Tim MacDonald, president, Classic
(left), and Greg Bernd, vice president of sales
(right), present the award for Travel Agency -
Single Location Highest Gross Sales to Bob
and Donna McMillen, TravelWizard.com.
This year’s Classic Marketing Partner Event, held Nov. 29-Dec. 2,
was the last for Ron Letterman, vice chairman and senior advisor of
Classic Vacations, and his farewell speech brought tears to the
eyes of many attending agents. Letterman’s retirement will mark a
change for the company, but according to company representatives
it’s a transition that the tour operator is well prepared for under
the leadership of president Tim MacDonald.
“It has been a real privilege over the last nine months working
with Letterman,” said MacDonald. “He’s a legend in the
Classic welcomed the top 100 single-location agents and top 50
multi-location agents to the Partner Event as a thank you for their
support of the company, and to recognize the agents’ hard work and
motivate them for the year to come.
Both Letterman and MacDonald opined that Classic’s success is
based on its impressive assortment of luxury offerings. Those
offerings will increase in 2008, especially in the Hawaii
The Partner Event took place at the Kahala Hotel & Resort on
Oahu, giving the property a chance to show off recent renovations,
including redesigned guestrooms. Other Classic properties that have
undergone makeovers include the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and Moana
Surfrider, a Westin Resort. New to the collection is the Wyland
Waikiki, while three new homes in the Pineapple Hills Estates in
Kapalua have joined Classic’s collection of private homes and
The Hertz Classic VIP Service has also been enhanced for 2008,
an announcement that was met with applause at the event. Two new
benefits are available: Travel agents can now arrange to have a
rental car delivered directly to the client’s hotel, and valet car
return is available to clients renting Hertz Prestige Collection
vehicles, a service that allows clients to be dropped off in their
rental car directly at their departing airport terminal.
Letterman noted that both he and MacDonald are firm believers
that “marketing starts with product.”
Classic’s product has expanded in destinations besides Hawaii.
Forty-one properties are new in Europe, including golf resorts in
Scotland, castles in Ireland and properties in Evian and Crete.
River barging in southern France, gastronomic tours in Barcelona,
cultural tours in Croatia and hot-air balloon rides in Tuscany are
also now available through Classic.
Classic has also added 19 properties in Mexico, including the
Rosewood Mayakoba and Mandarin Oriental; 26 properties in Australia
and New Zealand and added Air Pacific as a flight partner. New
properties have been added in the Caribbean and additional
locations will soon be announced in Fiji.
Also announced was a Web site revamp that includes a new
agent-specific section on ClassicVacations.com.