Entrepreneur Magazine Names Dream Vacations Top Travel Agency Franchise for Veterans Fourth Year in a Row

Entrepreneur Magazine Names Dream Vacations Top Travel Agency Franchise for Veterans Fourth Year in a Row

Home-based travel agency franchise ranks #2 out of 150 franchises in 2020

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (October 27, 2020) – Dream Vacations has once again dominated Entrepreneur magazine’s annual “Top Franchises for Veterans” list and is the top travel agency franchise on the list – ranked number two out of 150 franchises across all industries. Since 2017, Dream Vacations has been jockeying between the first and second place ranking.

As part of its annual Franchise 500 research, Entrepreneur magazine surveyed more than 500 franchises across all industries and asked questions specific to their programs for veterans. The ranking considers each company’s veteran incentive, how veteran franchisees are attracted to and supported by the company, and how each company scored in the 2020 Franchise 500.

“Veterans are such important members of our society and to be recognized year-after-year as the best travel agency franchise for veterans is one of the highest and most meaningful honors we receive,” said Debbie Fiorino, chief operating officer of Dream Vacations. “Our support goes beyond just offering a discount, but providing proven systems, tools and a camaraderie that parallels the military and positions veterans for success.” 

The only travel franchise to receive a 5 STAR ranking from VetFran, Dream Vacations proudly supports military veterans and is consistently recognized by industry publications as a veteran-friendly franchise. All military veterans and Gold Star families receive a 30 percent discount off the initial franchise fee, as well as an enlistment package valued at no less than $5,000 and ongoing support. They can select one of two perks currently being offered — waived administrative fees valued at $1,350 or a Microsoft® Surface Pro tablet valued at $1,000. In addition to having access to the Command Center, an internal portal with veteran-specific training and veteran-themed marketing assets, all veterans and Gold Star families receive a waived training fee for a business partner and the ability to hire active-duty military spouses and veterans as associates at a discount. Additional veteran incentives include the ability to move residences and stay in business, travel discounts for military customers and access to veteran networking groups.

In addition to its accolades from Entrepreneur, Dream Vacations has been ranked by Forbes, Military Times, USA Today, Franchise Business Review, U.S. Veterans Magazine and G.I. Jobs as a top franchise for veterans.

Military veterans who are passionate about travel with an entrepreneurial spirit who would like to be part of a travel agency network that cares more about its agents, travelers and military veterans, should visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com or call 888-249-8235 to learn about franchising with Dream Vacations.

About Dream Vacations
Travel agents with the top-ranked home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations have the resources to plan and create seamless vacation experiences for their customers while offering the best value. A member of the International Franchise Association, Dream Vacations is part of World Travel Holdings and has received partner of the year, a top-ranking status, by all the major cruise lines as well as national recognition for its support of military veterans. For more information about Dream Vacations, visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com. Like Dream Vacations on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DreamVacationsFranchise, follow on Twitter at @Dream_Franchise and watch its videos at http://www.youtube.com/DreamVacationsBusiness.

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Villas of Distinction® Recognized with Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Award in Villas Category

Villas of Distinction® Recognized with Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Award in Villas Category

The World’s Best Villas, Hotels, Resorts, Countries, Cities, Islands, Spas, Trains, Airlines, Airports and Cruises Ranked by Travelers

Wilmington, Mass. (October 21, 2020)Condé Nast Traveler announced this month the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards, with Villas of Distinction® recognized in the Villas category. Villas of Distinction is the world’s premier full-service luxury villa rental company and creates one-of-a-kind getaways at the world’s top villas for its guests.

More than 715,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted an incredible number of responses rating their travel experiences across the globe.

“The results of this year’s survey, conducted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are a testament to the lasting power of a meaningful travel experience,” said Jesse Ashlock, U.S. Editor of Condé Nast Traveler. “The winners represent the best of the best for our audience and offer plenty of trip-planning inspiration for all the adventures we can’t wait to have next.”

