attended a regional training, national conference or summit increased their sales by an average of 35 percent. The agencies have also worked on employing more successful agents, with a recruitment team specifically dedicated to the effort.