Vacations serve as a way to get loved ones together and escape from it all. However for most families, gone are the days of just relaxing on the beach with a good book. Nowadays vacationers want to experience all the destination offers – from sampling new foods to trying daring adventures.
It was that shift in travel interests that enabled Xplorie to grow into the the nation’s leading provider of free-to-guest activity programs for the vacation industry. Xplorie, which began in 1996, works with vacation property management companies to offer free admission and activities to many destinations’ most popular attractions. Read to learn more about the company and why travelers prefer experience over just another day at the beach.
Q and A with Xplorie’s Adrienne Clark, Vice President of Communications
How did the idea for Xplorie come about?
The CEO/Founder, Darrell Blanton, used to take an annual family trip to Daytona Beach. Along the road just outside of town, there was an old sign, and when he could see it, he knew they were only minutes away. Little did he know that sign would have such an impact on his future. The sign promoted a local motel that boasted telephone, air conditioning and color television in every room! Can you imagine trying to rent properties today without those essential elements? What was once considered an amenity is now a basic necessity or commonplace.
How has the company evolved since inception?
Twenty-one years later, Xplorie participating property management companies feel the same way about free activities for their guests as the local motel did about the color television. Today’s guests want value and a memorable experience.
Xplorie has evolved from a regional company that made activity reservations with pen and paper to a national brand with proprietary reservation software. Technology has allowed the company to implement with property management systems for a seamless integration. Xplorie allows participating property management companies to stay at the forefront of the industry’s move towards more guest experience-focused travel.
Why do you think there’s more of a focus on experience in the last few years versus just traveling?
It’s no longer about finding the cheapest rate – it’s about the guest experience – more fun, more memories. Life is busy. When you take time to go on vacation, you want an unforgettable experience.
How does Xplorie help increase the vacation guest experience and help property owners attract guests?
Xplorie provides all the fun things to do on vacation for FREE! It’s not just about what Xplorie lets them do; it’s about the way it makes them feel – turning brand benefits into human emotion.
For the property management companies, Xplorie differentiates them from their competition by putting less emphasis on price and more interest in the value and experience. In addition, we build occupancy, gross margins and guest loyalty.
Have you used Xplorie on a trip? If so, what was your experience?
Yes, I have stayed with participating properties several times and took advantage of the activities. On one trip, the boys played several rounds of golf and I took the kids to the waterpark. For destinations unfamiliar to us, it was nice to have a selection of activities prepared for you.
Xplorie Program Overview
Here’s how it works: A guest books a rental that partners with Xplorie, and they receive additional activities to use every day on their vacation. Some examples include attraction admissions, free transportation, free equipment rentals and more. This means one day Mom can head to a spa, while Dad and the kids can play an escape game. However, if the whole family wants to play, they can do so at a fraction of the cost.
In some destinations, guests who book with Xplorie partners save as much as $400 per day on their vacation activities. Yes, that’s per day … not per trip.
Imagine saving as much as $2,800 on seven days of vacation activities and trying things the whole family will enjoy. Each program is also customized for a target audience, time of year and interests. Additionally, property managers who partner with Xplorie offer an added value and give travelers a meaningful reason to choose those properties versus the competition.
Read about iTrip Vacations Free Fun powered by Xplorie and other industry partners.