23 | Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative

Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative
Gross sales decrease in 2020: 46% to 50%
Employees: 100

3111 N. University Drive #800
Coral Springs, FL 33065
Phone: (954) 344-8060
Website

Executives

FOUNDER/CEO: Michelle Fee
COO/CO-OWNER: Vicky Garcia
CHIEF SALES OFFICER: Theresa Scalzitti
CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER: Brian Shultz
SVP, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT: Scott Koepf

Company facts

Franchisor of more than 2,500 home-based travel advisors selling land and cruise vacations.

Majority-owned by Michelle Fee and Vicky Garcia.

Pandemic response

Focus on supporting franchise owners through communications, innovation and pivoting to new streams of business.

Never stopped marketing. Changed messaging to care and concern for clients. Promoted future cruise credit usage to consumers.

With loss of cruising, shifted focus to support education and training on land-based vacations.

Co-owners Michelle Fee and Vicky Garcia hosted hundreds of interactive video sessions. They featured high-profile guest speakers such as cruise executives Richard Fain, Frank Del Rio, Arnold Donald, Jan Swartz, Christine Duffy, Michael Bayley, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Adam Goldstein.

Eligible to receive PPP benefits, which helped cover several weeks of salaries for employees in the home office. No additional loans were necessary.

Home office team took reductions in salaries and furlough time.

Waived several months of franchise fees. Did not charge for annual renewal fees.

Negotiated with partners for reduced fees and changes to invoice terms.

Looking ahead

Considers 2021 a transition year because cruise lines won't have full fleets available, and the restart won't begin until summer or later.

"Tremendous" outlook for 2022. Forward-looking departures for 2022 are close to 50% higher than 2019 levels, which was a strong year.

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