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Vacation.com Prepares Members for Wave Season Sales SurgeDecember 12, 2008 By: George Dooley
The EZguider cruise platform and a new direct-mail Engagement module provide a powerful one-two punch for members of Vacation.com to kick-start 2009 sales, the company said. Member agencies will benefit from free use of two cruise-booking tools in EZguider, along with a coordinated direct-mail and e-mail marketing campaign. Both will help agents boost sales during the upcoming Wave Season. The agency group plans to send 20 million supplier-funded messages in 2009 to build members' businesses.
“Almost 80 percent of all cruises are sold by travel agents, and 65 percent of those bookings are made via the telephone,” said Vacation.com President and CEO Steve Tracas. “The tested and proven cruise-booking tools now available for free exclusively to our membership will boost their productivity during the upcoming Wave Season vs. experiencing the normal long telephone wait times.”
The complimentary cruise-booking tools can be accessed via EZguider—Vacation.com’s new leisure-focused desktop selling platform. After members use EZguider to search for and compare various cruise products side-by-side on the same screen, they can book the segment with Amadeus Cruise or EZcruise—both accessed at no additional charge from their existing desktop.
EZguider will also benefit those agents who use the numerous supplier sites to book cruises. “With EZguider, agents no longer need to jump from site to site to compare products and prices; EZguider makes comparison shopping easy with side-by-side comparisons. It also offers tours and high-commission third-party insurance products right on the same site, with air functionality coming in the first quarter,” Tracas said.
Vacation.com members will also benefit greatly this Wave Season through a surge of consumer-focused direct mail and e-mails through the use of Vacation.com’s highly successful Engagement marketing program.
The Engagement program consists of exclusive offers from Preferred Suppliers specifically negotiated for Vacation.com members. Vacation.com turns these offers into professionally designed direct-mail and e-mail promotions and sends them to select clients with the member’s agency as the call to action.
In 2009, Vacation.com plans to send 20 million supplier-funded messages through the program—the majority of which will be sent during Wave Season to drive consumers to call member agencies and book profit-yielding cruises.
“More direct mail and e-mails will be sent to consumers in the first quarter than any other part of the year,” said Stephen McGillivray, Vacation.com’s vice president of marketing. “And now that we can target only those clients who have the discretionary income to purchase travel, our members will be even better prepared to address these challenging times.”
A listing of the first-quarter 2009 cruise Engagement sales is available at www.agentnet.com. Both EZguider and the Engagement program is included in Vacation.com membership at no additional charge. Agents can visit www.EZguider.net to learn more about the leisure-selling tool. Vacation.com members can visit www.AgentNet.com to enroll in the Engagement program.