The crowd awaits the general session and keynote address at ALGV's Elite Diamond Retreat. (photo by Patrick Clarke)
Fresh off of a stellar showing at the 2022 Travvy Awards and another successful Ascend conference just a few weeks earlier, Apple Leisure Group (ALG) Vacations took some time to thank its most important travel advisors, honoring these top-earning travel agency owners and managers with a four-night retreat at the luxurious adults-only all-inclusive and now AAA Five Diamond award-winning Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen from AMR Collection.
These Diamond and Diamond Preferred agencies represent only one-fifth of the total 2022 ALGV Elite travel agencies. The exclusive group was treated to a plethora of entertainment througout the long weekend—including an engaging keynote speech by the charismatic Jimmy Yeary and a special surprise performance by the Barenaked Ladies—as well as resort activities and excursions like snorkeling in a cenote, golfing and crafting pinatas with local children.
Attendees were also awarded the unique opportunity to connect with executives and be the first to learn about some of the exciting things that ALGV has planned for the future.
Appropriately just one week prior to Thanksgiving, the prevailing theme of the retreat was thankfulness for ALGV’s top producers, which ranged from small businesses to agencies with hundreds of employees. Leadership made it clear that each was vital to another record-breaking year for the company, referring to them as the top one percent.
“I’m filled with gratitude to stand here because I dreamed about a day that I would be in front of our top producers in the entire world during the absolute record breaking year we’ve ever had and be able to represent this fantastic team at ALGV in a resort that is the most fantastic resort that our company has ever built. I think it’s a game changer.” said Ray Snisky, Group President, ALGV.
“2021 was a record-breaking year for ALGV but 2022 will be four times more successful.”
“What’s so great about our industry is that we are so much more than business relationships. It is really the friendships and there have been some hugs, tears and laughs on this trip,” added Jacki Marks, Executive Vice President, ALG. “There’s been some shots too,” she added, referring to the event’s easygoing and celebratory atmosphere. “So this is a group of people that make this industry so unique and so special because, yes, we work really hard, but we truly at the heart of everything are friends. And that’s the most important thing that I cherish.”
The beachfront pool area at Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen. (photo by Patrick Clarke)
Investment and What’s To Come
Snisky also addressed ALG’s $2.7 billion acquisition by Hyatt, calling it an “absolute cultural fit.”
“What a year it’s been, we got acquired by Hyatt. We’ve been through some bumps with these mergers but nothing has ever gone as smoothly as the acquisition Hyatt had of ALG,” he said.
During Friday night’s general session, which included a Q&A segment where advisors were given the opportunity to ask questions and air grievances, ALGV’s leadership team made it clear that it’s continuing to invest in its travel partners to give them the tools they need to keep growing, prioritizing areas such as diversity and inclusion, cybersecurity, education via the newly-launched ALGVPro and providing advisors with more ways to earn.
Elite Diamond and Elite Diamond Preferred travel agencies receive recognition at a special gala dinner. (photo by Patrick Clarke)
“Hopefully, we can show that we’ve been listening when you look at all of the investments that we’ve made in technology, in our services and our programs. That’s all been designed on the things that you guys have asked for,” said Scott Wiseman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, ALG. The investment in technology, whether it be updates to existing tech or new portals, has been a hit with travel advisors, including ALGV’s top earners.
Working closely with partners like Amstar with reliable airport transfers and tour experiences, for example, is another way ALGV is going the extra mile for travel advisors’ clients.
“Watch for more things to come in this Elite program. We really want to make sure you feel special, you feel valued and I can promise you that we will continue to do more and more when it comes to our lead advisors,” said Marks.
In addition to the travel advisors it relies on, the company is investing more in Europe, with Snisky calling the coveted continent ALGV’s “number one product and destination focus going into next year. We’re going to be super-focused on expanding our Europe footprint and investing heavily.”
Scott Wiseman and Jacki Marks address the crowd at ALGV’s Elite Diamond Retreat. (photo by Patrick Clarke)
The ALGV team also highlighted some upcoming new openings that clients will be excited about, including Secrets Impression Moxche Playa del Carmen and Zoetry Marigot Bay in Saint Lucia set to welcome guests in December 2022. Meanwhile, highly anticipated 2023 openings will include Dreams Flora Resort & Spa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Secrets Impression Isla Mujeres, Dreams Estrella del Mar Mazatlán, Secrets Tides Punta Cana and Secrets Saint Lucia.
With the Secrets Impression brand, ALGV is targeting an affluent traveler earning more per household ($250,000-plus) already living a life of luxury who expects to be pampered and is seeking a customized experience.
Looking ahead to 2023, ALGV will continue to sing the praises of its beloved travel advisor partners, especially its top earners. Said Snisky of the company’s newfound focus, “We’ll lead ALGV moving forward with two driving factors. It’ll be care and it’ll be kindness.”
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