Pa. -- Apple Vacations is celebrating its 35th anniversary with
Caribbean business up 68% in 2004 over 2003, a 13% increase
forecast for this winter and expansion and partnerships planned for
the region, according to Tim Mullen, president.
bread-and-butter packages are the beach vacations we offer to more
than 230 resorts in 20 Caribbean destinations, Mullen said. Our new
Exotic Caribbean package lineup offers 10 new destinations,
including Barbados, Bonaire, St. Vincent, St. Barts, the British
Virgin Islands, Tobago, St. Kitts, Guadeloupe, Belize,
offers packages to Costa Rica; Hawaii; Las Vegas; Branson, Mo.; and
U.S. ski areas but has no plans to expand to Europe, Mullen said,
although he did not rule out expansion to Latin America and South
Mullen said that
the mass market is Apples focus, and the 30,000 agents we work with
are indispensible to our success. We have always been sold
exclusively through agents.
He attributed the
upswing in 2004 business to the return of the demand for travel
following the flat years of 2002 and 2003 after 9/11.
We make it easy
for agents to book our direct charters and packages, and 80% of our
agents book online with us.
Apple pays more
than $140 million in commissions each year, Mullen said. That
incentive, plus several others, accounts for the phenomenal loyalty
of our agents.
include annual trade shows, overrides, fams, cash bonuses, free air
for companion travel (effective in January) and Apples 4-year-old
Royalties Rewards program, which awards points redeemable for air
travel and merchandise.
Preferred Agency Partnership Levels feature three award levels,
based on booking volume, where top producers can earn free seats,
free and discounted advertising and exclusive fam trips.
offers scheduled flights, USA 3000 is its mainstay in the air
We have 16 A320s
in single-class configuration with a seat pitch up to 32 inches,
Mullen said. Bucking the trend, we offer free movies and a choice
of two meal entrees.
destinations include the Dominican Republic, especially Puerto
Plata, Puerto Cana and La Romana; and Jamaica, including Negril and
Montego Bays Rose Hall area.
clients range from 25 to 55 years old; most prefer all-inclusives;
more than 75% book top-category rooms; and more and more bring the
kids with them, Mullen said. Repeat
guests account for 65% of Apples bookings.
Apples Web site,
www.applevacations.com, which points consumers to
agents in their region, generates more than 1.5 million leads a
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].