Whether you’re going for your honeymoon, anniversary, or to pop the question, if you love the beach and sun, Los Cabos is a great place for lovers.
There are numerous “adult only” resorts in Los Cabos that offer romantic dinners on the beach, tequila tasting, dancing under the stars, seaside swimming pools, beautiful beaches and stunning views of either the sunrise or sunset.
While at your resort, don’t pass on a spa day! Get pampered together with a couple’s massage followed by time in your private jacuzzi tub filled by your butler. Have room service deliver an incredible dinner for two with champagne. Or…dress and meet on the beach for a private, romantic candlelit dinner prepared just for the two of you.
For the more adventurous….
Whale watching is an amazing experience. Humpback whales come each year for feeding and to give birth (December-April). Take a ride out into the ocean on a catamaran and view these amazing creatures in their natural habitat up close and personal.
Explore the county by horseback or even better yet, camel back. You’ll have the opportunity to see gorgeous, untouched beaches, 20-foot cacti and desert flowers in the back drop. Along the way, be sure to look towards the ocean for the humpbacks that swim close to shore for your delight. Riding gives you the freedom and delight to see things you’d never view from a car or bus window.
Hit the town, either Cabo San Lucas or San Jose Del Cabo, for an afternoon of window shopping or looking for those special souvenirs. Stroll hand and hand and view the products of local artists. There are many little restaurants and bistros along the way to stop for a taco and a bottle of local beer, or get adventurous and try a mango margarita, the spicy salt on the rim is what makes it extra tasty.
The best time of year for warm weather to visit Los Cabos is May to mid-July (after the spring breakers) and mid-October-December. August and September can be rainy. January-early March expect cooler weather, especially in the evenings.
These are just a few of the many things you can see and do in Los Cabos, we love sharing this beautiful destination with you as one of many options for a romantic getaway.
A growing number of travel advisers are reporting that virtual reality (VR) is helping them close sales more often and faster, and several said they’re considering ways to put the technology in their clients’ hands with branded headsets to make it more accessible.
“You know, you can talk up a resort, you can talk up a destination, but letting them experience it for themselves like they’re really there gets them very excited about trips,” said Michele Botnick, owner of Lucky N Love Travel in Roswell, N.M.
Botnick is among the agents using a product developed by Virtual Honeymoon, a company owned by former agent Robin Hawkey, who created a set of interactive, online quizzes to help clients narrow their preferred destinations.
The service now offers quizzes for honeymoons, vacations, anniversary trips and weddings (including venue matching). Agents who sign up for the service also get access to VR content for which Hawkey partners with a Canadian company, Explor VR.
A number of Hawkey’s agent clients, including Botnick, have begun bringing VR headsets powered by smartphones to bridal shows. They have prospective clients take Virtual Honeymoon’s quiz, which takes into account personal preferences and budgets to determine two recommended destinations. They then showcase one or both destinations on the VR headset.
“It literally is doubling their sales,” Hawkey said. “They are closing sales quicker, and it gets the clients really excited.”
Hawkey has seen agents’ use of VR increase in the past year or so, a trend she attributed to the increasing quality and affordability of headsets.
VR has existed in some form for decades, but the market for headsets designed for consumer use has exploded in recent years. At first, headsets required expensive computers to run, but versions that utilize a smartphone have become very common.
Some cost less than $20, among them the Google Cardboard, a smartphone-powered headset. Sets that run off smartphones range in price and quality.
Newer entrants even run as standalone systems, not requiring a smartphone. Among those is the Oculus Go (starting at $200). Higher-end headsets requiring the use of a computer cost hundreds of dollars for the headset alone.
Companies in the retail travel space have been experimenting with VR in recent years. For example, Virtuoso several years ago beta-tested the use of high-end headsets in member agencies. The consortium found that interest varied greatly among members, and VR efforts are now member-driven.
One of those interested members is Direct Travel. Vicky DiMichele, digital marketing manager of leisure at the agency is Willoughby, Ohio, said it plans to introduce VR this year using Oculus Go headsets.
Guests viewing content from Virtual Honeymoon at a bridal show.
The idea is to place headsets in offices with walk-in leisure business. She would showcase videos from suppliers but is also considering creating her own VR content, especially from familiarization or adviser-incentive trips. That could also be useful for agents, DiMichele said.
Largay Travel of Waterbury, Conn., another Virtuoso agency, was an early tester of using high-end headsets in agencies, but Scott Largay, director of marketing, said the agency ran into issues with content development.
