Apple Vacations announced enhancements to its agent loyalty program, Apple Vacations Royalties, in partnership with Summit Recognition Solutions’ industry-leading Rewards xChange platform on Monday, September 10, at a black-tie gala at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. New features and capabilities will launch this winter in preparation for the creation of a universal loyalty accumulation system across all Apple Leisure Group (ALG) brands.
Travel agents who use the enhanced system will enjoy greater ease of use, flexibility and features, such as Virtual Visa, which can be redeemed anywhere Visa is accepted, including via Apple, Google or Samsung Pay mobile wallet transactions. Real-time conversion of points into Virtual Visa dollars ensures agents can take immediate advantage of retailer sales, promotions and special discount offers, while agents can continue to use Royalties Points for ALG branded merchandise and travel. Automated notifications will update agents each time points are earned and place booking and point accumulation history at agents’ fingertips, along with data on pending points not yet available.
Also new for winter 2019, Apple Vacations is adding more than 50 resorts, including El Dorado Spa Resorts by Karisma; Generations Riviera Maya, a Spa Resort by Karisma; and La Colección by Fiesta Americana. Apple Vacations has created a series of videos about its new hotel and resort offerings on TravelAgentCafe.com that agents can forward to clients.
Apple Vacations, further, is expanding its Agents Give Back program, which offers travel agents the opportunity to take part in destination-based volunteer initiatives. In honor of its 50th anniversary, Apple Vacations will create at least 50 new volunteer spots for agents. On top of that, through Amstar DMC, Apple Vacations will now offer volunteer opportunities for large groups.
In the coming months, travel agents can also expect more benefits to be unveiled as Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions and Funjet Vacations unify their travel protection programs, loyalty programs, commission opportunities and more.
Also at the event, Apple Vacations announced its 2018 Crystal Apple Award Winners
The recipients of the 2018 Crystal Apple Award are:
- Best Airline – Delta Air Lines
- Best Staff and Service Mexico – Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla
- Best Staff and Service Caribbean – Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa
- Best Staff and Service Hawaii – Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
- Best Staff and Service Central America – Riu Palace Costa Rica
- Best All-Inclusive Family Resort – Royalton Bavaro Resort & Spa, Punta Cana
- Best Adults Only – Unico 20º87º Hotel Riviera Maya
- Best Entertainment – TRS Yucatan Hotel
- Best All-Inclusive Dining Experience – Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya
- Best All-Inclusive Resort – Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall
- Best Hotel Chain – Secrets Resorts & Spas
- Best Destination – Riviera Maya
In 2018, Apple Vacations awarded 220 hotels throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Panama and Hawaii with its Golden Apple Award for high levels of excellence. Travel agents report that the Golden Apple designation builds consumer confidence and has a major influence on purchase decisions.