At the MLT Vacations’ partner reception in Honolulu (left to right): Barrett De Santos, director of sales, Honua Kai Resort; Michael Warnken, vice president of marketing, MLT Vacations; Winston Chinn, operations manager, Mana Kai Maui // (C) 2011 MLT Vacations
If there were any doubts about MLT Vacations' dedication to Hawaii and the travel agents who sell it, they were laid to rest at the wholesaler's recent partner reception in Honolulu.
Hosted by MLT executives, the gathering shared the company's newest Hawaii products and promotions with top travel partners, state government officials and representatives from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
The primary catalyst for MLT''s growing focus on Hawaii is the addition of the United Vacations brand to its portfolio. The move means agents now have access to 50 percent of Hawaii's air capacity and 3.3 million seats thanks to MLT's affiliation not only with United Airlines but with Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines.
Now that MLT manages United Vacations, Delta Vacations and Continental Airlines Vacations, it has assumed a national scope, and it can sell to virtually every origin market in the U.S. and Canada, said MLT Vacations product development vice president Elizabeth Moriarty.
"We are preparing to grow our footprint in Hawaii by bringing new and repeat visitors to the islands," said Moriarty. "MLT's Hawaii vacation package offerings now include a wider range of hotels and condos, tours and excursions and more robust specialty programs."
Among the company's new Hawaii initiatives is a destination wedding program, designed to help the islands regain market share that they lost to Mexico and the Caribbean over the past few years. It also offers a Friends and Family travel program for destination weddings.
MLT's luxury program now includes five islands: Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Hawaii's Big Island and Kauai. Clients can book first-class airfare and take advantage of one-on-one planning, with options such as a concierge reservation service, private transfers, top-of-the-line accommodations and private tours and excursions.
In addition, MLT just expanded its Flexible Getaways group program to include Hawaii. Designed for 10 or more people who want to experience the destination together but who need more wiggle room in their travel plans, the program offers unique rules and pricing and provides flexibility in travel dates, length of stay and origin cities.
MLT is in the midst of its See the World in 3D incentive. When agents book a qualifying vacation package from Delta, Continental or United Vacations through May 31, they earn points that can be redeemed for personal travel. Bookings are also entered in a monthly drawing, with five winners awarded $250 each.
Other current agent incentives include a $25 bonus for every air-inclusive Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk vacation booked through one of MLT's brands and a $50 bonus for each air-inclusive Outrigger Condominium Collection vacation.
For bookings made through United Vacations, travel agents earn 15 percent commission on the entire land portion of all Hawaii vacation packages in addition to 5 percent commission on all air seats, with no caps.