The agency was attempting to create its own content and app, but Largay said he found that limits to the amount and quality of content “was very restrictive to what we were looking to do.”
Companies producing VR content weren’t able to produce the caliber of content Largay wanted, he said, and those that could were “astronomically priced.”
“Virtual reality will be a big part of the travel industry moving forward, and I will be there with my headset on when it happens,” he said. “But it’s just not right now.”
While some have taken a step back from VR, Virtual Honeymoon’s Hawkey is doubling down on the technology and encouraging resorts to start filming weddings with it.
She works with several VR companies, and each has agreed to record at least one complimentary mock wedding as long as the resort hosts the production (and, of course, arranges the event). Hawkey said she has several resorts interested and that she believes they will see a direct impact on bookings if agents showcase weddings virtually.
She said other resorts would likely follow suit and pay to have their own mock weddings recorded in VR.
“The reason that we’re doing that is to prove how powerful viewing VR weddings really is and to show how that venue is going to double, if not triple, their weddings by doing something as powerful as a virtual wedding,” she said. “Because then you can literally drop the couple into the wedding without being there.”
It’s not a cheap prospect. In addition to the mock wedding, VR videos feature other aspects of the property to give viewers a better feel for what they will experience. Hawkey estimated that recording one property costs between $7,500 and $10,000, a price driven not only by the effort to videotape at a resort but also the costs of expensive professional equipment and the editing process.
The expense involved in VR is what led Camille Sanders, owner of Chic Romance Travel in Fresno, Calif., to partner with Virtual Honeymoon to offer VR to her clients instead of trying to create her own program and content.
“It’s very expensive to produce,” she said. “It definitely is better to partner with somebody.”
Like Lucky N Love’s Botnick, Sanders brings headsets to bridal shows.
“I feel it really sets me aside differently than anything out there, especially with other local agencies,” Sanders said. “It’s something different to offer.”
Miki Taylor, founder and CEO of Taylor & Co. Travel in Auburn, Ala., lives in a college town and brings the headsets to many local events. She said VR has gone over very well with clients, especially students, for whom Taylor plans many spring break trips.
“If I had a storefront, I’d have [headsets] on every station,” Taylor said. “Every agent would have them, and they would use them to sell. It sells itself.”
Both Sanders and Botnick are also considering purchasing branded headsets that are inexpensive, foldable and easily mailable to clients around the country, who can use their smartphones to view VR content.
Hawkey said VR is a powerful technology for agents to have in their arsenal.
“I just feel it in my gut,” she said. “If agents don’t get on with the technology, they’re going to be the next ones out of business.”
We are excited to announce the recent launch of Virtual Honeymoon’s newest addition – Virtual Vacationing – on April 10 at the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas,
along side their VR partner ExplorVR, Virtual Vacationing was launched with some 700+ travel agents attending!
“We realize that not all getaways are about romance, sometimes it’s about vacation travel with family and or friends and they too can be confused about where to go on their getaway.”
The perfect client to use this interactive matching tool, is one that is “all over the map” or says something like, “we don’t know where we want to go on our getaway, maybe some place warm and tropical?”
Virtual Vacationing is an interactive destination matching tool, Travel Specialists use on those time-consuming clients that are “all over the map” find their top two destination matches and virtually experience it before booking, thus closing the sale!
This interactive tool SAVES TIME, gets Couples EXCITED & ready to BOOK!
Our software is very intuitive, using scoring + algorithm to search & match destinations, combining 360*VR technology, we are revolutionizing the way SMART TRAVEL AGENTS sell Travel!
If your a Travel Specialist and are interested in finding out how this VR interactive destination matching tool can help you or your travel business,
check out Virtual Vacationing, they are offering a 30% discount through the month of May 2018 for all their brands.
To find out more information and select the best match for your business, check out all their brands and become a affiliate and start working smarter!
Robin Hawkey, owner of Virtual Honeymoon, was recently interviewed by Travel Week about how she came up with the concept for this VR interactive matching tool, and how its solving problems for hundreds of Travel specialists in the Romance Travel industry, as well as plans for growth.
the travel industry largest and most trusted media source in Canada!
See below a copy to article.
Virtual Honeymoon launches sister sites
Virtual Honeymoon launches sister sites, partners with ExplorVR amid company growth
TORONTO — Here’s a common scenario: You ask your wedding clients where they would go on their dream honeymoon, and they respond with a bunch of destinations in quick succession. Bali. Italy. Tahiti. The list goes on and on.
