Planning a vacation has just become a lot easier for families in Lawrenceville. With the desire and expertise to help their community find the right vacation, local entrepreneurs and husband and wife duo, Ed and Laura Long have opened a new Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise at 3157 Sugarloaf Parkway.
Expedia CruiseShipCenters – part of the Expedia group family of brands – offers cruise vacations and much more through its 220 locations across North America. Customers are able to choose from numerous vacation possibilities over land, sea and air, including customized trips, coach & rail tours and insurance – all at Expedia prices. In addition to the research and booking features available on their local website, Ed and Laura along with their team offer personal vacation consultations in person, through email or over the phone, so customers always have the freedom to book when, where and how they choose.
“We look forward to working with the community to help them find the cruise or vacation that is a perfect fit for their needs,” Laura Long owner of Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Lawrenceville said. “The Internet can become overwhelming when trying to plan a vacation. With so many options available, customers really want to speak to an expert. Our team of Vacation Consultants are experts at explaining the differences among ships and cruise lines to help our customers find the vacation that’s perfect for them.”
Expedia CruiseShipCenters Vacation Consultants are provided with extensive training and marketing support which allows them to become navigators of spectacular vacation experiences, even with no travel experience. “We are actively recruiting Vacation Consultants to work full-time or part-time, as a home based agent or from our retail center,” claims Long. Our agents have the freedom and flexibility to build their travel business on their own terms with the power of Expedia behind them.”
Ed Long has spent the vast majority of his career in the healthcare industry. His experience is in health care where he worked as a dialysis area administrator, as a radiology administrative director and nuclear medicine technologist. Wife and business partner, Laura, has spent the past 15 years in the educational system working with special needs children. Prior to that, Laura began as a flight attendant and recruiter for Eastern Airlines.
Recently, Ed and Laura decided to make their passion for travel and entrepreneurship a reality when their son was diagnosed with a retinal degenerative eye disease, Choroideremia, in his early college years. The extremely rare disease results in the permanent loss of vision. After 32 years of marriage, the Longs have traveled the globe in search of a treatment for their son. Ed and Laura have now come together to open an Expedia CruiseShipsCenter in order for their son to find success in the workplace and leave a lasting legacy for two children should they need it.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry shows no signs of slowing down, with nearly 24 million passengers expected to sail in 2016, a dramatic increase from 15 million just 10 years prior. CLIA notes member cruise lines are scheduled to debut 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships in 2016 for a total investment of more than $6.5 billion. In addition, travel agents are experiencing a higher demand for cruise travel, with eight out of 10 CLIA member travel agents expecting an increase in sales in 2016 over last year.