RAMSEY, N.J. -- A $2 million consumer advertising campaign, titled
"The Miami and South Beach Just Got Hotter Florida Sale," is
working well -- and helping agents, according to officials involved
with the promotion.
The campaign touts a 25% discount on spring and summer packages
of three nights and longer to Greater Miami.
Bookings must be made by April 21 for travel completed by Aug.
31. For the lowest prices, clients must travel midweek.
A similar sale is planned for stays from Sept. 1 through Dec.
15; bookings for that period must be made between May 19 and June
16 to qualify.
The ad campaign, which launched late last month, is backed by
the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau -- its budget
bolstered by a special allocation from Visit Florida -- American
Airlines, Gogo Worldwide Vacations and Travel Impressions.
Travel agents are supporting the program, said Richard
Rodriguez, Florida marketing director at Gogo, based here.
Agents can earn 10% to 14% commission (based on volume) on each
Gogo package sale, despite American's zero-commission policy.
Because contracted (bulk) air space is used rather than
scheduled seats, Gogo was able to continue normal commission
levels, he said.
"With 25% off the American fare plus an equal hotel discount, we
are able to offer a true 25% off the entire package," Rodriguez
said. "Some of these prices are what people are used to paying for
[published] air alone," he said.
Rates start at $249 per person, double, at the Paradise Inn
(Miami Beach) and $275 at the Ramada Miami Beach Resort.
Other Miami Beach hotel plans start at $335, using either the
Radisson Deauville and Roney Palace; $359 at the Mutiny (Coconut
Grove); $415 at the Fontainebleau Hilton; and $509 at The
All rates include accommodations at more than 35 participating
hotels, room tax and roundtrip air from cities including Atlanta;
Boston; Hartford, Conn.; New York; and Washington.
There also are low add-on fares from Midwest and West Coast
cities such as Detroit ($38); Tulsa, Okla.; ($58) and Seattle
The consumer ads are running in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston,
Chicago, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Washington -- and for
the first time in Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif.
The first four days after the sale was advertised last month,
Gogo took in more than 300 bookings, Rodriguez said. "We are very
optimistic by what we are seeing with current booking patterns and
count on our southern Florida business to move into the plus side
in April [vs. April 2001].
"While everyone seems to be taking more last-minute business, we
are pleased that still 50% of our bookings are for travel more than
60 days out," Rodriguez added.
In March, Greater Miami business was off by 10%, a significant
improvement from October 2001, when it was down by 50%, he
Asked about the zero-commission decision by the major airlines,
Rodriguez said Gogo's management is "confident" that because the
firm is one of the largest U.S. wholesalers, it can become travel
agents' "business solution" because commissions are paid on the
entire package -- air and hotel.
He said the company has strong trade support and intends to back
agents "every step of the way."
For more information on Gogo's packages, contact a local Gogo
office. Details also are available in the major GDSs and on the
company's Web site, at www.gogowwv.com.
Travel Impressions rolls out free night, upgrade
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- In addition to offering a 25% discount on
air-land packages to Greater Miami, Travel Impressions also has
specials with select hotels.
For example, on stays of two nights and longer at the Palms in
South Beach, the fifth night and breakfast are free when four
nights are paid.
At the Shellborne, the fourth night is free when three are paid,
and at the National Hotel, there are free upgrades (if available)
to oceanfront rooms on stays of two nights and longer.
At the Renaissance Eden Roc, a fourth night is free when three
are paid. The same deal applies at the Doral Golf Resort when a
superior or gardenview room is booked.
For more information, call (800) 284-0044 or visit www.travelimpressions.com. --