Vacation Express’ “Freebies” program a win-win with agents | TravelResearchOnline

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Vacation Express’ “Freebies” program a win-win with agents

Even with all the familiarization trips out there – there’s one program that gets high marks with agents who just want to get away for some personal R&R time on their own – without all the pre-requisite site inspections and product briefings. The Vacation Express “Freebies” program is designed for just this reason. It allows agents to earn one free night for themselves and a companion, for every qualifying booking. Clients must travel for a specified number of nights (varies by hotel). Example: If your clients book a Palace Resort for 3 nights or more, you will receive one all-inclusive “Freebies” night at that resort. There is no limit to the number of “Freebie” nights you can earn. According to LeeAnn Roper, Vacation Express Sales Department Manager, “With so few travel agent perks still available, our “Freebies” program is more popular now than ever. Agents continually tell me that not only are the “Freebies” easy to earn but they’re easy to redeem.”  And not only is the program advantageous for agents, hotels that sign up to participate are keen on the program because it generates brand loyalty and repeat business. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The Details

  • Book a Vacation Express package with a qualifying hotel for the specified number of nights.
  • A “Freebie” voucher for that hotel is emailed after your clients have traveled.
  • The “Freebie” is valid for one free night (for you and one guest) for each qualifying package, for travel during low season for up to 12 months after your client’s departure date. “Freebies” are redeemable each year from April 15th until November 20th and November 27th until December 15th. Individual hotel restrictions and blackout dates may apply.
  • To redeem your free nights, simply fill out the required information on the online redemption form. Don’t forget to include the booking numbers found at the top of your Freebie voucher.
  • There is a processing charge for “Freebies” as follows: $50 per person for one hotel. If confirming more than one hotel per trip, an additional charge of $25 per person will be added. Maximum processing charge: $75 per person.
  • For hotels that offer both EP and All-Inclusive plans the “Freebies” voucher will be issued EP (unless otherwise stated).
  • Room category for “Freebies” bookings will be for the hotel’s base room category, regardless of room category booked by clients.
  • Hotel participation is subject to change without prior notice.
  • It is important to remember, this program counts booking numbers, not the number of rooms within a booking.

Click here for a list of hotels currently participating in the 2010 Freebie program.

For Palace bookings made August 12, 2010 and beyond for travel in 2010, one Freebie night will be earned for every 3 nights sold. (Bookings prior to August 12 earned one Freebie night for every 4 nights sold.) In addition, as of August 12th, stays at Le Blanc Spa Resort now earn one night for every 3 nights sold as well. Two Freebies at any other Palace Resort can be redeemed for 1 night at Le Blanc Spa Resort in 2010.

The “Freebies” participating hotel list is continually updated so agents should check back periodically for newly added hotels and/or changes. For Groups, travel agents must check with their Vacation Express group booking agent to see if the hotel is participating in the program for group bookings and, if so, the number of “Freebies” your group has been awarded.

PLUS, the “Freebies” program is combinable with the generous Vacation Express “Travel Agent Incentive Program”, which pays out a cash bonus based on the number of bookings made (paid out to the booking agent after client travel is complete):

$50 for every 5 bookings
$150 for every 10 bookings
$350 for every 20 bookings

Bookings traveling through 2011 (scheduled air/hotel packages and hotel only) qualify for the incentive program. All bookings made within the same year must be booked by the same agent and must travel within the same year to qualify.

Bonus: Palace Resorts & LeBlanc Spa Resort bookings count double as part of the 2010 “Travel Agent Incentive Program”.

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. Vacation Express believes in, and in fact thrives on, 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. Agents using Vacation Express are quick to point out the responsiveness of the staff to agent needs as well as their product expertise. These factors along with Vacation Express’ lucrative agent incentive programs, including the ever-popular, agent-friendly “Freebies”, are among the top reasons why agents prefer Vacation Express.

Based in Atlanta, the majority of 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.

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