FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Leading home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations recently ranked 20th globally and 14th in North America in Entrepreneur’s list of the Fastest-Growing Franchises, published in the March issue of Entrepreneur magazine.
"Nothing can stop the smartest franchises from growing - not even a pandemic!” says Jason Feifer, Entrepreneur’s editor-in-chief. “We've been impressed with how innovative franchises have pivoted and adapted this past year and are happy to celebrate the ones who keep pushing forward and growing."
Franchises on this list are ranked based on the net total of units (both franchised and company-owned) added globally from July 2019 to July 2020, with ties broken based on percentage growth. (In previous years, only US and Canadian unit growth was considered - 2021 marks the first year that the ranking is based on systemwide growth, in recognition of the increasingly global nature of franchising.) Dream Vacations’ position in the Fastest-Growing Franchises ranking is evidence of the strength and appeal of its concept, even during challenging times.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started more than a year ago, Dream Vacations led the way in providing financial assistance and enhanced support for new and existing franchisees. From reducing the initial franchise investment and deferring up to six months of fees to offering up to $1 Million in commercial loans, Dream Vacations aided franchisees in sustaining their businesses during this difficult time. In addition, the Training & Events Team quickly pivoted to hosting a completely virtual travel agent training program for new franchises, and they launched a virtual engagement plan to ensure the network of travel agent franchisees always felt connected. In addition, to prepare for the travel industry rebound Dream Vacations doubled down on training opportunities and launched an acclaimed Travel Safety program covering everything from health and safety best practices while traveling and travel protection health policies to sales and marketing tips in this current environment.
“We always say that the success of our franchisees is our only business, and while we are thrilled about this ranking, our top priority is helping our network of travel agents grow their businesses,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. “In a year when travel came to a standstill, we invested in our franchisees’ growth by launching new and innovative marketing programs that engaged and inspired.”
The Marketing Team pivoted to meet the demands of its franchisees by providing inspirational messaging encouraging consumers to dream about their next vacation, promoting the value of a travel agent and building lead-generation opportunities, and eventually shifting focus to promoting land-based vacations that people can take immediately. Doing so resulted in record-breaking land vacation sales that rivaled pre-pandemic numbers.
Daly adds, “The pandemic has inspired people to pursue their passions and seek business opportunities that provide flexibility and remote work options. Owning a travel agency franchise such as Dream Vacations is the perfect fit because we are seeing not only an incredible pent-up demand for travel, but for people who want to own their own travel business.”