Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resort brands have made a “business decision” to no longer be sold through Apple Leisure Group.
Effective as of Aug. 7th, Palace Resorts’ portfolio of 10 oceanfront resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean are no longer distributed through ALG-owned Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions, Funjet Vacations, and Blue Sky Vacations, among others.
All FIT and group bookings taken as of the official end date will be honored.
Palace Resorts will continue “its commitment to strengthen its strategic partnerships with valued tour operators, including GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Delta Vacations, Classic Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, American Airline Vacations, Vacation Express, and Island Destinations,” the company said in a statement to Travel Market Report.
ALG said its focus now is to make this transition as seamless as possible for travel advisors.
“Occasionally, our model can cause angst or uncertainty with a supplier because it is very unique. We overcome that with effective communication, strategic alignment and collaborative production,” Ray Snisky, chief commercial officer, Apple Leisure Group Vacations. “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.”
This is not the first time ALG has faced a distribution issue since its purchase of The Mark Travel Corporation. It ended its relationship with Playa Hotels & Resorts and Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts last year, citing “business strategies no longer being aligned. Sandals and Beaches Resorts cut off its wholesale relationship with The Mark Travel Corporation. Alex Zozaya, the CEO of Apple Leisure Group, said at the time the reason behind the move was because Apple Leisure Group owns AMResorts, which Sandals sees as a competitor in the Caribbean/Mexico all-inclusive resort market.
Apple Leisure Group has been expanding its resort product, opening new resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. The group has also moved into the European all-inclusive market with a number of new properties in Spain, after purchasing a majority share in Alua Hotels & Resorts.