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Travel agents on a Destination Ventures Cancun fam // © Destination Adventures 2010
“Over the years, we have seen airline support for fams vanish and, due to low enrollment, we cancel more trips than we operate,” said Greg Custer, vice president of the Bend, Ore.-based Destination Ventures, Ltd. “But this year, Cancun will hand agents a $400 check when they attend one of four planned trips. The funds will help agents offset their airfare, regardless of how they get to the destination. This makes the trips very accessible and affordable. There is a $99 enrollment fee, but that is for a five-day, all-inclusive fam with Palace Resorts hosting the agents.”
The four Palace Resorts Cancun properties participating in the agent fam experience are the 287-room Beach Palace Wyndham Grand Resort, the 601-room Cancun Palace, the 252-room Sun Palace and the 2,457-room Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort. Palace Resorts all-inclusive vacations include such components as rooms with a double Jacuzzi, 24-hour room service, non-motorized watersports, unlimited long distance phone calls when calling from the room (this applies to calls within Mexico, to the continental U.S. and Canada), free Wi-Fi throughout the resort and all taxes and gratuities.
Upcoming fam trip dates for Cancun include June 12-16, Oct. 16-20 and Nov. 6-10.
Custer noted that a similar program is being offered by the Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo tourism board. Their airfare subsidy runs between $200 and $300 per agent. Upcoming dates for the three-night program are June 26-29 and Oct. 9-12.
To be eligible for the Cancun fam with the $400 credit, agents must first become graduates of the Cancun Tourism Institute (CTI), a multifaceted, three-part educational program established by the Cancun Visitors and Convention Bureau. The program’s components comprise a study course, fam trip and a loyalty program. The program’s 120-page guide and online course contains new photographs, plentiful details on selling the Cancun and numerous quizzes for agents to review what they have learned. Agents should note that the course must be completed within 14 days of enrollment.
Furthermore, the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau maintains an online database giving consumers an opportunity to search for their nearest Official Cancun Counselor, who are graduates of the CTI program.
The CTI loyalty program enables graduates to earn rewards from Cancun bookings and rack up fam trip bonus points. Agents will be able to view their rewards online, and either redeem points for complete Cancun vacation stays or exercise their option to transfer or sell their rewards. The loyalty program also includes sales contests and quarterly drawings that provide potential added benefits for graduates.
Mexico Tourism Boardwww.magicofmexico.com