Interview with Tim Courtney, CruiseOne's Director of Franchise Development
Founded in 1992, the CruiseOne franchise is now one of the leading travel retailers in the country. As part of World Travel Holdings (WTH), CruiseOne maintains its position as a premier vacation supplier, providing millions of people access to the world’s most fascinating destinations through its 775 franchise owners. This year, Entrepreneur Magazine named CruiseOne one of its Top 50 franchises, out of over 4,000 operating franchise systems worldwide.
Tim Courtney, CruiseOne's Director of Franchise Development has worked in the travel industry for more than 12 years holding various positions such as General Manager, Executive Cruise Consultant, and other training and management positions.
Franchise Help (FH): What sets CruiseOne apart from other travel-related franchises?
Tim Courtney (TC): Celebrating 20 years in business, CruiseOne is the nation’s leading travel franchise. As part of World Travel Holdings, we are the nation's largest cruise retailer.
FH: Can you tell us about the business model for a CruiseOne franchise? How do your franchisees make money?
TC: With CruiseOne, not only are our franchise owners able to deliver an experience of a lifetime to their clients, but they are able to maximize their ROI by selling a wide variety of vacation options such as cruise packages, land packages, all inclusive resorts, short excursions, escorted tours, car rentals, air packages, and more! Our franchise owners have the option to open a storefront, or work from home.
FH: What is the current state of the cruise vacation niche within the larger travel category?
TC: Cruising is the most exciting option within the entire leisure market. And there is still a lot of opportunity -- over the next three years, more than 50 million Americans plan to cruise. To date, only 24% of the U.S. population has been on a cruise.
FH: Can you describe the primary target customer for CruiseOne?
TC: Cruise and land-based vacations are for all ages and demographics. U.S. travelers feel that they earn at least one weekly vacation a year, whether it be a family vacation or reunion or a honeymoon, just to name a few.
FH: What are some common characteristics of your top performing franchisees?
TC: Our franchise owners come from a variety of backgrounds, but the one thing they have in common is a passion for travel and an entrepreneurial spirit.
FH: What can you tell us about the estimated initial investment, royalty fees, and profit potential for a CruiseOne franchise?
TC: The initial investment is $9,800, and we do offer financing. We also offer a 20% discount to U.S. Veterans and a 10% discount to ethnic and racial minorities, including women in business.
FH: What are your growth plans for CruiseOne? Which geographic markets are you targeting for expansion?
TC: CruiseOne operates only in the United States at this time.
FH: Is there anything else you wish to share about CruiseOne?
TC: CruiseOne is offering U.S. Veterans the chance to enter to win one of five free CruiseOne franchises with our "Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General" contest. For full details and contest rules, please visit www.OperationVetrepreneur.com.
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