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. The full list of winners can be found here.

“It is a distinct honor to be named one of the best-of-the-best by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler,” said Willie Fernandez, general manager and vice president of Villas of Distinction. “We couldn’t have received this honor without the loyalty of our guests, as well as the dedication of our travel advisor partners, and our Villas Specialists and Concierges, who as a team, not only book villa stays but create truly unique vacation experiences.”

Villas of Distinction provides a better solution for consumers and agents looking for trustworthiness and effortless vacation planning. Each guest is assigned a personal Concierge to tailor the perfect travel experience down to the last detail. The luxury provider may not boast the largest number of villas, but it is known for having the highest quality because it ensures every villa meets strict standards so that each home exceeds expectations. Pair that with expertise, Villa Specialists average 14 years of experience, and that is how Villas of Distinction has gained its guests’ trust.

The 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website at www.cntraveler.com/rca and celebrated in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler US and UK print editions.

About Villas of Distinction®
Villas of Distinction®, as part of World Travel Holdings, is an award-winning, full-service premier luxury villa experience creator with an extensive portfolio of thousands of privately-owned villas in more than 50 luxurious destinations worldwide including the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, Central America, the United States and many private islands. Many villas feature private pools, butlers, maids and chefs. The luxury villa provider has gained its guests’ trust by ensuring every villa meets strict standards so that each home exceeds expectations. Since 1989, Villas of Distinction’s team of experts have made vacation planning effortless by helping travelers find their perfect vacation home and creating one-of-a-kind getaways and lasting memories at the world’s top villas. www.VillasofDistinction.com.

About Condé Nast Traveler
Condé Nast Traveler is the world’s most distinguished travel title providing inspiration and advice for discerning travelers. Authoritative and influential, Condé Nast Traveler is a multi-platform, transatlantic brand. Publishing US and UK print editions under Editor-in-Chief Melinda Stevens, Condé Nast Traveler offers award-winning expertise in luxury travel from around the world. For more, visit www.cntraveler.com. For press inquiries, please contact: awards@condenasttraveler.com

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Ninety-Five Percent of People Want to Travel Within Next 15 Months According to Vacation Survey Hosted by Dream Vacations

Ninety-Five Percent of People Want to Travel Within Next 15 Months According to Vacation Survey Hosted by Dream Vacations

1,500 people surveyed across the United States from July to August 2020

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (October 21, 2020) – The recent Vacation Survey conducted by leading travel agency franchise Dream Vacations revealed that there is an incredible pent up demand for travel, as a result of COVID-19, with nearly 95 percent of those surveyed planning on taking a vacation in 2020 or 2021. Approximately 1,500 people participated in the survey which took place in July and August 2020.

Key findings of people surveyed include:

  • 95% want to take a vacation in 2020 or 2021
  • 60% feel confident with the enhanced health and safety protocols proposed by the cruise lines
  • 70% know and trust the value a travel agent provides
  • 78% realize that travel agents provide additional exclusive perks in addition to the promotions offered by cruise lines and resorts
  • 50% will go on a cruise for their next vacation, 18% will stay at a resort, and the remaining 32 percent have other plans
  • 37% hope to go to the Caribbean; 21% plan on staying in the U.S.; and 15% are going to Europe for their next vacation, while the remaining 27% selected different destinations.

“As a travel agency, we conducted this survey to gain a better understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted consumers plans to take vacations going forward,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. “Now more than ever before people are recognizing the value and expertise that working with a travel agent affords and our agents are prepared to best serve clients when the surge of travel resumes.”

Dream Vacations travel agents serve as advocates for their clients and educate them on what the new vacation experience entails as it relates to health and safety protocols, documents needed and more. They provide their professional expertise and personalized service to match the best vacation that will meet their client’s budgets yet exceed their expectations. In addition to selling cruise, all-inclusive resorts and tour vacations, Dream Vacations agents also have access to thousands of private villas around the world through a partnership with Villas of Distinction®.

