Palace Resorts has announced that its Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resort brands will no longer be sold through any of the Apple Leisure Group (ALG) tour operator brands, effective August 7. The company said that it will continue to honor all FIT and group bookings taken as of the official end date.
Palace Resorts said that the move was to strengthen its strategic partnerships with tour operators, including GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Delta Vacations, Classic Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, American Airline Vacations, Vacation Express and Island Destinations. The company also said that it will continue to work to solidify its existing business relationships with the travel agency community and tour operators.
“Occasionally, our model can cause angst or uncertainty with a supplier because it is very unique,” said Ray Snisky, chief commercial officer, Apple Leisure Group Vacations, in a statement provided to Luxury Travel Advisor. “We overcome that with effective communication, strategic alignment and collaborative production. The reality, which has been shared many times previously, is that the great majority of all of the business of the ALG vacation brands goes to hotel partners outside of AMResorts. That always has been, and remains true today.”
Apple Leisure Group also said that it will work to make the transition as seamless as possible for travel advisors and travelers.
The move means that Palace and Le Blanc Spa resorts will no longer be available through Apple Vacations, Cheap Caribbean and Travel Impressions, as well as the tour brands that became part of Apple Leisure Group following its mega-merger with The Mark Travel Corporation (as reported by our sister publication Travel Agent): Blue Sky Tours, My Destination Wellness, Fun Jet Vacations, Mark International, Southwest Vacations and United Vacations.
Since that merger, Apple Leisure Group has been expanding its resort product, opening a number of new resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as moving into the European all-inclusive market with new properties in Spain.
In a similar move in 2010, before the Mark Travel merger and also reported by Travel Agent, Unique Vacations Inc. terminated its wholesaler agreement with Apple Vacations. Unique Vacations is the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts.