Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. are reporting double-digit growth as part of their 2019 “year in review,” which the brands attributed to investments in new and improved tools and technology.
According to the report, 2019 resulted in a nearly 25 percent increase in land bookings over 2018 due to the creation and launch of land technologies aimed at simplifying the land booking process. Dream Vacations said that it anticipates “exponential growth” in this sector in 2020.
Among the new land tools was a means of making it easier to create flexible reminders and payment schedules, as well as fully customizable invoices and transactional emails. Additionally, Travel Planner now provides clients a vacation itinerary complete with background information on the destination; shopping, dining and excursion recommendations; and the option to chat with their travel agent in real time. Finally, there was a 92 percent increase in bookings with GOGO Vacations in comparison to the same time period before the launch of a technology that allows travel agents who book with GOGO Vacations to capture the reservation details with a click of a button, automatically dropping the booking information directly into the company’s proprietary booking system, My Cruise Control.
In 2019, the marketing team took a targeted approach in spreading brand awareness about Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. As a result of hosting its first-ever Cruise & Travel Show in Charleston, SC, and partnerships with local organizations in New Orleans, LA, Dream Vacations saw a 160 percent return on investment. In Charleston, more than 800 people attended the event with more than 9.4 million impressions during the two-month campaign blitz promoting the event and the Dream Vacations brand. In 2020, Dream Vacations plans to return to Charleston and New Orleans, and expand to other markets.
Niche marketing is a focus for 2020 and to close out 2019, the Command Center launched, kicking off this initiative. The Command Center provides a lineup of marketing and training resources so agents can more effectively market to the military community.
In terms of training, in March 2019 the Immersive Educational Series expanded with the inaugural river cruise summit aboard the AmaLea, with 150 travel agents in attendance. Attendees are reportedly seeing a double-digit spike in river cruise sales. On the horizon in 2020, the series expands with a Marketing Summit that will expose attendees to innovative techniques, as well as traditional and non-traditional methods in how they can promote their business.
In 2019 philanthropy, agents, franchise owners and the corporate headquarters team donated more than $131,000 to its signature charity Make-A-Wish, or the equivalent of granting 13 wishes for children with critical illnesses. Dream Vacations awarded five veterans with free franchises as part of the Operation Vetrepreneur program, which has given away a total of 42 free franchises since the program’s inception in 2012. After Hurricane Dorian, the travel agency made monetary donations to the funds that Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International created, as well as sponsored an in-office supply drive which delivered items to a Carnival Cruise Line Hurricane Dorian donation location.
Finally, in 2019 the three brands won a number of awards:
- “Best in Category” for Dream Vacations and CruiseOne for the second year in a row by Franchise Business Review
- Entrepreneur ranked Dream Vacations as number one for veterans
- For the eighth consecutive year, Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. were recognized as a Top Private Company by South Florida Business Journal, a finalist in the publication’s Business of the Year awards, as well as securing the title of Top Workplace in South Florida by Energage and Sun Sentinel.
- Dream Vacations won the Franchise Innovation Award from Franchise Update magazine and was named a Top 100 Game Changer by Franchise Dictionary magazine.