Travel insights by John Ische, president of Trisept Solutions

Welcome to the New VAX. The Future is Now.

Nearly twenty years ago at Trisept Solutions, Bill La Macchia, Sr. and I envisioned how we could bring travel agents into the internet age. We wanted to modernize agents and the industry by creating a web-based travel agent booking technology to make agents more efficient, profitable and effective. That was the genesis of VAX VacationAccess.

When VAX first launched, it was purely a place for travel agents to make reservations for their customers. We launched the product exclusively for you, our valued travel agents, and as many of you remember, VAX made an immediate and lasting impact on how travel agents booked vacations and ran their business. I look back on those days fondly, remembering how we felt that we were really creating something special for agents and bringing the future to them.

We knew we had something exciting on our hands with VAX, but also knew that it was just the beginning of a reinvention of how travel agents engage with customers and compete in the travel industry. For me personally, it was also the beginning of a career-long obsession of helping travel agents evolve in an ever-changing world. We quickly learned that VAX could be so much more than a booking solution for the industry's leading travel agents and that we had so much more we could deliver. So we began to add more training content to help keep you up-to-date on the leisure travel industry and more tools to help you engage your customers.

Throughout the last 17 years, we've continued to listen to your ongoing recommendations and feedback. After all, we created VAX exclusively for you, and it is through listening and responding to your feedback that we have been able to maintain our position as the industry's leading travel technology.

Over the years we have made many enhancements to VAX, each meant to support agents and their ability to increase efficiency and market impact. We still have the industry's best booking engine and we keep making it better. The redesign of our booking engine last November gave it a new, modern look and some amazing functionality enhancements. It's wonderful to see the success you have had with our redesigned booking engine and the efficiencies it's created for you.

That brings us to today. Now, with a renewed energy nearly 20 years after Bill and I created the initial vision for VAX, we are recreating how agents use VAX each and every day. We are excited to announce that VAX is receiving a long-anticipated redesign and is being repositioned as The Travel Agent Marketplace. We're taking the industry's leading leisure travel marketplace to a whole new level.

You have probably already noticed that we tweaked the look and feel, updated the navigation and organized the content more intuitively. But that's only the beginning.

In today's business environment, we are only as good as the information that we have available at our fingertips. You keep telling us that you want more industry content and that you want it to be easy to access. You want to learn more about best business practices for agents, industry trends, destination updates and technology news. You want executive thought leadership and supplier insights. The redesign of VAX we launched on February 7 is designed to do just that – to provide the content you need to thrive as a travel agent.

We are excited to introduce you to The Compass, our new resource for travel industry content created exclusively for travel agents. Quite simply put, The Compass provides daily content, editorials and information exclusively for agents to help you grow your business. The Compass is your new "true north," offering a unique perspective you won't find anywhere else in the
industry. Every week, you can expect fresh content like insights written by industry leaders, tips from innovators on improving your business, travel inspiration for your clients and so much more. The Compass will also continue to evolve and grow over time to include additional unique content, different than anything else that exists in the market today, and to create an even deeper connection between you and your customers.

We are creating a home base for leisure travel agents and we couldn't be more proud to give you access to a powerful booking engine, industry-leading suppliers and exclusive industry content all in one place. This evolution doesn't stop here.

You may remember some time ago when we called VAX "the travel agent's best friend." Our position on that has not changed. And just like a best friend, we're going to keep listening to you and supporting you. We're going to continue to invest in VAX to ensure the technology you're using day in and day out is the best it can be. We are going to continue to invest in best-in-class content, bringing you industry news and tips from innovators and game changers. And most importantly as we look to the future, we are going to continue to invest in leisure travel agents, in the travel agency model and in each and every one of you.

Just like those early days when we were launching VAX, today I can't help but feel that same feeling that we are really creating something special for each of you. The best part for me is that with all of the future enhancements that we have planned for VAX I feel as though we are just getting started. There is so much more for the future of VAX. In the coming months, look for vacation rentals, guided tours and cruise content on VAX. This feels like just the beginning of our voyage together, and to me that is very exciting.

About the Author

John Ische is the president and CEO of Trisept Solutions and a central figure in the evolution of leisure travel technology. After joining The Mark Travel Corporation in 1985, John assumed a variety of different roles within their technology division and served as the Chief Information Officer prior to establishing Trisept Solutions in 2000. John is the guiding force for the Milwaukee-based company and is committed to making Trisept Solutions the world's leading provider within the leisure travel technology marketplace.

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