NEW YORK – Travel Agent met with representatives of Island Destinations this Friday and learned of the tour operator’s big plans to launch a new product line with a heavy focus on all-inclusive resorts throughout the Caribbean and The Bahamas, Mexico and one in Costa Rica.
The product line, dubbed IDx , The Power of Travel, will officially launch in July and will include 66 properties, says Laurie Palumbo, chief operating officer of Islands Destinations. However, agents can begin booking all of the resorts now, earning a 16-percent commission from now through September 2. Regular Island Destinations commission is 14 percent.
The hotels are all four stars and up and include 26 Caribbean properties representing seven destinations; 39 Mexico properties representing six destinations and one property in Costa Rica, the Occidental Grand Papagayo in Guanacaste. That number could increase to roughly 100 hotels by 2012 and 150 by 2013, says Palumbo.
“It came to a point where we felt like we had to improve our product range,” says Maurice H. Bonham-Carter, president and CEO of Island Destinations. “We are basically taking everything that people come to expect from Island Destinations – commission and clients’ booking protection through our SPF 24/7, The Ultimate Pre- and Post-Departure Protection Plan and more -- and are simply applying that to this new product range, many of which are all-inclusives.”
In fact, many of the Caribbean and Mexico all-inclusive powerhouses are offered in the new line including Sandals and Beaches Resorts, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, AMResorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts, Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts and Palace Resorts.
“Agents are already really excited about it,” says Palumbo. “They love that we had our experts visit all of these properties, basically giving them a better idea of which all-inclusives to book. There are so many out there and it can be overwhelming. This will help.”