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VAX Marks 10th Year With Continued InnovationJanuary 21, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
VAX VacationAccess fans will be heartened by VAX’s 10th anniversary celebration that includes timely enhancements to its industry leading vacation-selling platform. Entering 2011, VAX says site traffic is up 31 percent and suppliers are signaling continued commitment to travel agents through investment in this agent-only channel.
VAX reports it is continuing its investment in technology and ongoing commitment to travel agents - adding tools to help agents be more efficient and profitable. “Shop By Schedule,” “Vacation Experience” and other upgrades in 2010 were designed to make the sales and booking process easier, faster and more productive for travel agents, VAX says.
“As the vacation industry’s most established and robust leisure travel selling platform for travel agents, VAX VacationAccess has built its reputation on continually upgrading its functionality and content,” said Kathy Fitzpatrick, president of VAX VacationAccess.
“In 2010, our 10th anniversary year, we are proud of the technology improvements and business-driving enhancements that we have been able to bring to our suppliers and engaged agents, who continue to provide us with their valuable feedback,” Fitzpatrick said.
VAX VacationAccess’ technology is developed in partnership with Trisept Solutions and powers the largest online distribution platform for leisure travel agents at www.VAXVacationAccess.com. In addition, VAX’s platform is utilized by Amadeus AgentNet, Sabre Vacations, Vacation.com AgentNet and Worldspan VacationSelect by Travelport.
Utilizing the feedback of its travel agent users and travel supplier customers, VAX VacationAccess launched the following in 2010:
• All New Website and Booking Engine – VAX VacationAccess was re-launched with a cleaner and more user-friendly experience, while including more shopping and booking options, supplier information, and up-sell opportunities.
• Choice and Flexibility When Shopping for Air – “Shop By Schedule” allows travel agents to shop and book flights based on flight times in addition to price and class of service. Travel agents can view published air and bulk prices side-by-side and provide air transportation that best fits travelers’ schedules in addition to their budgets. Flight information displays were improved to include stops, layovers and layover times. In addition, a “Last Seat Availability” feature was added to identify when seats are limited, so travel agents can better manage fares, groups or multiple bookings.
• Search by “Vacation Experience” – Travel agents can select specific “experiences” to easily match customers with the hotels that fit their needs. Experiences may include “all-inclusive,” “adults-only,” “family” and “weddings.” This tool supports travel agents’ desire to sell on experience rather than just price, a trend in the industry.
• Set Your Own Commission – VAX paid special attention to the reservation payment process, notifications and sorting, as well as commission management in 2010. The “Set Your Own Commission” functionality continues to be fundamental to agents’ success with VAX.
• Productivity Enhancements – TSA information fields, airline confirmation numbers included on reservations, and estimated car fees and taxes save time for travel agents.
• Up-sell Opportunities – In addition to many up-sell opportunities enabled with enhanced merchandising displays, a new “car up-sell” tool was added to the checkout page within VAX to allow travel agents to select car rental upgrades based on their itineraries.
• Enhanced Supplier Centers – VAX makes it easy for suppliers to present, and agents to access, marketing materials, photos, videos and training content to improve the selling experience. VAX is focused on giving vacation suppliers a variety of ways to reach qualified travel agents.
• Agent Privacy and Data Protection – “Secure Agent Access” allows agency owners and managers to protect agent privacy and data by setting access to reservation information on an individual agent basis. This saves agents time by searching only the reservations they’ve made in VAX.
These many improvements have increased agency activity and drove VAX VacationAccess site traffic and transactions in 2010. Entering 2011, site traffic is up 31% and suppliers are signaling continued commitment to travel agents through investment in this agent-only channel. More than 100,000 leisure travel agents use VAX.