The staff at Vacation Express is certain of one thing: there is no substitute for first hand knowledge of destinations and hotels. VE’s product department and company President, Rene Jongmans have been conducting an on-going series of site inspections in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cozumel. VE staff members have visits scheduled for Aruba, Jamaica and Punta Cana to review all of the properties used by Vacation Express. The inspections enable company representatives to offer up-to-date information to agents and strengthen the tour operator’s relationship with the hoteliers.
Vacation Express staff indicates that the site inspections allows them to offer the best vacation value to the agents’ clients. Michele Olson, VE’s Director of Product Development & Marketing has this to say about her visit to the company’s Cancun properties: “After almost 15 years in this business it was thrilling to see such a beautiful beach in the Cancun hotel zone and in Playa del Carmen. Hotels in this destination are an incredible value for the money. It’s great to see hotels continue to make exciting change. Grand Coco Bay, a hotel we’ve been offering for years implemented new sustainability procedures and are supporting the local artists by decorating the hotel with their art for sale. During this recent trip I was also able to experience a group event first hand. The staff at The Royal in Cancun made our evening beach event so fantastic I didn’t have to worry about a thing. The food was delicious and the display and décor unforgettable. We had such a meeting and evening in Cancun with the corporate Riu staff. I can’t wait to experience their new Riu Palace hotel in Aruba in a few weeks. Riu’s signature restaurant, Krystal is one of my favorites. The Aruban backdrop should make it even better.”
Vacation Express, prides itself on the fact that their res agents have literally “been there and done that” and have the opportunity to experience the products the company sells. The res agents, (and ultimately the travel agents that sell VE product) have more knowledge and more expertise.
No doubt site visits are hard work. Just how hard is clearly visible in this somewhat candid YouTube video of Rene Jongmans explaining the benefits of some of the Cozumel Palace bathroom fixturing! In fact, the video camera was a constant companion on many of the site inspections and the Vacation Express staff made sure to record a few of the highlights of some of the properties for agents to review.
Over the past year, Vacation Express has emerged as a preferred tour operator for travel agents looking for a more personalized approach to Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean. The company has maintained an individualized and customer oriented ethic even as it became a national player. Agents using Vacation Express are quick to point out the responsiveness of the staff to agent needs, and the expertise of the staff is one of the key factors behind many agent’s decision to use the company as their primary supplier.
Vacation Express believes in the agency distribution model and nearly 90% of all of their passengers are from the agency community. Their commissions start at 10% and can increase to 15% based on agency production and certain monthly promotions.
Based in Atlanta, the majority of their annual passengers head to the warm climes of Mexico (65%), while the rest head to the Caribbean (30%) and Costa Rica (5%). Agents can visit the Vacation Express web site and learn more about their travel professional programs at www.vacationexpress.com.