TORONTO — Palace Resorts could soon expand its agent loyalty PRO program to Canada, offering agents here everything from educational events, personalized marketing consultations, logo usage and custom marketing materials to opportunities to partner with Palace Resorts in co-op ad campaigns.
Juan Carlos Calderon, Corporate Director of Sales, Canada for Palace Resorts, told The Hub that the PRO program was warmly received by Canadian agents attending the first annual Palace Experience Global Conference, held last month at Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort in Cancun.
The conference had an impressive turnout from all major markets and Canada was well represented with approximately 10% of the total attendees, said Calderon. “During the conference, we received incredible interest in our PRO program from Canadian agents, leading the brand to look into the possibility of launching the program beyond the U.S.,” he said.
The PRO program includes tools that Canadian agents could strategically utilize in order to increase sales. “Canada has a community of agents that is vital to the success of Palace Resorts. We expect to increase the business offerings and sales opportunities in the Canadian market in order to continue our mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship with agents,” he said.
Travel agents who become PRO members receive access to marketing tools and a digital interactive educational source for online learning.
The PRO program consists of four levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum – and each level offers specific advantages and perks ranging from invitations to private events, discounts on spa and golf to complimentary airfare.
The PRO Specialist program also rewards agents with incentives such as free nights through the Ready.Sell.Stay program, discounted rates, and attractive cash bonus rewards.
At the Moon Palace conference, a black-tie gala event featured a sumptuous dinner complete with wine pairings and a PRO Specialist Recognition Awards ceremony. Some 40% of Palace Resorts’ top-producing agents are home-based, said Calderon, and the company has spent “countless hours” analyzing a variety of marketing tools to ensure that its offerings can assist the home-based travel community in the growth of their business.
“The Palace Resorts team truly values the hard work of these dedicated travel entrepreneurs, and we understand that the brand’s continued success is due in large part to their efforts,” he said.
Home-based agents are very engaged with the brand and the company sees high levels of home-based agent participation in its training programs, he added.
This year’s conference included a social media session, ‘An Off-the-Wall Conversation’, with Palace Resorts’ Social Media Manager, Michelle Catin, who offered insight into how social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram can provide a unique platform for travel agents to expand their business though client engagement and acquisition.
During the ‘Spoiled Rotten’ session, Palace Resorts took the opportunity to showcase its most valued brand differentiator, Palace Resorts’ Resort Credit promotion. Guests who book a stay of five nights or more at any of the brand’s oceanfront properties can take advantage of a US$1,500 resort credit, which can be used on spa and beauty salon treatments, golf outings, romantic dinners and off-site excursions and tours.
There’s a wide variety of amenities and diversions available to Palace Resorts guests seeking to optimize their resort credits, from the newly renovated world-class spa at Playacar Palace to the dolphinarium at Moon Palace. Applicable resort credits depend on length of stay and are applied per room/per stay.
The bottom line, says Calderon, is that Palace Resorts is taking every step to support and work closely with travel agents. “Palace Resorts will continue to invest in the agent community and provide agents with the highest level of sales support, educational platforms and marketing opportunities.”
Next year’s Palace Experience Global Conference will return to Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort and will take place Sept. 17 – 20, 2015.