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Cruise Planners is hosting its 2021 convention in Riviera Maya Oct. 2-6, 2021. In anticipation to the convention, the media received a sneak peek of a few initiatives that will be announced during the 4-day event.

“We didn’t really stop during the pandemic,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative.

She noted that Cruise Planners added Zoom video conferencing and the “Where to Next” virtual travel series. In addition, invitations, presentations and other marketing collateral were added for advisors to use during the downtime. “The intent was to bring the world to the advisors’ clients,” said Fee.

Looking ahead, she reported that projections for 2022 are currently 24 percent ahead of pre-pandemic purchasing. When compared to 2019 numbers, cruising is up 25 percent, luxury travel is up 62 percent, river cruising 71 percent, and land travel up 61 percent growth, adding that “popularity for land travel will continue.”

During the virtual press conference, Fee shared that 20 new initiatives focused on marketing and technology innovations will be unveiled at the 4-day conference.

We have the details on a few of these to share with you.

First is the new SOAR Dashboard Analysis, which is a highly detailed business analytics dashboard that contains 120 different metrics to analyze your business including a heightened focus on setting and tracking business goals. The SOAR dashboard will also assign your clients a number based on their level of booking, to help you better use it for target marketing.

In addition, the new Enhanced Sales Opportunities Tool will allow you to easily track the sales stage of your leads, while also integrating with Task Manager for follow-up reminders.

And, to make things a little easier for you, the new Automated Client Texting Communications will automatically send important date reminders such as deposit and final payment dates to your clients, plus there’s the ability to send quotes and other information via text.

Task Manager is also getting updated and being integrated into the advisor mobile app, which will allow you to quote, sell and service your clients from the palm of your hands.

To help you reach out to potential clients and current clients with more ease, new marketing tools have also been implemented. A new Automated Marketing Program will consist of e-mails, push notifications and more while using AI technology and data. Your clients will receive vacation suggestions based on their buying history and bucket list destinations.

“We cross reference this info with their online behavior on what types of ads they click on. That date is captured to be able to market recommendations to them based on past behavior,” she said.

And, to help you reach more potential new clients, Cruise Planners has partnered with a social media company to pull content from a robust library and post on your behalf several times a week. There are various levels to choose from. The free version will post to Facebook four times a week. The second level is paid and will also post to Instagram and Google My Business, plus there will be a dashboard where you can edit, personalize and manage posts, as well as a calendar. This level also allows you to see analytics.

In addition, a new third tier has been added—the CP Pro Elite program, which includes daily posting to Facebook and Instagram, Facebook digital ad boosts, directory listing and reputations management, all in one dashboard. This level will post seven times a week to Facebook, five times a week to Instagram and twice a week to Google My Business. You will also be able to manage directory listings and create Facebook ads, plus manage and review responses all on a central dashboard. In addition, the Home Office will run an ad on your behalf once a month.

In 2022, Cruise Planners will be hosting more events for travel advisors including five Bootcamps, two Elite Events and three CP Tech Days as well as a Land and Luxury Event and the annual convention. There will be 12 in-person events for advisors in 2022, plus six STAR University training events for new franchise.

And, coming in early 2022 will be a new Hotel Booking Engine that will incorporate American Express hotel programs with enhanced commissions and customer savings all at a glance.

“We exposed many of our agents to selling land,” said Fee. “Many had not sold land before, but we did see land sales take off.”

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