Airlines & Airports
Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: VAX VacationAccess
VAX VacationAccess, a leading agent-channel marketing distribution platform, won Best Travel Technology Provider at the first annual Travvy Awards in January in New York City.
The platform of choice for more than 100,000 registered leisure travel professionals, VAX VacationAccess allows travel agents free access to vital travel and destination information, flexible booking tools (including the ability to book multi-stop vacations), marketing and sales resources for effective and lucrative campaigns, webinars, insider videos and more to ensure they have all they need to research, market and sell the leisure industry’s top suppliers. That includes a database of dozens of suppliers and more than 30,000 hotels, resorts and vacation rentals.
Handy information is easily accessible, including TSA updates, reference guides, destination overviews, offers and agent incentives (including social media incentives), and international travel details such as currency conversion, emergency assistance, healthcare, entry requirements, travel alerts and passport requirements.
That’s in addition to VAX’s certification programs, which have drawn heavy interest. The VAX Summer School program in 2014, which ran from early July to late August, saw a record 5,000 agents across the U.S. participate. The eight-week “mini boot camp” worked with 29 participating suppliers to deliver 31 educational sessions to agents, covering a wide variety of topics. Enrollment into the Summer School program has tripled since it was introduced in 2011.
VAX, as a provider focused solely on agents, has also gained recognition for its willingness to listen to agents about the development and design of the platform, and make the appropriate changes if needed. VAX’s willingness to truly listen is one of the reasons why it continues to introduce new noteworthy enhancements and build strong relationships with its many leading suppliers.
In June 2014, VAX announced the integration of TripAdvisor hotel ratings and reviews into its agent-only website. Naturally, the decision to make the investment came via agent feedback. In a VAX survey, 83 percent of agents asked VAX to bring the TripAdvisor content to the platform.
“VAX continues to count on our agent users and the feedback they provide, to help make our site more useful for them,” Rick Karnes, vice president and general manager of VAX, said at the time. “The decision to add user-generated reviews was met with an overwhelming approval rating from our agents, eliminating any doubt on if we made the right choice.”
VAX accommodates agents with several booking categories, including vacation packages, hotels, air, cruise and groups. In November, Funjet Vacations, the flagship brand of parent company The Mark Travel Corporation, invested more than $1 million to give agents the ability to manage their contracted groups in VAX. Agents can now keep track of their earned commission on each booking within a group, easily add scheduled air to a hotel-only contracted group, view real-time contracted hotel and charter air inventory, and enter their names and TSA information at the time of booking for better convenience (rooming lists no longer have to be faxed or emailed).
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