Interview with Rob Betz on Blue Sky Tours’ New Website
Rob Betz joined The Mark Travel Corporation in 1994 and has held several duties involving sales, marketing, operations and product contracting. He is inspired and energized to continue working with such a knowledgeable and dedicated team at Blue Sky Tours, who recently completed and launched a complete overhaul of their website and booking engine. His mission is to grow the business and further the reputation of Blue Sky Tours as an industry leader in the Hawaii market.
TRO: What motivated Blue Sky Tours to create a new booking engine and website?
RB: Blue Sky Tours has always been a wonderful company that prides itself on its innovative systems and wonderful customer service. Our Customer service continues to be second to none and we wanted to ensure that our system kept pace. We have improved our web site and booking engine to bring the best pricing and ease of booking that our agents have come to expect from Blue Sky Tours.
TRO: In case some agents are unfamiliar, who is Blue Sky Tours and what is your core focus?
RB: Blue Sky Tours, a leading wholesaler to Hawaii, has been selling custom designed vacation packages since 1981. Blue Sky Tours sells only Hawaii and only through travel agents. We focus on our suppliers and travel agencies and believe in continuously building these relationships to ensure everyone who visits Hawaii experiences the Aloha spirit. We focus of our energy on making sure travel agents receive superior service from our team of friendly Hawaii experts, and delivering the greatest value on an unmatched breadth of Hawaii product. Blue Sky Tours offers as much as 14% commission (compensated after payment, not travel) regardless of where you book – through our new and improved travel agent only web site, www.blueskytours.com, VAX VacationAccess or our knowledgeable reservations team. Blue Sky Tours is a proud member of the Mark Travel Corporation family of companies.
TRO: What, in your opinion, is the most substantial update in the new system?
RB: Many of the changes in our new system came from recommendations from our loyal travel agents. One of the great improvements in the new system will allow travel agents to modify reservations online before and after booking, which was not a feature we had on our old system. The addition of open jaw itineraries will also be very popular with agents.
TRO: Why should travel agents be interested in this new system?
RB: The new system better empowers the agent to close the sale. Some of the new tools include an improved ability to view enhanced hotel details with interactive images, video and expanded accommodation information. Our new system also includes a more robust variety of dynamic prices and last minute inventory available from more vendors, allowing agents to better compete in today’s marketplace. These are only a few wonderful updates. I hope that everyone will log on to the new web site to experience the numerous new features.
To Celebrate our launch, we are offering a $25 booking bonus to our Mahalo Money Loyalty Program members, now through the end of 2012 (travel anytime). We are offering a chance to win an additional $250 in Mahalo Money every week through the end of the year. And with our new system, our loyalty program members no longer have to enter their Mahalo Money number – it automatically populates that for them.
TRO: Will you offer any training on the new system?
RB: Yes. There will be live training sessions on the new Blue Sky Tours website and booking engine. The sessions will be recorded and available on-demand under the “Tools” tab on Blue Sky Tours website and on our supplier center in VAX.
The live training will be:
Tuesday, November 27 at 3:00 PM EST (2:00 PM CST / 12:00 PM PST)
Note that to register for the live training you must be registered for VAX.
TRO: Blue Sky Tours continues to sell only Hawai’i: what about this destination, for you personally, makes it intriguing (beyond its popularity)?
RB: Hawaii has been very successful for Blue Sky Tours for over 30 years. It is one destination that everyone wants to visit at least once in their lifetime. Once a customer visits Hawaii, they realize what a special destination it is and they become return customers for our agencies. All of our attention at Blue Sky Tours is focused on this one destination, which truly makes us specialists. As for me, Hawaii will always hold a special place in my heart since visiting for the first time on my honeymoon many years ago.
TRO: Do you have any general comments/recommendations for travel agents, concerning Blue Sky Tours or otherwise?
RB: Blue Sky Tours is passionate about the destination of Hawaii and our relationships with our travel agents. We want to continue offering the knowledge that only Hawaii specialists can provide, as well as the best customer service that we are known for. When you only sell one destination you have to be very good at what you do. When you think of Hawaii, we want you to think Blue Sky Tours.