Travel insights from Jacki Marks, SVP – Trade Vacations, Apple Leisure Group Vacations

A Letter to the Travel Advisor Community from Jacki Marks

It wasn’t long ago that Apple Leisure Group® Vacations announced our mission, vision, and values. And in COVID-19’s devastating wake, it’s never been more important to us to live up to our values, particularly these: WE CARE and WE DO IT TOGETHER.

We cannot understate the empathy we feel for those who are affected by COVID-19, whether they themselves have been exposed, or know someone impacted. We also cannot understate the deep, sincere appreciation we have for the brave healthcare workers, hardworking governments, and those in the community who are rising up to take care of one another. YOU are our inspiration—and that includes travel professionals and suppliers like you. You are who we care about, and who we do it all with.

But another value we adhere to is that we inspire action. To further arm you with easy access to the information you need, I’d like to share a recap of some agent-friendly policy changes and initiatives we’ve rolled out since the COVID-19 situation has escalated:

  • Full waiver of brand change fees for all bookings made before 3/31/20 with a wide range of rebooking options
  • More flexible policies regarding bookings to Europe through 4/30/20, regardless of booking date
  • The ability to shift previously purchased Travel Protection Plus to rebooked packages
  • Minor deposit increases to secure customer commitment to future reservations
  • On-demand, COVID-19 travel scenario-specific tutorials answering your most critical technological needs
  • Awareness for self-service features that allow you to address the most urgent, common COVID-19 requests through VAX, eliminating your need to call while reducing general hold times
  • Priority service for those customers with imminent travel
  • A 1% bonus commission for Travel Protection Plus, which provides agents with commission protection and travelers with Cancel for Any Reason benefits, up to $50,000 in medical coverage, and emergency evacuation services
  • Up to 3,000 bonus WAVES™ points on bookings that include Travel Protection Plus
  • Special agent discounts on Exclusive Nonstop Vacation Flights
  • A new Steal of a Deal program to help you with customers who still want to travel and take advantage of low rates

You can view all details and more at our industry hub, Please keep an eye on this page as we are continuing to work through details of providing you with MORE.

To the agents who are fighting hard for their customers: we hear you, and we are HERE to support you. We’re listening closely to adapt to your needs in this unprecedented time, and pushing out resources and technology that allows for instant resolution so that you can keep plowing forward. We know you’re putting your clients first, and we’re WITH you so that when we’re on the other side of this, we can get right back to our mission of making vacation dreams lifelong memories.

To those who are fighting equally hard to protect your business: we promise that we’re doing the same. Your success has always been our top priority, and we’re more than doubling down on that. We’re working tirelessly to bend policies, provide tools and information, and devise incentives, rewards, and offers to help you make up the breakage where we can, and going to bat for you behind the scenes with our sleeves rolled up.

And to our supplier partners: we appreciate all that you are doing to ensure that you meet the latest guidance from the CDC and WHO on hygiene and cleaning, and working with us to provide flexible cancellation and rebooking options for all guests. We know it’s not easy, and are grateful for the commitment to traveler safety and enjoyment you make every day.

In the meantime, my entire team at Apple Leisure Group® and I thank you all for your trust, your faith, and your loyalty during this immensely difficult time.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: We do it TOGETHER. Because together is the only way.

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