Southwest Vacations and VAX Affirm Value of Travel Agents

When Southwest Airlines Vacations takes “ownership” of the homepage Monday, Jan. 17, they signal a trend that many industry experts have predicted for 2011 – a renewed interest and commitment to the travel agent community, VAX VacationAccess reported.

Many researchers, including Forrester Research, said consumers are increasingly likely to use travel agents due to the complex travel website universe and lack of perceived value. At the same time, travel and vacation suppliers are increasing and improving their relationships with travel agents by offering sales and marketing tools and incentives through B-to-B agent platforms such as VAX VacationAccess.

Southwest Airlines Vacations will be featured exclusively on all versions of the homepage during the week of Jan. 17, 2011, including Amadeus AgentNet, Sabre Vacations, AgentNet and Worldspan VacationSelect by Travelport. The vacation supplier is also committed to maintaining its agent tools within its VAX Supplier Center.

This comes on the heels of the recent announcement of Southwest Airlines Vacations’ “Agent LUV Program,” which provides travel agents with exclusive access to bulk fares and agent-only promotions and incentives, enhanced commissions, an upgraded agency tool-kit with comprehensive marketing solutions, a one-stop shopping experience for Las Vegas vacations, and additional price and service assurances, VAX notes.

“Southwest Airlines Vacations is committed to our professional travel partners,” said Rich Basen, vice president and general manager of Southwest Airlines Vacations. “We believe that these enhancements and our partnership with VAX VacationAccess will show our loyalty to our agency base and facilitate their long-term growth.”

VAX VacationAccess is the largest online distribution platform for leisure travel agents and gives vacation suppliers a variety of ways to reach qualified travel agents. Now in its 10th anniversary year, VAX continually invests in innovative technology to help travel agents and agencies become more productive and profitable businesspeople.

“VAX VacationAccess offers the most engaged base of independent and hosted travel agents, making it the natural place for agent-committed suppliers like Southwest Airlines Vacations to demonstrate their superior products and agent resources,” said Becky Capper, director of vendor and partner development for VAX VacationAccess. “As more suppliers renew their commitment to travel agents in 2011, we are prepared to provide unique ways to connect suppliers with travel agents.”

More than 100,000 leisure travel agents use VAX VacationAccess.


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