In the cruise industry, where you can book a cruise based on availability or price, it is hard to believe that it was just two decades ago that the cruise industry was at a crossroads. At that time, travel agents were making their decisions based on a brochure and a phone call. Today, the cruise industry is booming and cruise lines have a renewed focus on on-site travel agents. In fact, in 2012, the cruise industry underwent a $7 billion resurgence.

Cruise Planners, one of the largest online travel agencies with over 40,000 agents worldwide, is bringing back in-person training and events. Agents who liked the in-person training will be happy to know that the classes are being held a number of locations in the country. The first in-person class is being held on February 17 and 18 in Dallas, Texas, and will cover three different topics: Essential Cruise Tools, How to Maximize Cruise Sales, and Advanced Cruise Tools.

Cruise Planners has announced a return to in-person training and events.

The Cruise Planners Sales Training to Accelerate Results University (STAR) has not been held in person for over a year. However, this week it debuted 2021 with improved safety protocols, such as smaller classes, social distancing and wearing masks.

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We are excited to welcome our new franchisees to this in-person training event, said Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners, American Express Travel. At the beginning of the pandemic, we quickly switched to virtual training to help our new franchisees get started right away. It was well received, but nothing compares to the personal experience we create at STAR U.

Current trend

During the pandemic, more than 200 new franchisees joined Cruise Planners in 2020, but due to the disruption of classroom training, new franchisees were unable to attend this important training event. Additional classes have now been added to catch up.

We refocused on presentations and virtual training and expanded our personal coaching program, which has definitely benefited our new travel consultants, Fee says. Our travel consultants have praised our training programs and are happy with the combination of virtual and in-person training.

Many courses are available online, but there is no substitute for face-to-face learning. New franchisees can receive live and on-demand training on the Cruisitude Academy e-learning platform. It was about Cruise Planners’ new digital efforts, such as STAR Talk, a video call with an open forum on the website, moderated by a Cruise Planners executive with representatives from marketing, technology, business development, operations, sales, and so on, so that new advisors can’t miss anything.

Many of our new virtual training courses will be around for a long time, but the pandemic has given us the opportunity to rethink the training process to streamline the new advisor’s journey at Cruise Planners, Fee said. STAR U is more than a week of intensive personal training, it is a sense of camaraderie between new franchisees who become members of the Cruise Planners family.

STAR University is back with changes. Franchises have temperature control, and classrooms are socially distant, hidden, with frequent room renovations, limited capacity, rotating grills, partitions, etc.

Cruise ship inspections are gone from the original format, but the Preferred Partner Lounge is still organized with time slots and a rotation schedule to accommodate the group.

STAR University is not the only in-person event Cruise Planners is planning in the near future. The company will resume its in-person events, including boot camps in Las Vegas and Orlando focused on marketing and sales, social media and new technology tools. Cruise Planners’ Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Scott Kepf, will host these events.

In October, franchisees travel to Mexico for the annual convention.

This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about cruise planners stock and let us know what you think.

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