Travel Agents Win National Business Award In Celebration of Women’s History Month

Travel Agents Win National Business Award In Celebration of Women’s History Month

CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® honor female agents with OPAL Award for leadership and community service 

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (March 4, 2021) – Leading home-based travel agencies CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® celebrate Women’s History Month in March by honoring female vacation specialists with the OPAL Award for Women. The company has named CruiseOne Franchisee Addie Edwards and Cruises Inc. Independent Vacation Specialist Debra Duffy the 2021 recipients of this prestigious award.

The OPAL Award recognizes a female franchise owner and an independent vacation specialist who demonstrate Outstanding Performance And Leadership. The honorees are active in community and civic organizations, and demonstrate leadership within CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. This year’s award also celebrates women who not only survived but thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic by reinventing themselves and their businesses this past year.

“2020 was a trying year and these two women found a way to continue giving back to the community and being a beacon of light for others,” said Debbie Fiorino, chief operating officer of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “The OPAL Award celebrates women’s accomplishments and contributions to helping others, and Addie and Deb epitomize what this recognition is all about.”

A resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., Edwards has been a CruiseOne franchise owner since 2006 and has continued to make a difference in the lives of others during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing comfort and support to those around her in need. As a Board Member with the Believe I Can Academy, a non-profit school for children with special needs, Edwards was instrumental in helping the organization secure and move to a larger facility when they had to accommodate a large influx of new students due to the closure of public schools. During the pandemic, she also became a caregiver for 93-year-old philanthropist Betty Lee, a founding member of Creative Women of Pinnacle Peak, a charitable organization whose objective is to support charities who work with women and children in need. Edwards visited Lee weekly, did her grocery shopping and helped navigate the many constraints involved in obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, the arts are another passion of Edwards and for the past three seasons she has volunteered for the Arizona Musicfest.

Duffy of Palisades Park, N.J., is an environmentalist who supports the PopCorn Park Zoo, a sanctuary for abused and abandoned pets in Forked River, N.J.; a volunteer weather observer for CoCoRaHS, a grassroots volunteer network of backyard weather observers who measure and map precipitation in their local communities; as well as a past member of the Palisades Park Environmental Commission, where she was recognized as the “Bergen County Volunteer of the Year” for her contributions to improving the town’s environmental impact through recycling programs and planting trees, as well as infrastructure enhancements. Duffy also supports the American Cancer Society and the Palisades Park Fire Department.

CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. is committed to being “Rich in Diversity” and empowers all owners, agents and employees to reach their highest potential by leveraging their broad range of talent, experiences, personalities, viewpoints and ideas to generate business growth.

For more information on joining these award-winning agencies, please visit www.dreamvacationsfranchise.com to learn more about owning a Dream Vacations/CruiseOne travel franchise, and visit www.sellcruises.com to learn more about the Cruises Inc. host agency 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 give entrepreneurs the opportunity to become a small business owner, as well as a choice in how they brand their travel business. Cruises Inc. is an independent business opportunity providing individuals a fun way to earn extra money. Both business models provide a work-from-home opportunity to those passionate about selling travel, 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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World Travel Holdings Offering Up to $1 Million in Commercial Loans to its Network of Travel Agency Franchise Owners as Part of a Financial Assistance Program

World Travel Holdings Offering Up to $1 Million in Commercial Loans to its Network of Travel Agency Franchise Owners as Part of a Financial Assistance Program

“We’re There To Help” Stimulus Plan provides resources and funding for franchise owners with Dream Vacations/CruiseOne® 

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (February 12, 2021) – Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations/CruiseOne® has been an industry leader with its support of its franchise owners. With the financial backing of its parent company World Travel Holdings, the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company, the franchisor has raised the bar even higher by offering up to $1 Million in commercial loans to its franchise owners as part of its “We’re There to Help” Stimulus Plan.

“For our franchise owners, travel is more than a passion, it is their livelihood and the pandemic has had serious implications on their businesses,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations/CruiseOne. “As a franchisor, we take pride in providing our franchise owners the resources they need to succeed. However, in times like these, it is crucial to go beyond providing a ‘business-in-a-box.’ The success of our franchisees is our only business and this Stimulus Plan supports the foundation of our business model — to support small business owners.”

The “We’re There to Help” Stimulus Plan, which represents World Travel Holdings’ initials, has a three-pronged approach to providing franchisees with additional resources and financial assistance to navigate through 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • World Travel Holdings-Funded Commercial Loan – World Travel Holdings will make up to $1 Million available in commercial loans to qualified Dream Vacations/CruiseOne franchisees. Applicants will have to explain how they plan to use their funds and submit a business plan to be considered.
  • PPP Assistance with Bank – Through a partnership with World Travel Holdings’ banking institution, they negotiated an agreement where Dream Vacations/CruiseOne franchisees can receive assistance from the bank in securing a PPP loan. 
  • Cares Page – Dream Vacations/CruiseOne created a special section on its Business Center intranet that consolidates financial assistance information from World Travel Holdings, government, franchising, trade and business organizations in one easy-to-find location. 