For more information or to book  a dream vacation, please visit www.DreamVacations.com or call 800-278-4736.

About Dream Vacations
Travel agents with the top-ranked home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations have the resources to plan and create seamless vacation experiences for their customers while offering the best value. A member of the International Franchise Association, Dream Vacations is part of World Travel Holdings and has received franchise partner of the year, a top-ranking status, by all the major cruise lines as well as national recognition for its support of military veterans. For more information about Dream Vacations, visit www.DreamVacations.com and follow on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OfficialDreamVacations. 

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Villas of Distinction® Hosts “Wine Down Wednesdays” for Travel Advisors

Villas of Distinction® Hosts “Wine Down Wednesdays” for Travel Advisors

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Villas of Distinction is connecting with travel advisors in a new way 

Wilmington, Mass. (October 14, 2020)Villas of Distinction®, the world’s premier luxury villa rental company as part of World Travel Holdings, announces its “Wine Down Wednesdays” events for travel advisors. More than 1,500 advisors have attended these events, which launched in May.

“We started these events so we could stay connected with travel advisors and let them know we care,” said Steve Lassman, vice president of product & agency relations for Villas of Distinction. “The events have since morphed into an opportunity for agents to ask questions and learn more about the villa product. They have been so popular and fun that we wanted to get the word out to the larger travel advisor community.”

The events, held every other Wednesday, give travel advisors the opportunity to connect with key members of the Villas of Distinction management team over video conference where they first and foremost have fun while also getting product updates and the opportunity to ask questions. In addition, during one of the “Wine Down Wednesdays” each month, the team takes travel advisors on a live Virtual Fam Trip to one of the properties for a firsthand tour of a villa. The team has also surprised advisors with free villa stays and gift cards.

The virtual tours so far have been at villas in Orlando, Las Vegas, Jamaica and Punta Cana. Upcoming virtual tours include a villa in Split, Croatia on October 28; Casa De Campo in the Dominican Republic on November 11; and an elite home in Utah coming soon. Once Italy reopens live virtual villa tours will be announced there as well.

“Wine Down Wednesdays have become something I look forward to attending every other week, and are a fun and informative way to learn about the various villas that Villas of Distinction offers,” said Linda Kibak, independent travel advisor, FROSCH. “Sometimes we are lucky to experience an ‘in-villa’ virtual tour, which has been the best way to experience a villa, besides staying in one ourselves! Attending these virtual events has become a go-to for myself and many others to broaden our horizons on villas, and what Villas of Distinction has to offer.”In addition, Villas of Distinction will co-host events with travel advisors for their clients. These events allow the travel advisor’s clients learn more about the villa vacation experience.

To learn more about “Wine Down Wednesdays” or if travel advisors are interested in having Villas of Distinction co-host an event for clients, please Register as a Travel Advisor on VillasofDistinction.com to receive information about these opportunities.

About Villas of Distinction®
Villas of Distinction®, as part of World Travel Holdings, is an award-winning, full-service premier luxury villa experience creator with an extensive portfolio of thousands of privately-owned villas in more than 50 luxurious destinations worldwide including the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, Central America, the United States and many private islands. Many villas feature private pools, butlers, maids and chefs. The luxury villa provider has gained its guests’ trust by ensuring every villa meets strict standards so that each home exceeds expectations. Since 1989, Villas of Distinction’s team of experts have made vacation planning effortless by helping travelers find their perfect vacation home and creating one-of-a-kind getaways and lasting memories at the world’s top villas. www.VillasofDistinction.com.

