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Rounding out 2012, Cruise Planners - American Express Travel hosted its 16th annual convention, the Cruisitude Revolution, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. following a two-night preview cruise onboard Celebrity Reflection.
The company is looking forward to a fruitful year in 2013 as sales of land tours and completely packaged (CP) vacations, a program that provides travel agents with access to more than 300 packages and early bookings, are up 27 percent from the same period last year.
An emphasis on social media brought a new twist to the convention. The three-day event served as the platform to announce a new consumer app which will be available for iOS and Android in January. The app's name has yet to be announced as a naming competition is still underway; 500 potential names have already been submitted.
Attendees and advisors used text messages to communicate takeaway tips and participate in polls which were measured in real time to gauge advisor interest. The event also featured training on exclusive company technology, presentations on social media, marketing and customer service.
"Interestingly more than 70 percent of agents polled said that they expect big growth in the coming year," said Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder of Cruise Planners - American Express Travel. "We presented some strong sales results, which will really set the stage for great things in 2013. Demand for buying cruises is consistently strongest from January through April, so we are confident our advisors got the message and left the convention ready to take advantage of this short, but crucial booking window."