Dear Travel Partner,
Together as One ALG, Apple Vacations and The Mark Travel Corporation are working toward implementing the best solutions for our combined businesses. In the end, travel agents and our mutual customers will benefit from an enhanced range of products, services and technology. As a direct result of the merger, Apple Vacations will be implementing VAX in the near future, and welcomed several hotel brands to our portfolio. New to Apple Vacations are La Colección by Fiesta Americana Resorts, and several Karisma Resorts including El Dorado Spa Resorts, Generations Riviera Maya and Hidden Beach Resort. Meanwhile, Funjet Vacations gained access to the seven AMResorts brands including the new Reflect Resorts & Spas. While plenty of competition in the marketplace remains to keep us on our toes, we are all in a far better position to compete against the OTA’s, and that’s a huge benefit to the travel agent community.
You, our valued travel agent partners, are the key to our success. I, as well as all of the Apple Leisure Group Family, sincerely thank you for your support over the past 50 years, and look forward to working together with you as we embark on this new and exciting journey moving forward.
VAX – Vacation Access Sign-Up
Apple Vacations is launching on VAX! Sign-up for online training and get the most up-to-date information.
Apple Vacations President
Hello Travel Agent Partners,
It has been just over three months since we merged Apple Leisure Group and The Mark Travel Corporation, two companies you have trusted to provide incredible vacation experiences for your clients. Now more than ever, we continue to be dedicated to you, our travel agency partners. We appreciate the questions you have asked; we are listening and are excited to share several updates today on how we will help you continue to grow your business:
Leading Brands. As we communicated at the time of the merger, all of our tour brands—including Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions, Funjet Vacations, Southwest Vacations, United Vacations and Blue Sky Tours—continue to thrive. We continue to have brand-dedicated sales resources to ensure excellent service to you. Some of you have asked if sunsetting the Mark Travel name at the end of this year will impact any of the Mark Travel brands. I assure you that all of our brands will continue maintained.
Upgraded Technology. We are pleased to announce that Apple Vacations and Travel Impressions will be moving to VAX VacationAccess. The VAX platform will provide you greater flexibility and control through enhanced customization options. Travel Impressions is targeted to be available via VAX at end of September for all travel, and Apple Vacations is targeted at the end of November for travel beginning May 1, 2019. Training opportunities are available to help you become proficient with VAX’s user-friendly tools.
Agent Loyalty Programs. Each brand’s agent loyalty program will remain in place through summer of 2019. There are exciting developments on the horizon, and we look forward to sharing enhancements soon. The Funjet Vacations’, Southwest Vacations’, United Vacations’ and Blue Sky Tours’ 500 Club, Travel Impressions’ Best of the Best, and Apple Vacations’ Golden Apple programs will remain as is.
Enhanced Hotel, Destination Management Company, and Charter Product. We are pleased to have delivered on a longstanding request we’ve heard from many of you to make AMResorts and Amstar DMC product available to Funjet Vacations, Southwest Vacations, United Vacations and Blue Sky Tours. Additionally, all of the ALG brands now offer the largest charter program in the industry, providing you with a differentiated experience to offer to your clients, as well as greater earnings potential.
Superior Promotions. We are focused on working with our hotel partners to provide more competitive and differentiated offers for you and your clients. Next week, we will launch our first “One ALG” sale across Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, and Travel Impressions with unprecedented savings for your clients. And don’t forget, Southwest Vacations, United Vacations and Blue Sky Tours have big sales going on right now. Stay tuned for more details!
Our First Class Team. We believe our team sets us apart from others. I write to you today in my new role as EVP, ALG Vacations, with responsibility for our Apple Vacations, Blue Sky Tours, Funjet, and Travel Impressions brands, as well as the travel agency business for United Vacations and Southwest Vacations. I am thrilled to be joined by a long-tenured team including Tim Mullen, President of Apple Vacations, Scott Wiseman, President of Travel Impressions, and Ron Jacobs, President of Funjet Vacations.
I am also excited to announce some changes to our sales teams, which will provide more individualized attention to each of you. First, John Tarkowski has moved into the role of Senior Vice President of Sales, with responsibility to build a team of the best Business Development Managers in the industry. He is joined by an experienced sales leadership team comprised of Barbie Groves, Sam Combs, Barb Windish and James Kareka. Under this leadership team, each brand is represented by dedicated salespeople, many of whom you have worked with for many years. Please reference the following diagram for your sales contact for each brand. Click Here
I’d like to also take a moment to mention a few other colleagues at ALG who are playing big roles in serving you. Lynn Torrent, Executive Vice President, ALG & President, Vacations, oversees all aspects of ALG’s tour business. Jeff Mullen continues in his role as Chief Operations Officer for ALG Vacations and leads our contact centers, group department, and operations. Working with Jeff, Mike Ehlers has taken on the role of Senior Director of Groups, focused on providing a world-class groups experience across all ALG brands. Ray Snisky has moved into the role of Chief Commercial Officer, ALG Vacations, and is responsible for engagement with all our key supplier and commercial partners as well as the Amstar DMC.
We will continue to provide updates on how we will help you prosper with us. Check back to this page for the latest information, and follow our tour brands on social media for continued announcements on promotions, product launches, and other initiatives.
We look forward to seeing you at our Apple Vacations and Travel Impressions tradeshows and TMTC Summit this fall.
Thank you for your support. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with all of you, our valued travel agents, to grow our business together.
EVP, Apple Leisure Group Vacations
“What an exciting time for all of us!
Our teams are all working hard to bring together “the best of the best” in order to continue to provide you with great products, tools and resources, to help you do your jobs even better! We believe our “one stop shopping” experience will continue to provide you with tools and technology to grow your businesses. We remain committed to continually investing in and improving these tools.
It is also exciting and energizing for our passionate and committed teams to come together with a common purpose, and at the same time, get to know each other as people.
Our future is bright, and I am thankful and humbled to be a part of it.”
I know we’ve promised new technology to the agent community for quite some time, but VAX was worth the wait. We will begin training for agents unfamiliar with the VAX booking engine beginning at our trade shows in September. Training will continue throughout the Fall, with the launch of VAX tentatively scheduled for mid-November of this year.John Tarkowski
VAX is the premier booking engine and a favorite of travel agents. We are excited to incorporate this technology in the fall, and we look forward to a better booking experience for our travel agents! If you haven’t already, please be sure to sign up for training when RSVPing for the Apple Vacations trade shows.Barbara Windish
July 25, 2018
Invitations to the first of Apple Vacations’ trade shows have been sent out! Along with RSVP’ing for the trade show, travel agents can sign up for VAX training. VAX is tentatively expected to rollout for Apple Vacations in Nov. 2018 for reservations after May 1, 2019.
July 11, 2018
La Colección by Fiesta Americana are available for sale on AppleOnline 4.0!
July 1, 2018
Reflect Resorts & Spas are available for sale on AppleOnline 4.0!
June 29, 2018
El Dorado Spa Resorts by Karisma, Generations Riviera Maya, a Spa Resort by Karisma, and Hidden Beach Resort, by Karisma are available for sale on AppleOnline 4.0!
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