Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

What Travel Impressions on VAX Means for You

You may have heard the news of the merger between Apple Leisure Group (ALG) and The Mark Travel Corporation (TMTC) into OneALG, the new parent company. You now have exclusive access to one of the first benefits from that: improved booking engine functionality for Travel Impressions on VAX. On September 26, Travel Impressions debuted enhanced functionality in VAX’s booking engine, providing a more streamlined booking experience for travel agents.

This means you’ll have better access to Travel Impressions’ long roster of available destinations, a key differentiator for the brand. “We have a presence in over 200 destinations worldwide and in nearly every continent, and epitomize the ‘one-stop’ concept with product that includes tours, transfers, car rentals, rail, escorted tours, villas, and more,” said Scott Wiseman, president of Travel Impressions. “Although sun-and-sand are staples, like other members of our family of brands, we differentiate with a comprehensive list of options beyond the expected,” he said.

A Laser-Like Focus on Agents

Travel Impressions has always been 100% committed to travel agents – they have never sold directly to consumers – and that dedication is another significant differentiator for them.

“We have been agent-only since we were established in 1974, and with ALG’s support, this cornerstone focus remains solid,” said Wiseman. “We’ve demonstrated this commitment through the years not only with the industry’s best sales and service record, but also with heavy investment in developing tools and resources that support their growth and success. We continue to do so by making VAX VacationAccess our sole booking gateway, putting the industry’s best technology at their fingertips this fall,” he said.

Travel Impressions always has been and always will be only focused on travel agent distribution, and they want you to know that. If you’re wondering why, Wiseman said, it’s “because there should be no question that TI is and always has been for the agent. We are one of the most vocal advocates of the travel agent community, and are proud to represent them at the table. And as an important part of OneALG, our increased prominence means even better representation of their interests with one of the most powerful groups in travel today.”

Why Change is Good for Travel Impressions

Moving forward, Wiseman has one piece of advice for agents: “Embrace change!” he said. “At Travel Impressions, we don’t make it lightly, and our teams spend months, even years, poking holes and researching the best options for our customers.”

That’s why this booking engine enhancement is something the brand is excited about but also takes very seriously. They’ve been bookable on VAX since 2005, and though their work to offer agents the best from suppliers is obvious to agents, there is hard work going on in the background that they might not notice. “It’s well-known that we fight hard at the negotiating table when it comes to getting our agents the most competitive offers from suppliers,” Wiseman said. “But behind the scenes, on the back end, we’re fighting just as hard to provide other advantages to simplify processes and make them more efficient so that they can earn more.”

In an environment where agents have to go to multiple places to do things, Travel Impressions’ move to VAX as their sole booking destination reflects the desire from agents to have everything on one central platform and the momentum in the industry to make that happen.

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