2017 was a big year for home-based travel franchise business Dream Vacations. Thanks to innovations in its technology, expanded marketing endeavors, increased support and training for franchisees, and other initiatives, this travel brand saw a sales growth increase in the double digits for land and cruise vacations by the end of the year. The effects of all these new programs and developments are still being felt in the company as they pick up speed, and it appears that 2018 will be a record-breaking year for this top franchise opportunity.
Massive tech investment
Dream Vacations invested millions of dollars into its IT team over 2017 and now has the biggest tech team and the best staff-to-agent ratio in the travel franchise sector. New tools were introduced that allowed for increased speed in directly-made cruise bookings, and some of the IT team's efforts also supported the new marketing initiatives. Currently, the IT staff has other improvements in the pipeline, including group booking process upgrades, resort vacation booking enhancements, and an online travel shopping experience that will be revolutionary in the industry.
Two new marketing programs that are fully corporate-funded launched in 2017: Vacation Superhero Referral and Loyalty Cruise Perks. The most recent program was the Vacation Superhero Referral, and it saw more than 300 referrals in less than 30 days. This unique program makes it easier for clients to recommend their travel agents to others, and referrals from this program can receive exclusive promotions, while their referrer gets a gift card. Loyalty Cruise Perks, which launched in August, rewards clients who book their next trip within 30 days of the last one and has already had 3,000 re-bookings as a result.
Development and operations enhancements
This past year, Saul Fonseca, a veteran of the industry, joined the travel brand as the new Director of Sales and leader of the business development team. This team's territories were also simplified, and a new manager was hired to work with new agents so they receive focused attention. Training and support have always been a focus for this franchiser, and this past year, it launched its Immersive Educational Series to provide in-person training summits on niche subjects, such as land, luxury and groups. All three of these categories saw a boost in sales over the course of the year, with group business jumping by close to 15 percent.
Philanthropy and accolades
For 2017, this travel brand donated $115,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, gave away two vacations to veterans, and awarded five more veterans free franchises via its Operation Vetrepreneur, which has granted 30 free franchises since its start in 2012. This was also a year of honors, with the brand labeled a top franchise opportunity by both Military Times and Entrepreneur magazines, in addition to earning other awards.
Part of World Travel Holdings, Dream Vacations currently has opportunities available in several markets. The initial franchise fee is $9,800, and financing and discounts are available for qualified applicants.