“We are seeing the biggest pent-up demand for travel in history and extremely strong bookings for the end of 2021 and into 2022, and after more than a year of minimal travel and sales, we want to help ensure our franchisees can sustain their business for when this travel boom arrives,” said Brad Tolkin, co-CEO/chairman of World Travel Holdings. “In spite of World Travel Holdings not qualifying for PPP funds due to our size, it was very important to us to find a way to provide additional assistance for the small business owners within our franchise system. We know the future of leisure travel is bright and we want to do our part and assist our travel agency franchise owners to be ready to meet this demand.” 

The “We’re There to Help” Stimulus Plan is just one of many initiatives that Dream Vacations/CruiseOne has implemented to provide assistance to its franchisees during COVID-19. They have provided enhanced support to its existing franchisees by offering the option to defer monthly fees for up to six months; hosting Town Halls and webinars with industry executives; presenting robust virtual training and conferences; creating increased and unique engagement opportunities such as a Walking Club and more. Dream Vacations/CruiseOne has steadily been recruiting the entire year and new travel agency franchises are opening each month. The franchisor has adapted its onboarding process for new franchisees to better meet the unique challenges they are facing while opening during a pandemic. The saying “We Care More” has always been a mantra for Dream Vacations/CruiseOne, and it has never been as meaningful as it has these last 14 months.

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 World Travel Holdings
World Travel Holdings is the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company with a portfolio of more than 40 diverse brands. In addition to owning some of the largest brands distributing cruises, villas, resort vacations, car rentals, resort day passes and luxury travel services, World Travel Holdings has a vast portfolio of private-label partnerships comprised of top leisure travel providers, including almost every U.S. airline, leading hotel brands and prominent corporations. The company also operates a top-rated travel agency franchise and the country’s original host agency, and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in work-at-home employment. Its global presence includes operating multiple cruise brands in the United Kingdom. World Travel Holdings has offices in Wilmington, Mass.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; New York, NY; and Chorley, England. For more information, visit WorldTravelHoldings.com.

About CruiseOne® / Dream Vacations
A member of the International Franchise Association, the top-ranked home-based travel agency franchise CruiseOne® has been in operation since 1992, and its sister brand Dream Vacations launched in April 2016, giving franchisees a choice in how they want to brand their travel business. CruiseOne / Dream Vacations franchisees have the resources to plan and create seamless vacation experiences for their customers while offering the best value. CruiseOne / 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, visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com. Like CruiseOne / Dream Vacations on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DreamVacationsFranchise, follow on Twitter at @Dream_Franchise and watch its videos at www.youtube.com/DreamVacationsBusiness.

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February is Travel Advisor Partner Appreciation Month with Villas of Distinction®

February is Travel Advisor Partner Appreciation Month with Villas of Distinction®

Up to $1,500 in bonus commission up for grabs

Wilmington, Mass. (February 3, 2020)Villas of Distinction® is thanking its travel advisor partners this month with a robust bonus commission offer. Travel advisors who book their clients with Villas of Distinction from now until February 28, 2020, for travel between now and December 31, 2021, can earn a bonus commission of up to $1,500.

“While February is always Travel Advisor Appreciation Month, this past year has been especially challenging for our travel advisors which is why this year we’ve increased the amount of bonus commission from ‘up to $750 to up to $1,500’,” said Steve Lassman, vice president villa product & agency relations for Villas of Distinction. “This is just one way to thank our travel advisor partner for their continuous support, and we are proud to be the only luxury villa provider for more than 30 years to consistently reward our travel agency partners with invaluable bonus commissions.”

In 2020, Villas of Distinction launched its #WithYouToStay campaign in support of its Travel Advisor partners which includes directing its guests to book with a travel advisor, bonus commissions, enhanced promotions for their clients and special “Wine Down Wednesday” monthly events. In addition, Villas of Distinction hosts Zoom get-togethers with travel agencies and their clients to help them acquire new villa guests. This campaign is a win-win for advisors and Villas of Distinction as it has increased engagement and provided advisors with more knowledge about villas, which has helped them to successfully sell this unique product.

For more information and terms and conditions about the travel advisor bonus, visit the Travel Advisor Incentives and Special Offers page on VillasofDistinction.com or call 1-800-289-0900 to speak to a Villa Specialist.

