Varig sets private-label tour unit

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NEW YORK -- Varig Brazilian Airlines established a private-label tour division, Varig Travel Vacations (VTV), which developed a range of packages that will be marketed primarily through e-commerce technology.

According to Carlos Muzzio, Varig's director-North America, packages to Rio de Janeiro will be the first in an extensive selection of individually tailored vacation programs that will be on the market in June to Varig destinations throughout Brazil.

The destinations to be offered range from the northeast coast and Manaus in the north to Sao Paulo and Iguazu Falls in the south -- as well as countries such as Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.

Effective until June 10, the five-night inaugural packages to Rio offer the lead price of $569 from New York and Miami, including roundtrip air on Varig, and $689 from Los Angeles.

The cost, per person, double occupancy, also includes transfers, a half-day Sugarloaf city tour in Rio and five nights' accommodations at the Copacabana Sul with breakfast.

The same package from New York or Miami using the moderate class Hotel Luxor Continente in Rio is priced at $639; with first class accommodations at the Everest Rio, the cost is $716; in deluxe class at the Sheraton, the price is $974, and in grand luxe at the Copacabana Palace, the package price is $1,199.

For travelers departing from Los Angeles to Rio, the same features and hotel choices apply to upgraded packages, priced at $764 for moderate class accommodations, $839 in first class, $1,099 in deluxe class and $1,326 in grand luxe.

"We have established Varig Travel Vacations as an in-house product to better control the quality and accessibility of packages," Muzzio said, "and e-commerce will make booking and distribution of our product most convenient to our travel agent partners."

Muzzio added that the company's new tour products will be of the highest quality in terms of participating travel suppliers and quality oversight, and with e-commerce, "we will be able to deliver our programs with highly competitive air fares."

According to the Varig executive, travel agents are able to download from VTV's Remote Reservation Module (RRM), a process that involves the travel agency registering with VTV by requesting an assigned user name and password, in order for the agency to log on to the system.

With this done, the agency will have time to access Varig's complete product line as well as be able to make reservations through the system.

The setup will include a first page containing updated news with current package information and special offerings.

As an incentive, Varig is offering all agencies using the RRM a bonus commission of 2% in addition to the standard commission of 11%.

Varig Travel Vacations
Phone: (800) 401-5897

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