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Domestic Villas a Hot Commodity for Consumers Returning to Travel

Domestic Villas a Hot Commodity for Consumers Returning to Travel

Villas of Distinction® adds more domestic options in response to the increased demand for villa rentals in the U.S. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic 

Wilmington, Mass. (September 22, 2020)Villas of Distinction®, the world’s premier luxury villa rental company as part of World Travel Holdings, is increasing its portfolio of domestic villas as a result of incredible demand. According to Ketchum Travel, a global communications consultancy, 80 percent of Americans say they are willing to pay more for privacy and distancing.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are seeing an increase in requests from consumers who want to travel and are looking for a private villa within the U.S.,” said Willie Fernandez, vice president for Villas of Distinction. “People who are not quite comfortable coming into contact with large groups of people will opt to take a staycation or a road trip, and stay in a private villa with family and friends who they know have been cautious.”

As a result, Villas of Distinction has added more than 140 villa properties in domestic destinations with more being added:

“We strongly advocate that consumers seek the counsel of a professional travel advisor, as they are knowledgeable and still the best resource for anyone looking to travel,” said Steve Lassman, vice president of product & agency relations for Villas of Distinction. “Also, there is no additional cost when booking a villa through our travel advisor partners.”

Many of Villas of Distinction’s properties have adopted the Villa Rental Management Association’s cleaning standard for COVID-19 and its “Peace of Mind” policy provides flexible travel policies. For more information, visit VillasofDistinction.com, or call 800-289-0900. 

About Villas of Distinction®
Villas of Distinction®, as part of World Travel Holdings, is an award-winning, full-service premier luxury villa experience creator with an extensive portfolio of thousands of privately-owned villas in more than 50 luxurious destinations worldwide including the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, Central America, the United States and many private islands. Many villas feature private pools, butlers, maids and chefs. The luxury villa provider has gained its guests’ trust by ensuring every villa meets strict standards so that each home exceeds expectations. Since 1989, Villas of Distinction’s team of experts have made vacation planning effortless by helping travelers find their perfect vacation home, and creating one-of-a-kind getaways and lasting memories at the world’s top villas. www.VillasofDistinction.com.

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Villas of Distinction® Offers White-Label Partnerships to Travel Agencies

Villas of Distinction® Offers White-Label Partnerships to Travel Agencies

A customized villas-specific webpage on agency website, product and sales training, and marketing assets give travel agencies the tools to add a profitable vertical to their current travel offerings 

Wilmington, Mass. (September 1, 2020) – According to Ketchum Travel, a global communications consultancy, 80 percent of Americans say they are willing to pay more for privacy and distancing. With this increase in consumers looking for private villa accommodations, Villas of Distinction®, the world’s premier luxury villa rental company as part of World Travel Holdings, is increasing its portfolio of white-label partners.

“While we already work with travel agency partners, the increase in popularity of private home rentals have many travel agencies looking to take their villa sales to the next level by having us provide a white-label solution through offering a villa-specific page on their website,” said Willie Fernandez, vice president of Villas of Distinction. “Travel agencies can feel confident when partnering with us because we offer a reputable product with villas that are vetted and following extensive health & safety guidelines from the Villa Rental Management Association.”

The white-label partnership program provides travel agencies with the support they need to sell villa vacations. It offers a custom webpage on the agency’s site; access to a Travel Agent Portal, which contains a library of marketing assets including images, videos, print pieces, social media ads and training webinars; and marketing support to assist travel advisors in crafting best-in-class and engaging marketing. In addition, travel agents will have access to Villa Specialists and Concierges who are available every step of the way through the booking and planning process.

“As a result of COVID-19, our agents are seeing increased interest from their clients who want to stay in a private villa with friends and family they trust, instead of a resort with hundreds of guests,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. “The villas-specific page on our agents’ website as well as the support our agents receive from Villas of Distinction gives them the tools they need to sell villa vacations to their clients.”

In addition, through Villas of Distinction’s #WithYouToStay campaign, the company is encouraging its guests to book with a travel advisor, offering bonus commissions of up to $1,500 and rich promotions throughout the year, and is committed to making the planning process seamless for the travel advisor and their clients.

