Nigel Osborne, who was was named president of Virgin Vacations in July, has announced plans to help travel agents build their business. Osborne outlined an agenda that includes investing in travel agent sales, combining e-commerce with destination expertise for agents, and offering agents more tools and commissions to grow business. Virgin Vacations’ plans will focus on product, service, and training through the agency channel and based on feedback from clients and agents.
Product plans include, for starters, the expansion of the Fun product line, which allows clients to build basic vacations and add on local options such as tours. In addition, the Value Plus product line offers more sightseeing experiences in such destinations as South Africa and India. Also, the company's the Deluxe and Different product line provide clients the opportunity to select Upper Class service when traveling to or beyond Europe. These product features, according to Osborne, provide agents more control in building their client’s vacation through the website or with a destination expert in our reservation center.
From a service standpoint, Virgin Vacations has invested in expanding its reservation staff and office hours in order to strengthen relationships with agents. Osborne said that agents are encouraged to research online, but also to call to make bookings because the average sale is higher and the agent can earn a lot more commission.
Virgin Vacations is also planning webinars to support agents with social travel information and tips on how to get the best experience from a vacation. Planned presentations include "How to Stretch Your Vacation Dollars in UK and Europe" and "Family Travel Secrets."
Osborne also announced two new travel packages, both of which earn agents 10 percent commission plus a $100 bonus on bookings made through December 31:
• The London Excursion package, priced from $969 per person, includes roundtrip air, six-nights accommodation, breakfast, all hotel taxes and service fees, roundtrip transfers, Pub Pass, half day sightseeing, discounted parking at hometown airport and more.
• The Business Class packags to London, Europe and South Africa starts at $3,499 per person from New York and includes roundtrip Upper Class or Business Class airfare, roundtrip chauffeur transfers, four nights accommodation and extras.