Building on the success of “Riviera Maya Live” Funjet Vacations
is offering travel agents another free virtual fam tour from
Mexico. Broadcasting live from Cozumel daily April 3-7, destination
experts from Funjet offer agents an insider’s look at the island
post-Hurricane Wilma as well as deals and a chance to win
“There’s a real need for us to help rebuild this destination,”
said Tammy Lee of The Mark Travel Corporation, who is also the
fam’s on-air host. “We want to catch travel agents’ and customers’
attention to make them feel comfortable about booking Cozumel.”
The interactive portion of the show includes trivia questions
that will change each broadcast, allowing agent to earn up to 250
bonus "Funjets" and a chance to win a free trip to Cozumel and a
diamond charm bracelet. In addition, if agents book before April
27, their clients will receive a free jeep rental for a day.
While there were minor glitches with Internet connection,
Funjet's first virtual tours went off without a hitch. The 30- to
45-minute show, which broadcasted from the Miguel Plaza in the
heart of Cozumel, started off with traditional dances and gave
agents a look at the area’s hotels, restaurants, shopping,
watersports and other activities.
As for the need to go live, officials feel the broadcasts lend
credibility to the destination post-Wilma, and all of the footage
agents see has been shot in the past two weeks.
“Agents have to feel that it’s real and honest not a
commercial,” said Jay Jackson, president of Interactive
Broadcasting Company Television, the Chicago-based company
broadcasting the fam.
Despite the extensive damage, Cozumel has managed to rebuild
quickly and clients will be hard-press to find traces of Wilma
along the beaches and properties. In fact, all but one hotel has
reopened many offering new features and improvements, and this if
why officials felt it was the ideal time to try out this new
“Cozumel is even more beautiful that it was before [the
hurricane],” said Cozumel Mayor Gustavo Ortega Joaquin. “We hope to
have a very good summer for us as a destination and for travel
agents who will now have Cozumel back as a product.”
In December, about 12,000 agents logged on for Funjet’s virtual
journey of the Riviera Maya and the company saw an increase in
tourism in the following weeks. Officials expect 4,000 to 5,000
agents to tune in for the Cozumel fam, and on-demand and consumer
versions will be available online come late April.
While this type of technology has been used in other business,
including the medical field, this is the first time it has been
used in the travel industry and could be just the tip of the
“virtual” iceberg for Funjet Vacations. Possible future online fams
could include Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and beyond.
Funjet Vacations' Cozumel Live showtimes (Central Time):
Monday, April 3: 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 4: 2 p.m.
Wednesday, April 5: 12 p.m.
Thursday, April 6: 11 a.m.
Friday, April 7: 11 a.m.
Registration for Funjet Vacation's Cozumel virtual fam is free
and available at www.funjetlive.com