Vacation.com has a new logo and new numbers in the Canadian market

TORONTO — Vacation.com is kicking off 2014 with a new logo, a new look for its trade ads and website and a new number one position in Canada among travel management organizations (TMOs), with some 650 Canadian member agencies.

The new logo is a sleek and modern update on the old Vacation.com mark, with a new tag line ‘Belong. Inspire. Grow.’ “The old suitcase has been retired,” said Vacation.com president John Lovell. “We’re not the same organization we were back in the late 1990s. The benefits for our members have evolved, and our value proposition is much greater than it was.”

The logo was unveiled to Vacation.com members last week “and the initial feedback has all been positive,” said Lovell.

As part of its rebranding, Vacation.com will now call its suppliers ‘Preferred Partners’. The website has been updated but the popular ‘Benefits Calculator’ is still available, showing agents how they can benefit financially from joining Vacation.com. “Successful travel agents mean a successful network,” said Lovell.

Vacation.com now has some 5,100 member agencies in its network, including the 650 in Canada, for a total of approximately 27,000 North American travel agents. Last December was the organization’s 32nd straight month of growth and the year ended with 348 new members, including 85 in Canada.

Looking ahead at 2014, Lovell said Vacation.com had its best “turn” in two years. “You want to be 60 to 65% on the books when you turn over to a new year. We’re very encouraged because we had the best turn we’ve seen in a couple of years.”

Vacation.com anticipates 10% growth year over year in the premium cruise market and 40% growth in river cruising.

Canadian Vacation.com agencies surveyed in late 2013 were optimistic about the coming year, with 76% saying 2014’s bookings are looking better than 2013’s bookings, and close to 50% saying their luxury sales are ahead of last year’s.

The Canadian agencies surveyed also said that 80% of their clients are spending the same or more on travel this year compared to last year, and that European river cruising is the big seller in the cruise market, followed by Alaska, Western Caribbean and the Med.

Vacation.com’s 2014 international conference, ‘All Access’, will take place June 8-12 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Over 800 agents have already registered including 161 Canadians, and Christine James, Vice-President, Canada for Vacation.com, says she expects at least 200 Canadian registrants at the event.