VAX VacationAccess travel agents want more access to cruise content, training and marketing tools, according to a recent user survey. VAX’s loyal user base, including many new and home-based travel agents, confirmed the complementary nature of selling cruise and land-based vacations, an indication of growing demand among leading travel agents. More than 35 percent of the survey's respondents were independent agents.
“This market research is important to the direction of the vacation industry and VAX VacationAccess, as we enter our second decade of serving the travel agent community,” said Kathy Fitzpatrick, president of VAX VacationAccess. “91.5 percent of VAX agents are booking cruise vacations. It only makes sense that, as they’re logged into VAX all day, they be offered access to more cruise product, content and training. It’s our commitment to provide as many tools as possible in one place for our travel agents.”
Aside from cruise product, 67.5 percent of those surveyed said they would use cruise and destination training if it were available on VAX VacationAccess, and 69.8 percent want to search and book last-minute cruise offers on VAX.
Survey respondents identified “better brochures and collateral to share with customers,” “more competitive product pricing,” and “stronger relationships with preferred cruise lines,” as ways to make it easier to book cruise vacations.
VAX VacationAccess currently offers its travel agents brochures and collateral through its tour operator Supplier Centers. Per agent demand, VAX will expand its supplier resource center to include more agent-focused cruise content, VAX said.
“The survey also reconfirmed our position that selling cruise vacations is complementary to selling land-based vacations,” said Fitzpatrick. “For ten years, VAX VacationAccess has focused on delivering land-based vacation packages to agents. Going forward we want to expand that portfolio to include all types of travel our agents may already be selling, including cruise and escorted tours.”
86.9 percent of VAX VacationAccess cruise bookers said they include pre- and post-cruise travel product in their cruise vacation itineraries.
Travel agents stated they enjoy selling cruise because of its all-inclusive nature. For agents already booking all-inclusive resort vacations on VAX VacationAccess, selling cruise fits nicely in the product portfolio. VAX VacationAccess users are already booking cruise vacations on cruise line websites – 68 percent say it’s their preferred method – so providing users with access to cruise content is a natural evolution for VAX.
“We are most pleased by the response to this survey and the obvious loyalty of VAX VacationAccess travel agents,” said Fitzpatrick. “We received nearly 600 responses in one week, and half volunteered to participate in a cruise agent panel. It’s this highly engaged agent audience that defines VAX in the marketplace.”
Among the small percentage of VAX VacationAccess users not booking cruise, the most common reason was their being new to the travel industry. Of the total survey respondents, more than 35 percent were independent agents. VAX VacationAccess also conducted a related survey with the Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN) to focus on independent agents, which had similar results. Of the OSSN respondents, 82.7 percent are VAX users.
VAX VacationAccess reported it is the largest online distribution platform for the leisure travel agent community and gives travel suppliers a variety of ways to reach the travel agents that are qualified to sell and market their products. VAX VacationAccess invests in technology to help travel agents and agencies be more productive and profitable. VAX VacationAccess is observing its 10th anniversary by celebrating the travel agents and travel suppliers that have been the backbone of VAX’s growth and success. Visit www.VAXVacationAccess.com.