CRUISE PLANNERS/AMERICAN EXPRESS NAMED TOP CRUISE AGENCY
FRANCHISE BY ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE 6TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
Overall ranking jumps 29 spots to 85
CORAL SPRINGS, FL – (January 7, 2009) – For the sixth consecutive year, Cruise Planners/American Express ranks #1 among all cruise agency franchises on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500® list of the world’s top franchises. Overall, Cruise Planners/American Express ranks #85 on this year’s Franchise 500® list, up 29 spots over 2008. The rankings are published in Entrepreneur’s January 2009 issue and online at www.entrepreneur.com as part of the magazine’s 30th annual Franchise 500® rankings.
"A lot of great people put a lot of hard work into making us #1, which makes this award especially gratifying," said Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners/American Express. "Six years is a long time to remain at the top of any list, but with our unyielding support for our franchise owners, strong cruise and travel industry partnerships, and new investments in the latest technologies, we’re optimistic about 2009."
In addition to its #1 ranking in the cruise agency category, Cruise Planners/American Express also netted top-25 rankings among Franchise 500® "home based franchises" (#20) and "low-cost franchises" (#23), while also holding down the #42 slot on the "fastest-growing franchises" list.
Initially published in 1980 as the first official ranking of franchises in the industry, Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500® is still the best and most comprehensive rating of franchises in the world. According to Entrepreneur, the most important factors in compiling the Franchise 500® include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. The publication also considers the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it's been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. Financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA.
About Cruise Planners/American Express
Founded in 1994, Cruise Planners is an American Express Travel Services Representative national cruise agency headquartered in Coral Springs, FL, that operates a franchised network of 700+ experienced travel professionals who independently book cruises and other associated travel. Cruise Planners/American Express annual gross sales exceed US$120 million. Cruise Planners/American Express has achieved the highest industry awards year after year; Royal Caribbean’s Homebased Partner of the Year (2007), Carnival’s Pinnacle Club (2008), Carnival’s Agency of the Year (2005), American Express Travel Services Rep Excellence Award (2004-2007) and Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500® ~ ranked #1 cruise agency franchise (2004-2009), to name a few.