For more information on how your agency can partner with Villas of Distinction, please call 1-800-289-0900 or email VillaRental-Marketing@wth.com.

About Villas of Distinction®
Villas of Distinction®, as part of World Travel Holdings, is an award-winning, full-service premier luxury villa experience creator with an extensive portfolio of thousands of privately-owned villas in more than 50 luxurious destinations worldwide including the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, Central America, the United States and many private islands. Many villas feature private pools, butlers, maids and chefs. The luxury villa provider has gained its guests’ trust by ensuring every villa meets strict standards so that each home exceeds expectations. Since 1989, Villas of Distinction’s team of experts have made vacation planning effortless by helping travelers find their perfect vacation home, and creating one-of-a-kind getaways and lasting memories at the world’s top villas. www.VillasofDistinction.com.

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Continued Investments in Marketing Pay Off for Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.®

Continued Investments in Marketing Pay Off for Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.®

Exclusive summer promotions drive bookings for future cruises 

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (August 26, 2020) – Staying in front of the consumer is more important than ever before and despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the travel industry, Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® continues to make investments to support its network of home-based travel agents. As a result, the headquarters’ Marketing Team has created innovative campaigns and promotions that not only engage consumers but are also driving bookings.

“Our inspirational marketing messaging throughout the pandemic has encouraged consumers to keep dreaming about their next vacation,” said Alicia Linden, director of marketing for Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “Now that people have been home for nearly six months, they want something to look forward to and are thinking about joyful distractions, such as a future vacation. To capitalize on this desire, we have continued our commitment to invest in consumer promotions and launched two exclusive campaigns this summer to drive cruise bookings.”

The two distinct week-long promotions this summer offered pre-paid gratuities, onboard credits and more – and were stackable on top of the promotions the cruise lines were already offering. For both promotions, more than 60 percent of the bookings were brand new, and the remaining 40 percent were redeeming Future Cruise Credits.

When the pandemic started, the travel agencies launched their #LetsKeepDreaming campaign, creating travel-themed fun activities such as word searches and coloring books; producing a five-part Virtual Travel Guide series to provide tips on how to maximize a vacation experience and insight into working with a travel agent; creating engaging social media posts; designing and sending “thinking of you” direct mail and emails on behalf of agents; and more. In addition, the team has added more than 20 videos to its already robust video library, with the new content having a keen focus on domestic vacations, all-inclusive resorts and health & safety. Building upon the foundation, now they have implemented a three-prong approach to continue driving strong results – promoting the value of a travel agent, launching promotions and building lead generation opportunities.

“With our marketing department focused on how to speak to our clients during the pandemic, we have been able to pivot to sharing information about the ‘new normal’ in travel protocols, and destination-focused messaging,” said Karen Quinn-Panzer, Dream Vacations franchise owner and vacation specialist in Milford, Conn., who is also chair of the Sales and Marketing Committee. “It’s been challenging to help the network adapt, and marketing has been at the forefront combatting this challenge since it began back in March.”

To learn more about joining the travel agency network that cares more about its franchise owners and independent vacation specialists, please visit www.dreamvacationsfranchise.com for information about Dream Vacations/CruiseOne, and visit www.sellcruises.com to learn more about the Cruises Inc. business opportunity. 

About Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.®
Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® are part of World Travel Holdings, the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company. The Dream Vacations and CruiseOne franchise opportunities give entrepreneurs a choice in how they want to brand their travel business, and Cruises Inc. is an independent business opportunity. Both business models provide a work-from-home opportunity to those interested in selling all types of travel experiences whether it be a cruise, resort stay or land tour. With a mission of delivering a remarkable experience, travel agents with all three brands are given premium resources to plan and create a seamless vacation experience for the customer while offering the best value. For more information on Dream Vacations and CruiseOne, visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/DreamVacationsFranchise, follow on Twitter at @Dream_Franchise or watch its videos at www.youtube.com/DreamVacationsBusiness. For more information on Cruises Inc., visit www.SellCruises.com and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SellCruises.