But there is a fun and easy way to whittle down the options so that your clients are left with a destination that best suits their needs and preferences. Virtual Honeymoon is an interactive destination matching tool used by agents with indecisive clients. Using intuitive software and an algorithm to search for and match destinations, the tool matches couples with their top two destinations, allowing them to ‘test drive’ these locales and help agents close the sale.
Robin Hawkey- Owner of Virtual Honeymoon
Started and owned by travel industry veteran Robin Hawkey, Virtual Honeymoon kicked off in January 2015 for year-long testing before launching its affiliate program in March 2016. Hawkey says the idea came to her after “years of frustration of working with couples that were all over the map”, which resulted in wasting weeks of valuable time, sometimes only to lose them to the Internet.
“When couples have no idea where to go on their getaway, or say something like ‘We just want to go some place warm and tropical’, that usually leads to seeing every tropical island and comparing them all. We call [these couples] ‘tire-kickers’ or ‘time-wasters’ for using travel agents as a human resource tool,” she tells Travelweek.
How it works is simple: Clients answer a series of fun, interactive questions, the tool then matches them to their top two destinations based on their answers. After clients fill out a contact form, all the questions and answers, including their matches, are emailed directly to the travel agent who will then follow up directly.
The tool costs $24.95/month, or $239.52 per year with a savings of 20%.
You can access the site at virtualhoneymoon.com.
To enhance the experience, Hawkey has added a virtual reality component to the website’s destination pages. She’s teamed up with ExplorVR to allow clients to pre-experience their matched destination. Virtual Honeymoon’s affiliates have already used VR headsets and videos at wedding fairs where clients were able to test-drive their destinations on the spot.
“I think [VR] is so beneficial as most millennials want to be involved in the planning process. VR is the next best thing to being there!” said Hawkey. “I also feel that the agents who don’t get on this VR trend will be left behind – literally!”
Devin Kinasz, President & CEO of ExplorVR, adds: “Virtual Honeymoon is embracing VR technology and partnering with ExplorVR to give their agents access to exciting destination experiences. We are very excited to partner with Virtual Honeymoon because they align with our values of being a forward-thinking company that embraces technology.”
Virtual reality acts as the perfect selling tool in the destination wedding and honeymoon market as it allows clients to “try before they fly”. As Hawkey puts it, all couples want their weddings and honeymoons to go off without a hitch, so the best way to ensure that the destination matches their vision is to virtually travel there ahead of time.
“There is on average over two million weddings per year in the U.S. alone, with couples spending over $72 billion on weddings and $8 billion on honeymoons. The romance niche is such a great niche to get into to build your entire travel business,” said Hawkey. “If an agent does a great job on the wedding or honeymoon, and builds a good relationship with their client, they will do all their travel-related activities such as anniversaries, babymoons, graduations, family trips and more, not to mention the referrals to all their friends getting married. This creates a booming business that will continue to grow and prosper.”
With business booming, Virtual Honeymoon launched its sister site – Virtual Destination Wedding – at the Love Mexico event in Cabo last December. Operating much like Virtual Honeymoon, the new site not only matches clients with their top two destinations but also helps plan the wedding. And like its sister site, it costs $24.95, or $239.52 with a 20% discount.
Looking ahead, Hawkey is preparing to launch the company’s newest addition – Virtual Vacationing – on April 10 at the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas. While its main concept is the same as interactive destination matching, she says the new site does not focus on romance as the other two sites.
“We realize that not all getaways are about romance, sometimes it’s about vacation travel with family and friends and they too can be confused about where to go on their getaway,” she adds. “We are so excited to be at the Forum with our VR partner, ExplorVR. They have really helped our vision of bringing virtual travel to life, allowing clients to virtually experience their destination match before booking and, thus, closing sales!”
“Test drive” one of our demo-sites below and find the best match for your business:
We found adding the wedding planning portion very important, as our virtual tool now not only matches top destinations, but helps plan the wedding as well.
Virtual Destination Wedding was created for Destination Wedding Specialists to use on their couples that have NO idea where they want to go to have their dream wedding!
The perfect client to use this interactive matching tool, is one that is “all over the map” or says something like, “we dont’ know where we want to get married, maybe some place in the Caribbean?” This interactive tool SAVES TIME, gets Couples EXCITED & ready to BOOK!
Virtual Destination Wedding is a interactive destination matching tool, Wedding planners are using for those time-consuming clients that are “all over the map” find their top two destination matches and virtually experience it before booking, thus closing the sale! Our software is very intuitive, using scoring + algorithm to search & match destinations, combining 360*VR technology, we are revolutionizing the way SMART PLANNERS book Weddings!
