Travel To Relax – Travel Agents Taking Off with Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Travel Agents Taking Off with Expedia CruiseShipCenters

When it comes to booking a cruise
vacation picking the best cruise ship and the right itinerary can make the
difference between a vacation that's mediocre to one that's extraordinary. Through
their award-winning cruise franchise system, Expedia CruiseShipCenters is
playing a big part in supporting the local travel industry and helping
customers find the right vacation experience for them. Interesting fact… Increasingly people are turning back to
travel agents after years of downward trending one of the major reasons for
the previously low numbers online travel booking sites but that's changing and
more and more travelers are seeking out the personalized experience an agent can

Just ask around… Well I feel a little bit more imminent  
smaller you know then and it's just I think you get more feel like a
one-on-one help because you get to talk to Marcia yeah yeah yeah you know and I
think a lot of places like that but I. Think this place is sort of specialized. I
enjoyed everybody in the center I enjoyed the feel for this when I came
in it was very warm it was very welcoming very humorous everybody was
laughing and having a good time Jim and Velma's agency experience seems
to be the rule rather than the exception but there's more than just a good time
being had by all there's a change in dynamics at work as
well we're here in Bellevue Washington, home
of Expedia's headquarters I got to sit down with Matthew Eichhorst, who is the president of Expedia Cruise ship Centers to ask about the misconceptions
about the online giant's relationship to travel agents.

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We've seen actually some
significant growth where people are going to travel agencies and the reason
i think is the internet is brought so much knowledge as far as places that
people can go and it is exciting now the global, the earth's become very much
smaller place so it's very very good but there's still this illusion of what is
it that they they don't know and so they want to a trusted advisor to help them
with that decisions because travels an expensive purchase for
most families Eichhorst says there was a lot of thought
I wanted to expedia partnering with cruise ship centers that decision came
down largely to how cruise customers behave and buy. Expedia is always wanted
to make sure that we sell products travel products to customers the way
they'd want to buy them and in the cruise area specifically about 75% of
all crews are still sold through travel agencies and with our distribution
channel and growing and it's been it's been a great great relationship over the
last eight or nine years. The Expedia cruise ships center's model is different
in that it's relying on the success of the franchise's so they work hard to
provide the right tools and support that the franchise's need to thrive. Albert is
a franchise owner who says being a storefront has major benefits for both
himself and his team of travel consultants.

Visibility is very important
and in addition to the visibility by that i mean people walk by this place
every day there's a laundry facility there's a starbucks they see it over and
over and over again and after they've seen it so many times they finally come
in but it's very important that people have a place that they can come and see
me and see the consultants that's the other part of it is making sure that
there's a place for people to actually talk face-to-face with a travel
consultant. Earlier we met Velma, an avid traveler,  she enjoyed her face-to-face
experience with our travel consultant Marcia so much that they ended up leaving
with more than the Alaskan cruise vacation she came in for I came in to book a cruise so I met miss
Marcia and as I was sitting there listening to her go through the process
asking me questions listening I am a travel holic so I'm like I could do this
i could so do this job I was retired I. Did not want a job Expedia cruise ship centers retail
franchise model offers a positive experience for the consumer but also
with valuable local resource for travel consultants new and experienced alike.
The reason I come in here is I like the camaraderie and I always learn something
through discussions i don't have to actually do that five days a week I come
in two days a week and the other days I. Spend part of everyday doing some work
from home Expedia cruise ship Center strives to be
navigators of spectacular vacation experiences.

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Experts at helping customers
to go through the overwhelming number of options to find the perfect cruise for
them Overall the partnership between expedia
and cruise ship centers is about combining the best that a big online
brand and a local business have to offer Some of the things that we get for all
of our franchise partners and our agents specifically are dealing with customers
we get access to the incredible supply that expedia bring so whether that's the
roughly 300,000 hotels or all of the activities or access to air having
access to all that for a traditional distribution channel has really made us a huge competitive
advantage and great great value for our consumers. Expedia cruise ship centers is
leading the cruise industry by supporting their local vacation
consultants with a big brand and a proven system. They're working together to
provide unparalleled service and value to their customers, not unlike myself, in
Bellevue Washington I'm Jarred Hill. Now Albert? Yes? 3-5 Days, West Coast.

What do you got? So Leaving out of LA? Yes.  .

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