Thursday,  April 25, 2019  10:13 am

TravelBrands updates agents on tech enhancements during appreciation night


TravelBrands updates agents on tech enhancements during appreciation night
Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin, a cruise expert and industry veteran based in Vancouver, is the owner of Your Cruise Coach Consulting.

Vancouver was the last stop of TravelBrands’ Agent Appreciation Events, held last night (April 10) at the Westin Bayshore. 

Agents attended a trade show and received a TravelBrands update on product enhancements and future developments.

“This is an exciting year at TravelBrands,” said Bruce Lidberg, director of sales, Western Canada. “We were acquired a month and a half ago by H.I.S. group, a global travel giant present in 70 countries and 158 cities. Canada is now a big focus, and TravelBrands is proud to be a part of their global strategy."

Lidberg went on to say that TravelBrands is "still the same company, with the same leadership group."

"Our focus has not changed. In fact, we now have a strong backing to enhance our growth, and most importantly – with great technology to help you work smarter and not harder.”

Much of that new technology is reflected in many new and upcoming enhancements to Access, TravelBrands’ online booking engine.

What’s new: Uplift partnership

Agents can now offer clients an easier way to pay for their vacation. Called Uplift, clients booked on land-only and Travel Genie trips with minimum $700 value and more than seven days prior to departure can finance their trip over an 11-month period upon approval.

A fraud check tool during the online booking process will allow agents to check passenger and credit card information to guard against possible fraud charges.

Agents can now build custom packages on Travel Genie in the GDS. Pricing is much lower than ITC packages, with the ability to add additional commission, and book multiple rooms.

Encore Cruises

A new look and feel to the Encore Cruises booking engine will be launched shortly. 

Enhancements include additional filters to narrow down cruise search, a quick quote button, and the ability to book air in conjunction with the cruise. 

The system will also allow agents to view, book and manage cruise groups online, including adding payments. Agencies with branch offices can also set up as multiple agencies in the system.

Flights by Intair

Enhancements to self-serve tools include the ability to add special requests such as meals, frequent flyer numbers and wheelchairs. Agents can also process voids and cancellations without have to phone the call centre. 

Branded fares are also available to book online, giving agents greater fare options to present to clients. 

Also new is a promo alert, which suggests cross-selling options such as air and hotel add-ons when booking flights.

Exotik Journeys

Exotik Journeys are now available to book online, including Mystical Treasures of the World, with packages to Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Emirates, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia. The Bucket List Vacations is also upcoming, including trips such as safaris, world cruises, and more.

Coming soon

  • Redesigned invoices will be easier to read and will have a consistent look across all TravelBrands products.
  • Consumer-friendly invoices will be available, with the ability to add an agency logo.
  • Commissions and group details will soon be visible under My Bookings.
  • Access consumer app will be launched this summer, allowing clients to check travel and destination information.

Current promotion and agent incentives

  • $150 savings per booking on select Europe 2019 vacations with promo code EUR2019. Offer expires at the end of May.
  • Agents can earn $50 bonus commission on any booking made through Travel Genie by April 28th for travel anytime.

Until June 30, agents have a chance to win $10,000 with a minimum of two air and hotel dynamic package bookings in the GDS, with each additional booking counting as an extra entry. The travel agency of the winning agent will also receive $10,000.

In closing, Frank DeMarinis, TravelBrands’ president and CEO, thanked agents for their support.

“Every year, we continue to find meaningful ways of bringing new technology to you," DeMarinis said. "Our new Uplift program will drive incremental business, and we are proud to be the first wholesaler to bring it to you. Dynamic packaging in the GDS will be another convenient way for you to package trip components to offer to your clients in a single transaction, with much lower prices.”

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