Agent Issues AgentMate booking tool made available to Vacation.com agents By Jamie Biesiada / January 08, 2016 Share 1 -- NEW YORK — Vacation.com said at a press conference here that the AgentMate booking tool will be offered to all member agencies this year. It was previously only available to Cruise Holidays agencies, the group for which it was originally developed. Vacation.com and Cruise Holidays are agent organizations under the Travel Leaders Group umbrella.AgentMate was developed for Cruise Holidays in 1994 (the solution was launched as CruiseWeb and the name was changed in 2013) as an invoice and accounting tool for non-GDS agencies, according to Kevin Weisner, Vacation.com’s senior vice president of sales. It evolved over the 21-year span between 1994 and 2015, and today includes a customer relationship management system, a group management system, reporting and analysis, CruisePro integration (Vacation.com’s proprietary cruise booking platform), automated and personalized client communications, content management, and lead management.Jose Ferreira, chief technology officer of Travel Leaders Franchise & Leisure Group and Vacation.com, said Vacation.com has been marketing AgentMate internally to agencies where it might be a good fit. It has received a great response from agents thus far, he said.Ferreira also said that AgentMate will be continuously updated with enhancements like expanded product integrations.Vacation.com President John Lovell, also the president of Travel Leaders Franchise & Leisure Group, said AgentMate is particularly compelling because it will give agencies easy access to properties that are a part of Travel Leaders Group’s Worldwide Hotel Program and Select Hotels & Resorts. Vacation.com members can currently use both programs, which Lovell said are amenity-rich and offer commissions of up to 15% in some markets, and both will be integrated into AgentMate.AgentMate is primarily meant for non-GDS agencies, according to Stephen McGillivray, Travel Leaders Group chief marketing officer.Vacation.com currently has around 5,500 agency members, Lovell said, and about 3,000 are GDS users — those non-GDS users are the target market for AgentMate.However, agencies that do use GDSs can sign up for AgentMate. Weisner noted they may find some features, like AgentMate’s commission payment management system, useful.When asked the cost of AgentMate after the press conference, Lovell said, “We will have a competitive pricing structure, which we believe will provide a great return on investment for all subscribers.”In addition to making AgentMate available to all Vacation.com members, McGillivray announced that in 2016, all Vacation.com communications to clients will be personalized down to the agent level. Vacation.com regularly sends relevant communications to its agents’ clients both via email and direct mail. It also sends messages wishing clients a happy birthday and similar. In the past, those communications were personalized to the agency, directing the client to call a main number. Now, however, each will include the name and phone number of that client’s agent.The messages sent to clients are specific, McGillivray said, and are segmented based on factors Vacation.com knows about them — past travel history, age and income level.“We do all that science for them, and that’s why the agents love the system,” he said.