Apple Vacations is expanding domestically and overseas, offering new packages to Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada, as well as the South Pacific, Belize, European beach destinations and “exotic Caribbean.”
Apple Vacations President John Tarkowski made the announcement during a press briefing on the final day of Apple Leisure Group’s Ascend conference for travel agents in suburban Philadelphia.
“We’re sticking with the fun and sun theme that Apple Vacations is known for,” he said.
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The domestic, exotic Caribbean and Belize products are in the system for booking now and will be officially launched in a week or so, Tarkowski said. The South Pacific and European beach products will launch this fall.
Tarkowski said the eight new “exotic Caribbean” destinations include Anguilla, Exuma, Grenada and Dominica. Packages also are available to 35 destinations in Florida, including the Orlando area with Disney World tickets offered but not the Disney hotels.
The packages to Las Vegas mark a return for Apple after almost 20 years. Lake Tahoe also is available.
In Arizona, packages include resorts in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, while California destinations include Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Francisco.
Tarkowski said Apple is exploring New Orleans as a possible new destination.
In the South Pacific, the new packages will include Tahiti and Fiji, while the European beach destinations are in Italy, Greece and Spain. Part of the impetus for the European expansion is sister company AMResorts’ new properties there, such as the new Secrets Mallorca Villamil Resort & Spas on the Spanish island on the Mediterranean Sea.
In other news, Apple Leisure Group Vacations is launching a new rewards program, WAVES, that will allow travel advisors to earn points on purchases on all ALGV brands starting Nov. 4, 2019. The program includes Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Travel Impressions, United Vacations, Blue Sky Tours, and Southwest Vacations.
“In addition to more enticing incentives and methods of point redemption, WAVES is designed to remove barriers so that agents can book the best package for their clients across multiple Apple Leisure Group Vacations brands while earning the maximum reward,” said Jacqueline Marks, executive vice president-trade sales & engagement for ALGV. Valid for all bookings including groups, points do not expire if an agent is actively booking with Apple Leisure Group Vacations brands.”
Agents can redeem points for travel rewards such as hotel stays, seats on Exclusive Nonstop Vacation Flights or VAX air credit, or convert points to a dollar-value currency with the Virtual Visa and select items from national retailers via a Virtual Mall.
The company will reward top WAVES earners via a tiered agent recognition program, called Wavemakers, that will provide additional benefits including exclusive promotions, fam trip discounts, up to 300,000 bonus reward points, marketing support and elite customer service access with a dedicated phone line and email contact.
Wavemakers status for 2021 will be based on agents’ performance throughout 2020 with entrance into each subsequent years’ recognition programs based on bookings received during the previous calendar year.