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Villas of Distinction® Reveals the Top 5 Ultra-Private Domestic Villas

Villas of Distinction® Reveals the Top 5 Ultra-Private Domestic Villas

With the increased trend of travelers choosing to stay in a private home and traveling to domestic destinations, Villas of Distinction shares its top villa picks

Wilmington, Mass. (July 30, 2020) – As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Villas of Distinction®, the world’s premier luxury villa rental company as part of World Travel Holdings, is seeing increased bookings for this summer and beyond as consumers opt to stay in a private villa rental and travel to domestic destinations. According to Toby Babich, president, Vacation Rental Management Association, “Social distancing will become even more commonplace, especially in travel and tourism. Short-term rentals are the only true social distancing lodging option.”

“We are seeing a surge in interest from travel advisors, whose clients are ready to get out and travel, but who are seeking the comforts of home while having the peace of mind of staying in a private villa,” said Willie Fernandez, general manager and vice president for Villas of Distinction. “In addition to providing private villas, we have also worked with our villa partners to create enhanced, specific COVID-19 cleaning standards and provide more flexible cancellation policies.”

Here are five ultra-private villas that make for the perfect getaway as part of the “new normal”:

  1. Villa Salt Acres in Connecticut is situated on a peninsula overlooking Fishers Island Sound with a Tri-State view. This extremely private 8.68 acre waterfront estate features a 30’ by 60’ saltwater pool, private beach with pier and dock, tennis court and sauna so guests don’t have to leave the villa to be entertained.
  1. Villa Fredrics in New York is a secluded 2.3 acre waterfront property down a long meandering driveway in the Georgica Estate section of East Hampton. In addition to enjoying the evening sunsets from all angles of the home, guests will enjoy relaxing on the beach, going for a bike ride, kayaking, canoeing, playing in the game room, barbecuing or having a pizza party using the villa’s pizza oven.
  1. Forge Lake Lodge in North Carolina offers the ultimate Smoky Mountain escape. This lakefront villa has a private dock, boat dock and swim platform. After an exciting day of outdoor activities such as kayaking, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, mountain biking or just taking in nature, guests can enjoy the hot tub, game room or library.
  1. Chalet Cascada in Colorado offers ultimate privacy, and endless views of the ski mountain and valley from its unique location overlooking open space meadows. This villa is the perfect place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of life. The comfortable living room is the ideal spot to gather with family and friends or watch a movie, and the expansive wrap-around deck offers the ultimate view to sneak away for morning coffee or al fresco summer dining.
  1. Alpenglow in Montana is a ski-in, ski-out contemporary villa on a private, wooded lot. Fire up the BBQ grill for apres-ski al fresco, or simply take in the sun on the private patio in between ski runs. With a custom ski room to store gear, guests can easily ski and stop. For decadent home-cooked meals before or after a day of playing and exploring, guests can put the chef’s kitchen to use.

Many of Villas of Distinction’s properties have adopted the Villa Rental Management Association’s cleaning standard for COVID-19 and its “Peace of Mind” policy provides flexible travel policies. For more information, visit VillasofDistinction.com or call 800-289-0900.

About Villas of Distinction®
Villas of Distinction®, as part of World Travel Holdings, is an award-winning, full-service premier luxury villa experience creator with an extensive portfolio of thousands of privately-owned villas in more than 50 luxurious destinations worldwide including the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, Central America, the United States and many private islands. Many villas feature private pools, butlers, maids and chefs. The luxury villa provider has gained its guests’ trust by ensuring every villa meets strict standards so that each home exceeds expectations. Since 1989, Villas of Distinction’s team of experts have made vacation planning effortless by helping travelers find their perfect vacation home, and creating one-of-a-kind getaways and lasting memories at the world’s top villas. www.VillasofDistinction.com.

