Cruise Planners Provides Support for Travel Advisors

Cruise Planners CEO Michelle Fee is taking on the chaos created by the coronavirus outbreak with a number of proactive measures that directly address the pandemic’s impact on our industry.

“While we were prepared to react in times of crisis with a strong team of communicators, marketers and sales professionals, no one could have predicted how this story is playing out for the cruise and travel industry,” said Fee in a statement. “I am proud of how our team has reacted and continues to support all of our franchise owners–because of our home-based model, technology and ability to move funds to accommodate digital marketing needs, we are nimble, responsive and doing what’s right.”

Cruise Planners is supporting its nation-wide network of home-based travel advisors with action at the government level as well as through direct communication to agents and with its industry partners.

“Our relationship with CLIA, ASTA and the International Franchise Association (IFA) help keep us at the forefront as key decision-makers,” said Fee. “We are advocating to protect small business owners – and the possible financial burden of this crisis.”

The company will also be hosting webinars with cruise line executives and these will include a conversation with John Chernesky, senior Vice President of sales and trade marketing at Princess Cruises. Chernesky is talking to travel advisors about the fluid situation.

Cruise Planners is also actively working to protect travel agent commissions.

“Some of the initial drafts of how the cruise lines were going to react did not protect the commission on the sailing, or were vague with how the future cruise credit commission would be paid, if at all,” said Fee. “Cruise Planners leveraged its relationships to advocate for travel advisors commission protection with major cruise lines by actively being involved in their advisory boards and being a leader in the industry.”

Communication is one of the key ways to maintain relationships in a time of crisis and Cruise Planners is actively working to boost internal communications.

They have armed agents with the following information:

—Hosted live webinars, sent out talking points and guides to sensitive client conversations and tips to maintain sales/postpone for future travel dates

—Created additional marketing, social media and video content to adjust to this changing situation

—Created a Cancellation Policies Grid for all of our top suppliers

—Created FAQ documents and posted them through our Intranet and publicly for consumers

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