“How cool would it be to take Virtual Destination Wedding tool to a Wedding fair, try on the couples that don’t know where they want to go?” They can take our fun interactive test, get their destination match and then put a VR headset on and virtually pre-experience it before they book, making it a “easy sell!“
Are you a Wedding Planner or Destination Wedding Specialists interested in trying this virtual tool to work smarter in your business? Apply here
Robin Hawkey, owner of Virtual Honeymoon, was recently interviewed by Travel Weekly’s Senior editor, Jamie Biesiada about how she came up with the concept for this VR interactive matching tool, and how its solving problems for hundreds of Travel specialists in the romance travel industry.
the travel industry most trusted magazine source! See below a copy and link to the article.
It’s a problem most agents face on a regular basis: Clients, old or new, want to go on a vacation, but they don’t know where.
Or, maybe they know they want to go “somewhere warm and tropical,” but they haven’t narrowed it down beyond that. With a literal world of possible destinations, the qualifying questions begin.
The situation is one Robin Hawkey knows well. A former agent who specialized in romance travel, she often had clients come to her with little to no idea of where they wanted to go on their honeymoon.
“It’s our jobs as agents to sell them, to match them to the right property,” Hawkey said. “But honestly, when you’re just talking about the destination and trying to narrow that down, that can take weeks, months of your time, and it’s back and forth.”
And sometimes, a much worse scenario plays out: An agent helps clients pick a destination, then they disappear and book it online themselves.
Enter Hawkey’s solution: Virtual Honeymoon.
Using her experience as an agent, Hawkey has created a destination-matching service in the form of an easy online quiz agents can present to clients. The quiz comes on a white-labeled website agents can customize, and it includes destination guides. Hawkey no longer sells travel, instead devoting herself full-time to the company.
Agents first present their clients with a 17-question quiz.
“These are the questions that we would ask if they were sitting in front of us, if we were trying to figure it out, and we pretty much have it down to a science,” Hawkey said. “It’s working extremely well.”
At the end, the clients are presented with their top two matches based on criteria such as travel style and budget, and they can click through to destination guides on those spots.
The website and its components start at $19.95 per month or $191.52 per year (a demo version is live at www.demo.virtualhoneymoon.com). It includes a back-office feature agents can use to make changes or additions to the site that Hawkey said is very easy to use.
Hawkey has added virtual reality (VR) videos to some of the destination pages, and more are being added. She is encouraging agents to purchase headsets to use at in-person client appointments and events like bridal shows.
She has partnered with Canadian company XPLR VR for the videos and directs agents to that company if they wish to purchase headsets. The price point is around $100 per headset.
“I truly feel if [agents] are not going to get in on [VR], they are going to get left behind,” said Hawkey, who describes the videos as “the next best thing to being there.”
It’s something she has had personal success with. While Hawkey no longer sells travel, she decided to do one final destination wedding for her daughter’s best friend and sold the couple on Jamaica using a VR video.
Virtual Honeymoon has been available to agents since last October. Hawkey has not been actively marketing it, but plans to ramp up her efforts soon. Some 60 agents already use Virtual Honeymoon, and Hawkey’s goal is to have 1,000 users by the end of the year. She has also begun approaching consortia about partnerships.
The agents using the tool are all certified as romance travel specialists by the Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Specialists Association.
Lynn Wilson, owner of Shared Travel in Chico, Calif., said she finds the tool useful when couples are unsure of where to honeymoon. She recently purchased two VR headsets to use at an upcoming bridal show. “It’s fun. It’s different. It’s an experience,” she said, adding that the price of the headsets is not prohibitively high, nor are they low quality.
Camille Sanders, owner of Chic Romance Travel in Fresno, Calif., uses Virtual Honeymoon and its quiz as a marketing tool. She includes links to the quiz in her newsletters, on social media and in her signature line of emails. She has also sent it to past clients. “Taking a quick little quiz, it’s fun,” she said. “It doesn’t take very long to do.”
Virtual Honeymoon was so excited to receive a prestigious Gold Magellan award for Virtualhoneymoon.com for overall Travel agent innovation from Travel Weekly, the most influential provider of the travel news!