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New Travel Agents with Dream Vacations Receive Additional Support for Opening Travel Agency During Pandemic

New Travel Agents with Dream Vacations Receive Additional Support for Opening Travel Agency During Pandemic

Travel agency franchise offering additional incentives, support and virtual training for new travel agents 

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (June 11, 2020) – Leading national travel agency franchise Dream Vacations is encouraging entrepreneurs who have always wanted to open a travel agency to not give up on their dreams and start a home-based business now, despite the current pandemic. The future of travel is bright and according to UBS research, 76 percent of people who had a canceled cruise have chosen a future cruise credit in 2021, while Cruise Critic reports that 92 percent of its members are open to cruising again.

“Whether you are brand new to the travel industry or are seeking a new host, now is the best time to start fresh with a travel agency business,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president & general manager of Dream Vacations. “All businesses have a ramp-up period and travel is no different. We are advising new agents to use this time to train, earn certifications and create a business plan so they can hit the ground running when people are ready to travel again.”

Leveraging the tools it already had as a home-based business and as a leader in remote work, Dream Vacations quickly launched a completely virtual weeklong initial training for new agents that provides the same amount of training and learning hours as in-person, with the classes booked to capacity each month. The week begins with an eLearning portion that is the equivalent of three days of classroom training, where they meet Dream Vacations’ senior leaders include Co-CEO/Chairman Brad Tolkin, Chief Operating Officer Debbie Fiorino and Daly. The final two days of training is a live-virtual class where new agents meet the marketing, business development, training and support teams live on-camera, and it concludes with a virtual graduation, complete with pomp and circumstance. One week after graduation, the Business Development team hosts a virtual happy hour to encourage engagement and camaraderie among classmates. Also, starting in June, new classes will have the opportunity to meet and engage with each other during a pre-class meet and greet.

“Hosting the initial new agent training virtually provides us with cost-savings, and we want to pass those savings on to our new franchisees as our way of saying thank you for not giving up on your dreams of having a work-at-home travel business,” adds Daly.

Dream Vacations is increasing its DiversityFran discount to 20 percent, while military veterans, Gold Star families and community heroes including first responders, educators and medical professionals, can now receive a 30 percent discount off the initial franchise fee. In addition, travel agents who are new to the industry can select one of three perks currently being offered — waived administrative fees valued at $1,350; through the Earn Back promotion and based on the initial fee, earn up to nearly $6,000 back plus nine months of waived administrative fees valued at $900; or a Microsoft® Surface Pro tablet valued at $1,000.

Just like other companies, the Dream Vacations headquarters team adapted its support in this current environment. Dream Vacations has launched a virtual engagement plan that keeps its network informed and engaged. From webinars and Town Halls to virtual MeetUps and newsletters, agents always feel connected. Plus, the headquarters team is creating inspiring and educational marketing assets and resources to prepare for the travel rebound.

To learn more about joining the travel agency franchise that cares more about its franchise owners, please visit www.dreamvacationsfranchise.com or call 888-249-8235. 

About Dream Vacations
Travel agents with the top-ranked home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations have the resources to plan and create seamless vacation experiences for their customers while offering the best value. A member of the International Franchise Association, Dream Vacations is part of World Travel Holdings and has received franchise partner of the year, a top-ranking status, by all the major cruise lines as well as national recognition for its support of military veterans. For more information about Dream Vacations, visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com. Like Dream Vacations on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DreamVacationsFranchise, follow on Twitter at @Dream_Franchise and watch its videos at http://www.youtube.com/DreamVacationsBusiness.