About Villas of Distinction®
Villas of Distinction®, as part of World Travel Holdings, is an award-winning, full-service villa experience creator with an extensive portfolio of thousands of privately-owned villas in more than 52 destinations worldwide including the United States, Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, Central America, and beyond. Many villas feature excellent staff and top-of-the-line amenities – like private pools, home theaters, in-villa game rooms, and fitness centers. 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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Vacation Rental Demand Increases As A Result Of COVID-19

Vacation Rental Demand Increases As A Result Of COVID-19

Villas of Distinction® sees increased demand for villas in domestic destinations and shares new trends that have surfaced as a result of the pandemic

Wilmington, Mass. (January 26, 2021) – The spread of COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and as travel slowly starts to resume, new trends are developing. According to Villas of Distinction®, there is an increased demand for U.S. domestic villas, an uptick in long-term rentals and a shift in the time from booking to traveling.

The most notable trend for people booking 2021 vacations is the increased demand for domestic villas. Since people may be nervous about traveling out of the country and some aren’t comfortable flying, there is heightened interest in road trips and staycations. As a result of this, in the last nine months Villas of Distinction has added more than 300 villas in the U.S. including California, Colorado, Connecticut, the Florida Panhandle, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. In addition, Villas of Distinction will add more villas in Canada for the Canadian market as they are also required to stay within their country.

Now that many children are doing school virtually and parents are working remotely, they can complete their work from anywhere. Villas of Distinction is seeing many family’s traveling and staying in a villa even when not using “vacation” time. These workcations have led to an increase in long-term rentals and is very popular in the Caribbean islands such as Barbados and Grand Cayman, which have both devised programs specifically geared toward this type of traveler.

Villas of Distinction has also seen a shift in book-to-travel windows. In 2020, there was a seven percent increase in people wanting to get away within 0-60 days, creating more close-in bookings than its seen in years’ past. There was also a five percent increase in people booking more than a year in advance even into late 2022 and 2023.

People are looking for travel options where they can adhere to the safety guidelines set by their country. Villas of Distinction’s villa properties have agreed to follow the Vacation Rental Management Association for safety and cleaning protocols.

There will be a pent-up demand for travel and people can get away, but still be in a home away from home. For more information about Villas of Distinction or to book a villa vacation, visit www.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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Cruises.com Launches New, Exclusive “Choice” Promotion, Giving Customers Up To $2,000 On New Cruise Bookings

Cruises.com Launches New, Exclusive “Choice” Promotion, Giving Customers Up To $2,000 On New Cruise Bookings

Customers get to choose an exclusive perk on next cruise booking — Onboard Spending, Cruises.com Visa® Prepaid Card or Cash Back

Wilmington, Mass. (January 6, 2021) – Cruises.com announced today its exclusive “Choice” promotion for customers, valued at up to $2,000. This promotion gives customers the choice of an exclusive perk including up to $1,500 in Onboard Spending or a Cruises.com Visa® Prepaid Card or up to $2,000 in Cash Back.

“When you book a vacation, you want to know you are getting the best deal. And while there may be a few ways to book a cruise, we’re the only ones offering a choice of benefits that are simple, flexible and very rich on top of everything offered by the cruise line. This is our way of incentivizing customers to book with us and give them the power to decide how they use their perks,” said Rosemarie Reed, senior vice president of marketing for Cruises.com. “Many people think that if they book with a travel agency, they won’t receive what the cruise lines are offering and that’s simply not true – in fact, it’s just the opposite. You always get more perks booking with Cruises.com.”

The “Choice” promotion is combinable with Cruises.com exclusive offers and cruise line deals, and members of cruise line loyalty programs will receive those benefits in addition to loyalty status credit.

Here’s how it works — Book a cruise with Cruises.com online or over the phone; choose the bonus reward; and get rewarded.

“Choice” Promotion Exclusive Perks:

  • Up to $1,500 in Onboard Spending. A credit will be added to the customer’s onboard account to be used during the cruise for expenses like drinks, spa treatments and more.
  • Up to a $1,500 Visa Prepaid Card. Use this card everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted at millions of merchants, including Cruises.com.
  • Up to $2,000 in Cash Back. Customers who choose this option send Cruises.com a copy of onboard expenses, and Cruises.com will reimburse for those expenses.

To book your next cruise with Cruises.com, call 1-800-288-6006 or visit Cruises.com.

About Cruises.com
Cruises.com is part of World Travel Holdings and has been helping customers save big on top-brand cruises since 2005, by working directly with the cruise lines to provide the best available price. Cruises.com’s team of Cruise Experts offers a stress-free booking experience while finding their customers their dream cruise, offering everything the cruise lines offer plus their own exclusive bonuses. For more information, visit Cruises.com. Like them on Facebook at Cruises.com or follow them on Instagram @cruisescom.

Card is issued by MetaBank®, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. No cash access or recurring payments. Can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Card valid for up to 12 months; unused funds will forfeit after the valid thru date. Card terms and conditions apply.

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