BELLEVUE, Wash., May 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), nearly 22 million people worldwide are expected to take a cruise in 2014 and to meet the growing demand, 29 new cruise ships are expected to enter the market by 2016. Expedia CruiseShipCenters – part of Expedia® Inc., one of the largest online travel companies in the world, has experienced record growth during the first quarter of 2014 and is anticipating even greater development for the year ahead.
With 180 franchise locations throughout North America, the first few months of 2014 have been the most successful start to the year for franchise sales in the company's history. This year, Expedia CruiseShipCenters has already signed seven new franchise agreements, with plans to open new retail travel agencies in cities such as Birmingham, Ala., Sarasota, Fla., Raleigh, N.C. and San Diego, Calif.
"Expedia CruiseShipCenters continues to pave the way for entrepreneurs looking to invest in a growing franchise," said Matthew Eichhorst, President of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. "The Expedia franchise opportunity offers our owners the ability to bring a global brand to travelers in their local community. They can offer Expedia prices, but also the personal service and advice that customers expect from a locally owned business. As the need for travel agents continues to grow for complex bookings, we look forward to watching our brand grow nationwide through the remainder of 2014, and beyond."
In 2014 alone, the company plans to sign 30 total new franchise deals and open approximately 20 to 25 new retail travel franchises in the United States and Canada. Having experienced a year-on-year growth rate of 10% in travel demand of 10 percent, the company sees substantial franchise development opportunities in states with a high density of cruisers like California, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.
As a result of the company's success and commitment to franchisee satisfaction, Expedia CruiseShipCenters recently received its highest ever ranking in Entrepreneur Magazine's 2014 Franchise 500 list and was named a Top50 franchise by the Franchise Business Review.
In addition to cruises, Expedia CruiseShipCenters' Franchise Partners and Vacation Consultants can also leverage Expedia's full range of products for flights, hotels, vacation packages and more. Visit www.expediafranchise.com for more information about joining the Expedia CruiseShipCenters team.
ABOUT EXPEDIA CRUISESHIPCENTERS
Named a fast-growing franchise by MSN Money, Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of 180 franchise locations. As part of Expedia, Inc., the company's 4,000 Vacation Consultants have been navigating spectacular vacation experiences for customers across North America for more than 25 years. For more information on joining the Expedia CruiseShipCenters team, visit www.expediafranchise.com.
Expedia is either a registered trademark or trademark of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2014 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST # 2029030-50 and CST # 20893-43
Media Contact: Stacy Rubenstein, Fishman PR (847) 945-1300