In the early 1990s, Michelle Fee sat at the desk of her travel agency business and thought, “If we don’t change, we will be dinosaurs: extinct.” This thinking was certainly not common. At the time, there were 34,000 retail travel agency locations in the United States with steady streams of customers. But Michelle could sense a change coming.
So despite the fact she was a young mother living paycheck to paycheck, in 1994, along with two other travel agents, Michelle set out to change the travel world and launched Cruise Planners.
Cruise Planners was an unconventional travel agency. Rather than setting up a brick-and-mortar location, Cruise Planners implemented a home-based model, recruiting and training travel advisors who worked remotely. The home-based concept minimized overhead costs and allowed both Cruise Planners and its travel advisors to be nimbler and more efficient.
The concept was a big risk. At the time, a home-based business model was largely unheard of, but the risk paid off. Cruise Planners quickly took off and sold two million dollars in travel in its first year. Despite the early success, Michelle didn’t take a salary for the first three years, opting instead to continually reinvest in the business and help her travel advisors grow.
Today, Michelle continues to lead Cruise Planners as the CEO and majority owner. She is joined by an executive team with 127 years of experience in the travel industry. With so much travel experience, we understand better than anyone the needs and challenges of travel advisors. That’s why we remain committed to providing the best training, support, technology, marketing and partnerships you need to be successful.
Since 1994, we’ve put a priority on our franchisees’ successes. We don’t succeed unless you succeed, and it’s our mission to help you get there.