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Two-Day Virtual Conference Engages Home-Based Travel Agents with Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.®

Two-Day Virtual Conference Engages Home-Based Travel Agents with Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.®

More than 250 work-from-home travel agents attended first of three virtual regional trainings 

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (June 4, 2020) – Virtual conferences are becoming the new normal and when three of the five previously scheduled in-person Regional Trainings were impacted by COVID-19, the headquarters team at Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® jumped into action to reschedule those events, but in a virtual environment. As a result, the home-based travel agencies launched a series of two-day live Virtual Regional Trainings. The first was hosted the last week of May with more than 250 attendees, and the others are scheduled for July and August.

“We always say our agents are in business for themselves, but not by themselves, and that has never been more evident than during these past three months,” said Drew Daly, general manager and senior vice president of Dream Vacations CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “Many are saying they feel more connected than ever before thanks to our shift in focusing on virtual engagement. They are craving this interaction, and as a result, participation is through the roof on all our virtual platforms. Our hope is that every single one of our agents will attend a regional training this year now that we have re-imagined them by adding the three virtual events this summer.”

Daly hosted the entire event with the same enthusiasm and energy he brings to an in-person event, which the network expects and appreciates. The Virtual Regional Training started each morning with a general session consisting of presentations from the corporate headquarters team, including Co-CEO/Chairman Brad Tolkin and Senior Vice President of Product & Operations David Crooks. In addition, Chief Operating Officer Debbie Fiorino, Vice President of IT Sandi Szalay, Vice President of Operations Joelle Delva and Vice President of Cruises Inc. Sean Tolkin participated on a Leadership Team panel, which allowed attendees to ask anything that was on their mind and get inspired for the future. In the afternoon, nearly 20 cruise and land suppliers hosted interactive breakout sessions. A highlight for attendees was hearing from Royal Caribbean International’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support & Service Vicki Freed, as well as Celebrity Cruises’ Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support & Service Dondra Ritzenthaler. Hearing directly from their peers is always the best way to learn, and Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. agents are always willing to help and support each other. Another highlight was the “all-agent” panel which featured four agents sharing their successful business building tips during this pandemic. All sessions were recorded so even those who were unable to attend or missed a session, were able to benefit from this training.

“Although there is nothing like in-person gatherings, our first-ever Virtual Regional Training was about as good as it can get,” said Rhonda Day, Dream Vacations franchise owner and vacation specialist in Louisville, Ky. “Our leadership team did an outstanding job putting together an engaging and informative two days. With the unique time we are in, the training naturally involved lots of talk about the state of the industry and how to move forward. With so much uncertainty right now, agents need to have positive reinforcement, support and connection and the Virtual Regional Training provided just that.”

Under the leadership of Director of Training Charity Santiago, and Director of Events & Corporate Giving Andrea Giraldo, the training and events team has amplified its online offerings and engagement. In addition to the creation of the Virtual Regional Trainings, they added a record-breaking number of training modules to the award-winning Learning Center, a robust online learning management system, and hosted nearly 100 webinars since mid-March that are experiencing a 252 percent increase in engagement.

To learn more about joining the travel agency network that cares more about its franchise owners and independent vacation specialists, please visit www.dreamvacationsfranchise.com for information about Dream Vacations/CruiseOne, and visit www.sellcruises.com to learn more about the Cruises Inc. business opportunity. 

About Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.®
Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® are part of World Travel Holdings, the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company. The Dream Vacations and CruiseOne franchise opportunities give entrepreneurs a choice in how they want to brand their travel business, and Cruises Inc. is an independent business opportunity. Both business models provide a work-from-home opportunity to those interested in selling all types of travel experiences whether it be a cruise, resort stay or land tour. With a mission of delivering a remarkable experience, travel agents with all three brands are given premium resources to plan and create a seamless vacation experience for the customer while offering the best value. For more information on Dream Vacations and CruiseOne, visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/DreamVacationsFranchise, follow on Twitter at @Dream_Franchise or watch its videos at www.youtube.com/DreamVacationsBusiness. For more information on Cruises Inc., visit www.SellCruises.com and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SellCruises.

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