Published on : Tuesday, March 21, 2017
As a record-breaking wave season comes to a close, World Travel Holdings, the world’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company, is announcing a transformative multi-million dollar technology investment in 2017 in its home-based division. This investment will be a driving force in increasing individual agent profitability for its award-winning vacation franchise brands Dream Vacations and CruiseOne, and hosted brand Cruises Inc.
“As a leader in technology, we want to continually feed the successes we have seen from our previous technology investments and the way to do that is to invest even more in our travel agents,” said Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “The success of our home-based travel agents is our only business, and we are committed to continuously increasing our support, investments and resources so we can provide the best technology in the industry.”
In 2017 the size of the IT team will significantly increase, providing Dream Vacations and CruiseOne with the largest technology team and the best support staff to agent ratio in the travel franchise industry. These additional IT professionals will allow the company to continue accelerating current initiatives, simultaneously creating cutting-edge solutions and best-in-class technology, giving the travel agency network a significant lead over the competition.
“We continue to build upon our level of innovation and my team has already exceeded agent expectations in creating the technology we currently offer our agents. They are excited to welcome new experts to the team and work with them to take our technology offerings to the next level,” said Sandi Szalay, vice president of information technology for Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “People are using travel agents more than ever so it is important that we continue to provide our home-based travel businesses with the latest advanced technology solutions. What we have on the horizon will really ‘wow’ our network of agents and enable them to maximize their time cultivating relationships and selling dream vacations.”
World Travel Holdings has been making incremental multi-million dollar technology investments since 2014, which has garnered many accolades and experienced success with proven results. For example, franchise owners who use the groups registration tool to build customized professional websites have experienced, on average, more than 50 percent sales growth than those who have not used the tool. Cruise Fare Watch has monitored millions of dollars in price drops and made it easier for agents to offer their customers the option to upgrade at no additional cost. The eQuote tool has created greater efficiencies in the sales process contributing to a double-digit increase in sales year-over-year since introduced.
“I constantly strive to seek ways to use technology to advance my franchise with the ultimate goal of added sales,” said Mike Ziegenbalg, Dream Vacations franchise owner in Jasper, Ga. and chair of the IT Committee. “I am confident that as a result of this investment in our IT department, we have the best technology tools at our disposal for now and more importantly the future. As a travel franchise owner, that is one less thing for me to have to worry about in this ever-changing travel environment.”