America's Vacation Center has long been known for its attention and success in selling ocean cruises. That key business remains, but the San Diego-based travel agency is now maneuvering into the land tour and river cruise industry with the January launch of Vacation Explorer Beta, an enhancement to AVC's web-based software Agent Power, which AVC's independent affiliates can use to book tours and river cruises. AVC has already partnered with the likes of Brendan Worldwide Vacations, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Uniworld and Kon Tiki on implementation.
"Shock and awe" is how AVC co-president Brad Anderson described the newfound business. "We wanted a bigger share of customers," he said. "We heard people telling us to do more than just cruises. Bookings are good." Anderson said that they have booked so many new tours and river cruises that one day the website of one tour operator actually crashed under the crush of volume. "The same thing we did for the cruise lines, we are doing for tours and river cruises," Anderson said, referring to Agent Power, the all integrated proprietary technology AVC makes available for its affiliates, which is first rate and offers deep content and real-time pricing. "We are building out the same type of system that we have done for cruises," Anderson said.
Meanwhile, AVC has also announced that it is dissolving its gold-level status for its independent affiliates, and strictly offering platinum status. The difference: platinum level includes leads for associates-gold did not. AVC said its platinum-status affiliates, on average, accrued incomes that were five times higher than gold-level affiliates. (DE)