ALG Vacations Creates Agent Resource Toolkit for COVID-19 Testing Requirements

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WHY IT RATES: ALG Vacations continues to work hard for agents and advisors.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.


At the beginning of the pandemic, global tour operator ALG Vacations promised to “give travel advisors MORE,” pulling together a comprehensive info hub (www.vaxvacationaccess.com/ALGVAdvisorUpdate) to help them navigate through quick-changing times and their challenges.

Now, as the situation and adaptations around the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) new requirement for COVID-testing for re-entry into the U.S. begin to take form, ALG Vacations has once again created a centralized resource and toolkit to provide advisors with guidance and clarification on how to advance their business past this new hurdle.

INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES

Travel professionals can rely on www.vaxvacationaccess.com/cdcguidelines for immediate access to information and policies pertaining to this CDC update as ALG Vacations receives it, as well as additional resources to help them adapt their business to these changing needs.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

On this new, frequently updated page, ALGV provides:

—CDC U.S. entry testing requirements

—An evolving FAQ section

—Partner airline policies

—Necessary forms and documents

—Hotel and destination official protocols

—Daily-updated destination and hotel grids showing:

—The availability of on-site testing for specific properties

—Cost per test if applicable, including for antigen testing

—Minimum stay requirements for free testing

—Travel date validity

—Local clinics should on-site not be available

—Quarantine offers

On Friday, 1/22/21, a webinar hosted by ALG Vacations executives was attended by more than 900 travel advisors, centering on the new CDC regulations and guidelines, and what ALG Vacations is doing to support travel agencies during this time.

With an ALG Vacations-hosted FAM to Punta Cana currently in resort, and another departing to Cancun on 1/27, travel advisors have the opportunity to be part of the new testing and departure experience in resort. ALGV is currently sharing these experiences on its social channels, and will share more content and video in the upcoming days.

FUNCTIONAL RESOURCES

On VAX VacationAccess, agents will now find hotel-specific messaging regarding on-site COVID testing, along with a new browsing filter for easy, at-a-glance shopping. This dynamic, on-demand supplement to the daily-updated hotel grid on the CDC Update page will help provide immediate answers while agents are searching for the best fit for their customers.

TRAVEL AGENT BUSINESS PROTECTION EFFORTS

In addition, ALG Vacations has announced several new developments and policies in support of travel agent business. This includes enhanced during-travel trip protection coverage; namely, increased trip delay protection for packages with Travel Protection Plus. The plan will now reimburse up to $3000 per person (formerly $500 per person maximum) for expenses such as meals, lodging, and local transportation costs for ALGV customers delayed 6 or more hours due to a defined Hazard, such as a Common Carrier delay or Quarantine (imposed by a physician or government authority). This benefit is valid for all current and new bookings for departures 2/1/21 onward for Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Travel Impressions, United Vacations, Blue Sky Tours, and Southwest Vacations. This increase in coverage, funded by ALG Vacations, is in addition to the standard values, which includes medical coverage up to $50,000; emergency evacuation, Cancel for Any Reason, and much more.

In yet another effort to protect bookings and the customers who made them, the successful, popular Rebook Now. Recharge Later. 125% refund consumer incentive has temporarily returned to the marketplace for those eligible for a cash-back refund. Would-be cancellers are being offered an extra 25% in bonus travel credit toward their rebooking if they choose to convert their refunds into credit with ALG Vacations instead. More information on this promotion, as well as explanatory infographics and usage guides, can be found at www.vaxvacationaccess.com/RebookRecharge.

For customers who aren’t eligible for this incentive, ALG Vacations has streamlined the process of changing air dates, and is publicly providing insider recommendations on how to best maximize vacationers’ investment value, such as how to bypass cancel fees as they take advantage of ALGV’s waived brand change fees.

“We at ALG Vacations are intent on being problem-solvers for our travel partners and their customers,” says Executive Vice President, Trade Brands Jacki Marks. “We believe that creating multiple options for customers in a wide range of scenarios; developing tools and technology that proactively increase agent efficiency; and providing an all-encompassing but thoughtfully curated hub of resources are all critical components of supporting travel advisor success during tough times. Through a multi-angle approach, we’re making it a priority to proactively protect the travel agent community and our shared industry. We cannot emphasize more that our guiding value is that ‘We do it together,’ and will continue to listen closely to our partners and work on providing resources that meet or exceed their needs.”


SOURCE: ALG Vacations press release.



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