Destination Atlantis aims at pretrip planning, booking

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PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas -- Destination Atlantis, a new in-house vacation planning initiative for Atlantis here, serves as a one-stop shopping center for the property.

The private-label tour program was created by parent company Sun International.

Destination Atlantis "will be the single place for agents and their clients to go for pretrip vacation planning and recom-mendations," said Howard Karawan, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

These recommendations will be stored in a client portfolio that will aid agents at the time of booking the client's vacation, according to Karawan.

Tied in with Destination Atlantis is the resort's Web site, at www.atlantis.com, which can be used as a research tool prior to booking.

"Destination Atlantis involves more than just the resort itself," Karawan said. "It is designed to encompass the prebooking and pretrip planning stages as well."

Agents earn 10% commission on most Destination Atlantis package components, including accommodations, sightseeing excursions, meal plans and water sports.

The components can be booked either through Atlantis reservations or through participating tour operators.

The packages cannot be booked via CRSs. For now, Destination Atlantis packages only are available through the resort or Paradise Island Vacations, a Sun International-owned tour operator which specializes in packages to Paradise Island.

Sun International plans to make the packages available through several tour operators beginning late next year, including Gogo Worldwide Vacations, Travel Impressions, Paradise Island Express, Apple Vacations and Certified Vacations.

By the middle of 2001, Sun International plans to have on-line booking capabilities in place at the Atlantis Web site.

Once the Internet-based booking program is in effect, agents will receive a password for each booking.

Agents can later use the passwords to access and update clients' original bookings, enabling the agent to customize packages at any time prior to the clients' departure for the resort.

The plan can encompass any number of components, from accommodations to off-site excursions, meal plans and tickets for waterslide rides at Atlantis.

The agent also can share the passwords with his clients, which enables clients to add components to their bookings without having to involve their agent.

Because clients cannot access their records or add components to their bookings without using the password supplied by their agent, the agent will continue to collect the full 10% commission on the package components even when the clients themselves add the component.

Destination Atlantis was created primarily for the package market, which comprises close to 80% of all Atlantis bookings.

The remaining 20% are room-only bookings.

In the past, once a room was booked at Atlantis, guests were on their own regarding arrangements for sightseeing tours, island excursions and selecting a restaurant at the resort.

With Destination Atlantis, agents can book a room for their clients and later add other components without having to book or sell a complete package.

"We don't want our Atlantis guests to miss opportunities they would like to enjoy," said Karawan.

For more information, call Atlantis at (800) ATLANTIS or Paradise Island Vacations at (800) 722-7466.

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