Published on : Friday, April 8, 2016
Expedia CruiseShipCenters – part of the Expedia group, one of the largest travel companies in the world – announced it has been recognized as the Marketing Partner of the Year by Norwegian Cruise Line, in addition to being named Canadian Consortium Account of the Year by MSC Cruises and Canada Partner of the Year by Royal Caribbean International for 2015.
Norwegian Cruise Line acknowledged Expedia CruiseShipCenters for its overall revenue, continued growth and loyalty to Norwegian’s brand, while Royal Caribbean International’s awards recognize top performing travel agent partners who display extraordinary loyalty and commitment to its cruise line. MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately owned cruise company with offices in 45 countries, presented the award in recognition of its top performing North American travel partners for 2015, based on overall business growth in revenue, continuous partnership support and innovative marketing efforts to drive increased consumer awareness.
“We are thrilled to have been recognized for these prestigious awards by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and MSC Cruises,” said Matthew Eichhorst, President of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters Brand. “We see this as a testament to our commitment to maintaining the highest level of respect for our relationships with our partners and customers alike, and look forward to continued long-lasting relationships for years to come.”
In addition to recognition for a successful 2015, Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ aggressive growth led to the company’s relocation to a new Expedia office in Vancouver, nearly triple the size of the previous location, allowing the company to continue growing its network and its support team, which now includes more than 100 employees.
Propelling the exceptional growth of Expedia CruiseShipCenters is the overall growth of the cruise industry. According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 24 million guests are expected to cruise in 2016, a dramatic increase from 15 million just 10 years prior in 2006. CLIA notes member cruise lines are scheduled to debut 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships in 2016 alone for a total investment of more than $6.5 billion. In addition, travel agents are experiencing a higher demand for cruise travel, with eight out of 10 CLIA member travel agents expecting an increase in sales in 2016 over last year.
As a result of its ongoing success, the brand has earned a spot in Franchise Business Review’s Top 50 Franchise Opportunities in 2016 for large franchise brands, which is based entirely on franchisee satisfaction. The brand was also recently named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2015 Franchise 500®. With a current network of 219 independently owned franchise locations that support over 4,100 Vacation Consultants across North America, the brand will continue to flourish as a global leader in cruise and vacation sales and plans to award 45 new franchises in 2016.