Just Do Oahu

Apple Vacations launched its Do Oahu promotion three years ago, and the results were so promising that the wholesaler is offering additional initiatives for agents and their clients.

By: Marty Wentzel

Apple Vacations launched its Do Oahu promotion three years ago, and the results were so promising that the wholesaler is offering additional initiatives for agents and their clients.

According to Kerri Jaye, Apple Vacations’ director of sales and marketing development, Oahu represented 26% of Apple’s Hawaii business in 2001. This year, Oahu is responsible for 35% of the company’s Hawaii sales.

In late July, the San Jose, Calif.-based wholesaler joined forces with the Oahu Visitors Bureau on a series of educational trade shows. More than 600 agents attended the nine shows, including sessions as far west as Phoenix and Tucson. On the West Coast, Apple’s sales reps took the Do Oahu message to individual agencies.

Meanwhile, Apple has released its Do Oahu, Everything Extraordinary brochure highlighting the island’s points of interest beyond the beach.

Apple is sweetening the Oahu sale with its Fun for Free program, where clients get coupons for two-for-one values. Participating vendors include Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, Dole Plantation, Bishop Museum, Polynesian Adventure Tours and Dream Cruises.

When agents book Hawaii Deluxe properties for five nights or more, clients get guaranteed car-rental upgrades and beach totes with such goodies as FastShot cameras, and waterproof beach safes.

Hawaii Deluxe hotels include the Hawaii Prince, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hyatt Regency Waikiki, JW Marriott Ihilani, Sheraton Moana Surfrider, Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki.

Apple is encouraging agents to book Oahu by promoting its Hula Cash program. For every Hawaii booking, agents receive up to $20 cash and 2,000 bonus Royalties points. As agents collect the points, they can cash them in for free gifts such as 25-inch televisions and digital cameras (75,000).

Agents booking three trips at a Hawaii Deluxe hotel receive one roundtrip air ticket to Hawaii. When they book four trips, they get a free companion ticket as well.

Apple Vacations started in 1968, adding Hawaii to its product line in 1996. This year Hawaii represented 10% of the company’s total business.

Since Apple is sold only through travel agents, it focuses heavily on agent outreach, Jaye said.

“Apple accepts proposals for agent 50/50 co-op programs, and we do a lot of consumer advertising driving the business to tagged travel agencies,” Jaye said. “On our Web site (www.applevacations.com), the Find a Travel Agent tool is the only way for a consumer to book an Apple package unless they call their own agent.”

For travel to Hawaii, Apple partners with United, American, Aloha, Delta and Hawaiian airlines.

Call 800-800-0202.

Adventure Travel JDS Africa Middle East JDS Destinations
>