Much of Travel Impressions’ fall 2017 Best of the Best conference focused on the wholesaler’s relaunch of programs such as LoyalTI First, EducaTIon First, #weekendlearning social media, and TI360, plus the company’s expansion beyond the world of Caribbean and Mexican resorts. Then, in April, Apple Leisure Group, parent company of TI, announced that it had merged with the Mark Travel Corporation.
How has all of this affected travel advisors? Travel Impressions executives supplied answers to that key question at this year’s Best of the Best celebration, held at Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa November 15-18. Here are some of the takeaways:
Obviously, the merger of the two companies has brought more vacation packagers—e.g. Funjet, Southwest and United Vacations—under one umbrella. The result is that now OneALG has “incredible buying power… used in your favor,” explained Scott Wiseman, president of Travel Impressions. “We leverage the volume of our brands to keep you competitive, and we negotiate fiercely for agent-only exclusives.” Addressing the bottom line, he said, “We’ve combined forces… to help you do things like fight against the OTAs that threaten your success.”
The post-merger numbers are extraordinary: Travel Impressions has expanded its offerings to 250,000 hotels and resorts, more than 2,000 luxury tours, 30,000+ tours and attractions and transfers, and dedicated vacation flights from more than 15 U.S. airports. The list of destinations has passed the 1,300 mark, and this company that has long been known for its depth in the Caribbean and Mexico has become a serious player in the vast continent of Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Central and South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, other islands in the Pacific, and Canada.
Mind you, much of this expansion was underway even before April, thanks to partnerships with Backroads, SITA World Tours, and Villas of Distinction that Travel Impressions announced in 2017. In addition, it’s crucial to note that Travel Impressions’ list of destinations in the United States has mushroomed from nine to all 50 states. There’s now a great number of choices within each state—and that’s including the original nine—as well.
Good News about Commissions
“We’re making policy changes that are more favorable to you,” added Wiseman. For example, Travel Impressions is discontinuing the $25 floor for ALG price-matching. Moreover, if a travel advisor is a volume booker within the ALG family of brands, that person qualifies for higher tiered commissions regardless of which brand is booked. For example, a volume booker with Apple Vacations who chooses a TI package to Europe gets that high level of commission from TI rather than start from the lowest level. And if you’re a Super Tier agent with one of the brands, you’re effectively a Super Tier throughout the corporation.
TI travel advisors who must contact the company by phone will be preferenced for fast service, too. CFAR is now less complex, and a TripTrust process now assures travel advisors and their clients that the safety of each property has been independently approved regarding both security and health.
In the wake of so many changes, though, how can Travel Impressions organize and process all these choices—literally a world of choices—in a way that’s quickly comprehensible and user-friendly for travel advisors?
For more details on VAX and several other new offerings for travel advisors, see recommend.com/get-inspired/tour-operators/post-merger-travel-impressions-part-2.
For more information, visit travimp.com.