Secaucus, NJ (September 8, 2017) – Travel Weekly announced the winners of the 2017 Magellan Awards. With entries from across the U.S. and around the world, the Magellan Award winners represent the best in the travel industry and salute the outstanding travel professionals behind it all. The Magellan Awards honor outstanding design, marketing and services in a broad range of industry segments including Hospitality, Travel Destinations, Cruise Lines, Online Travel Services, Airlines and Airports, Travel Agents and Agencies, Tour Operators and Ground Transportation.
“This year’s winners represent the most talented and creative people in not just the travel industry but of any industry,” said Arnie Weissmann, editor in chief of Travel Weekly. “They continue to raise the bar, to inspire travel and enhance the travel experience. Their work leaves a lasting impression on our expert judges and readers.”
The Magellan Awards are judged and overseen by a one-of-a-kind panel of top travel professionals representing the best names and most accomplished leaders from the industry.
In determining winners, entries do not compete with one another, instead they are judged against a standard of excellence based on the long experience of Travel Weekly.
About Travel Weekly (www.travelweekly.com) Through its portfolio of digital and print products and face-to-face events, Travel Weekly is the most influential provider of news, research, opinion and analysis to the North American travel trade marketplace. Travel Weekly is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Northstar Travel Group, the largest travel business-to-business travel publisher in the world.
Winners will be featured in an October issue of Travel Weekly in a special section devoted to the most exciting and innovative work being done in the travel industry today.
Virtual Honeymoon is a Interactive Destination Matching tool, that Travel Specialists use for those time-consuming clients that are “all over the map!”
The intuitive tool uses algorithm + scoring technology software, to virtually match each client to their top Destinations, where they can virtually experience it before they book!
Virtual Honeymoon just partnered with Travel weeks Xplr VR company based out of Canada, using their VR + 360 videos.
Clients can now “virtually experience” their destinations they match to, thus travel specialists closing the sale!
Here’s a great example of using this technology to work smarter and close the sale from a Virtual Honeymoon affiliate:
“I had a appointment with a Destination Wedding couple on Wednesday night, they both took the Virtual Honeymoon quiz and matched to BVI and Jamaica!” The groom was excited about Jamaica, the bride wasn’t sure, but was open to exploring. I put the VR headset on her, set to Jamaica with sound on and within 2 minutes she was SOLD!!!! “I wish I would have videoed taped her, she was smiling, looking up down all around, laughing, gasping with excitement!” The groom was trying to pull headset off her, he was so excited to try it! He got his turn and was like a little kid, pointing in the air, spinning around, smiling, etc….within about 10 minutes, they BOTH fell in Love with Jamaica for their beach wedding and honeymoon!
“This interactive tool SAVES TIME, gets clients EXCITED & ready to BOOK!
Today’s travel consumers are tech savvy, and expect brands to be as well! Virtual Honeymoon + Xplr VR technology is revolutionizing the way “smart agents” sell travel!
Virtual Honeymoon offers white label sites, allowing agents to personalize their agencies, helping them work smarter!”
Robin Hawkey is the owner/visionary of Virtual Honeymoon. She won 2016 Trendsetter Award for “Best Targeted Marketing idea” and was featured in Travelage West.
This year, Virtual Honeymoon is up for Travvy Award and Magellan Award.
Virtual Honeymoon was created to use on your couples that have NO idea where to go on their Romantic Getaway! The perfect client to use this VR interactive matching tool, is one that is “all over the map” or says something like, “we don’t’ know where we want to go, just some place warm and tropical.” This interactive tool SAVES TIME, gets Couples EXCITED & ready to BOOK!
By implementing VR (Virtual Reality) and 360* Videos, agents can now not only match the couple to their top destination but let them virtually experience it!
“How cool would it be to take Virtual Honeymoon tool to a Wedding fair, try on the couples that don’t know where they want to go on their Romantic Getaway, they can take our fun interactive test, get their destination match and then the agent put a VR headset on them to jet away to virtually experience say Jamaica! Agents better have their deposit forms ready!
How it works:
By answering a series of carefully thought out, fun, interactive questions about their likes, preferences, budget etc….the intuitive VR tool will match the clients to their top two Destinations based on their answers selected. The tool will then show their top two matched destinations side-by-side with descriptions of each, from there they can select one (or both) to experience, a beautiful page opens up with destination information, photo, video, links to explore! The system can track each clients Q/A data and when activated, emailed direct to agent, for follow-up!
Robin Hawkey is the owner/visionary of Virtual Honeymoon and loves to share her passion for Romantic Travel. She has won numerous Travel Awards, with the most recent as 2016 Trendsetter Award for “Best Targeted Marketing” and featured in Travelage West. see article here: Travelage West