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Earlier this month, more than 1,000 agents and suppliers came together for Apple Vacations’ 23rd annual trade show and awards luncheon, held in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Highlights of the event included the announcement of an update to the company’s agent website; the presentation of Crystal Awards for top resorts; and a trade show with more than 100 booths.
In addition to the update of Apple Vacation’s website — scheduled to launch later this fall — the company is creating a mobile platform for its site that will allow visitors to search and book from their mobile devices.Suppliers given Crystal Apple awards included Riu Palace Pacifico, in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico; Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, which all won for Best Staff and Service. Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun won for Best All-Inclusive, while Best Chain went to Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was chosen as the Best Destination.
“The value of these awards as well as our Golden Apple rating system really starts with having our customers be the sole decision makers on how the hotels get rated,” said Mark Noennig, vice president and general manager of Apple Vacations. “And I think over the years, because we’ve been doing this so long, that it really means something. Some agents will only sell Golden Apple hotels, and some customers ask specifically for them.”