|Headquarters||Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Area served||Mexico, Dominican Republic, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Central America, South America, Hawaii, Europe|
|Key people||Jeff Mullen, President|
|Parent||Apple Leisure Group|
Apple Vacations is a charter vacation company operating as a member of the Apple Leisure Group. Headquartered just outside of Philadelphia, the company was founded by John Mullen in 1969 with the purpose of offering group travel packages. Today, Apple Vacations is one of the largest tour operators in North America.
In 1969, John Mullen launched a travel agency called Atkinson & Mullen Travel in the Drexel Hill area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mullen’s agency focused on European tour packages, later expanding into tour vacations to then newly emerging Hawaiian and Cancun destinations.
In the late 1970s, the company, now Apple Vacations, began to pursue a wholesale model with its vacation products sold through a network of retail travel agents. This network enabled the company to secure low prices on travel packages and airfare by developing large group charters. Through these arrangements, Apple Vacations became one of the first tour operators to offer all-inclusive vacations.
In 1987, John Mullen’s son Tim Mullen joined Apple Vacations in a customer relations and sales capacity – later overseeing the company’s Bahamas package offerings. The following year, Apple Vacations acquired Chicago-based competitor Thompson Vacations, and Mullen’s other son Jeff Mullen joined the finance group in the new Chicago office. As the company expanded its operations, Tim and Jeff Mullen took on greater responsibilities and were eventually named co-presidents of Apple Vacations.
Private equity investment
In December 2012, the private equity management company Bain Capital acquired a majority, controlling stake in the Apple Leisure Group, including Apple Vacations. The Mullen family retained minority ownership stakes and executive roles in the parent company and its subsidiaries.
Acquisition and restructuring
In April 2013, the Apple Leisure Group acquired Travel Impressions from American Express#Travel American Express Travel and Lifestyle Services, resulting in a restructuring of Apple Vacations leadership. Tim Mullen became president and CEO of Travel Impressions, and Jeff Mullen retained the role of president of Apple Vacations. The acquisition of Travel Impressions also gave the company access to an inventory of private homes and villas, which were incorporated into Apple Vacations’ product portfolio in January 2014.
In August 2013, CheapCaribbean.com, an online travel agency specializing in beach vacations, was acquired by Apple Leisure Group. Along with Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions, and AMResorts, the addition of CheapCaribbean.com to the parent company’s portfolio increased the market share of Apple Leisure Group and its breadth of products. Despite the expanded offerings, the different companies comprising the main businesses within the Apple Leisure Group, including Apple Vacations, are still required to operate independently of each other, with different price points, products, and channel strategies.
As of 2014, the President of Apple Vacations is Jeff Mullen '
Awards and milestones
Apple Vacations delivered its two millionth tourist to Cancun, Mexico in 1998, a milestone within the travel industry. In 2001, the city of Cancun honored John Mullen with the "Pioneer of Cancun Award" for recognizing the potential of Cancun as a world-class resort destination and developing its tourism business.
In 2013, Apple Vacations was recognized as “Best Tour Operator to Mexico” by Travel Weekly’s Readers Choice Awards, Travel Age West, and Recommend Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards respectively.
Apple Vacations concentrates on travel packages from the United States to leisure vacation destinations, focusing on in-destination customer service and non-stop flights where possible. It is one of only a few tour operators based in the United States to operate full-risk air charter programs.
Apple Vacations provides regular tour packages to destinations in Mexico, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Panama, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Europe. Select travel destinations include:
- Cancun, Mexico
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Los Cabos, Mexico
- Huatulco, Mexico
- Ixtapa, Mexico
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- La Romana Province, Dominican Republic
- Samana, Dominican Republic
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Costa Rica
- Apple Leisure Group – Parent company of Apple Vacations
- AMResorts – Luxury leisure hotel and brand management company; sister company to Apple Vacations
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- Jeff Mullen, President of Apple Vacations, Apple Leisure Group. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- Hyland, Tim (September 2011). "Risk & relaxation". Philadelphia Smart CEO Magazine: 36–40.
- "Apple Vacations Company Profile" (PDF). Apple Vacations. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
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- Apple Leisure Group to acquire Travel Impressions from Amex, Travel Weekly. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- Apple Leisure Group Sells Undisclosed Stake to Bain Capital, Travel Pulse. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
- About Travel Impressions, Travel Impressions. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014.
- Travel Impressions CEO: Tweaks won’t alter ‘sense of service’, Travel Weekly. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014.
- Apple Vacations Dives into Private Villa Market, Travel Pulse. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014.
- About CheapCaribbean.com, CheapCaribbean.com. Retrieved 6 Jun 2014.
- CheapCaribbean another 'puzzle piece' for Apple Leisure Group, Travel Weekly. Retrieved 6 Jun 2014.
- Apple Leisure Group Buys CheapCaribbean.com Vacation Booking Website, Travel Pulse. Retrieved 6 Jun 2014.
- Ripe for expansion at Apple Leisure, Travel Weekly. Retrieved 6 Jun 2014.
- Awards and Achievements, Apple Vacations. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014.
- AMResorts Announces Expansion in Mexico, Hotel Business Review. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014.
- Past Double Eagle Award Recipients, United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce Mid America Chapter. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014.
- Cancun Empties Out After Wilma, Banderas News. Retrieved 2 Jun 2014.
- AMT American Express Travel: Awards Earned, AMT American Express Travel. Retrieved 6 Jun 2014.
- Apple Vacations Receives Hero Award from Special Olympics Illinois, Chicago Tribune, TribLocal. Retrieved 18 Jun 2014.
- Travel Weekly honors winners of Readers Choice Awards, Travel Weekly. Retrieved 23 Jun 2014.
- TravelAge West Announces Its 2013 Editor's Pick Recipients, TravelAge West. Retrieved 23 Jun 2014.
- Readers Choice Awards 2013 Winners, Recommend Magazine. Retrieved 23 Jun 2014.
- Apple Vacations to Add New Winter 2014 Flights,Travel Pulse. Retrieved 11 Jun 2014.
- The hottest alternatives for Cancun, Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 18 Jun 2014.
- Frontier Airlines expands in St. Louis, Travel Weekly. Retrieved 18 Jun 2014.
- Apple Vacations offers Ixtapa charter from L.A., Travel Weekly. Retrieved 18 Jun 2014.
- Apple Vacations Launches Aggressive Expansion for Winter 2013 Vacation Options, Apple Vacations. Retrieved 18 Jun 2014.
- Apple Vacations Adds La Romana Flights From JFK for 2012, Apple Vacations. Retrieved 18 Jun 2014.