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The latest wholesaler deals in the islands

By: Marty Wentzel

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Classic is growing its luxury home business,
such as this one at Kapalua Resort, Maui.
Hawaii wholesalers have plenty to pitch during the coming year, and savvy travel agents are keeping tabs on their promotions and packages. Following are a few of the latest deals for clients and incentives for agents.

Save on Air
Pleasant Holidays is encouraging summer travel by reducing the cost of air travel to Honolulu from June 15-Aug. 17. When clients fly on select United Airlines flights from Los Angeles or San Francisco during that period, they can save up to $100 per person.

For travelers heading to Kauai, Pleasant is providing savings of up to $165 per couple at the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort (through Dec. 22).

For lovers of the Royal Hawaiian Waikiki’s classic pink hotel, which will close for restoration during the second half of 2008 Pleasant is pitching a four-night promotion good on visits through May 31 that comes with daily breakfast, a Royal memento and return-visit certificate.

Throughout the year, clients traveling with Pleasant can try its value-added Aloha Diners Club program, updated for 2008 to feature some 70 Hawaii dining establishments. Each time clients use the program’s new Platinum Cash card, they get a rebate of up to 15 percent, increasing the balance on the card.

Hotel Packages
All About Hawaii is helping agents earn extra commission, cash and prizes for Hawaii bookings with a variety of spring incentives.

For instance, agents booking their clients for at least three nights at the Keauhou Beach Resort get a $50 bonus. A similar deal from Starwood rewards agents with $15, and from the Royal Hawaiian, $20. Client perks include free nights, complimentary amenities and car upgrades.

For 2008, All About Hawaii has added Alaska Airlines, which now offers nonstop service from Seattle to Honolulu and Kauai. Another airline partner, Delta, is adding service from Los Angeles to the Big Island and Kauai starting June 5.

The company’s initiative with Outrigger and Ohana hotels provides air travel, five days’ use of a rental car, five nights’ accommodations and a two-for-one motorcoach tour (from $841 per person, based on double occupancy).

A comparable promotion with Hyatt starts at $1,245 per person for six nights.

Client Concierge Service
Classic Vacations continues to offer its concierge desk, which makes recommendations and reservations for restaurants, golf, spas, private tours and other activities.

The Classic concierge team also develops and manages a number of customized additions to luxury trips. Last holiday season it delivered a 10-foot Christmas tree to a hotel suite on Kauai, complete with lights and ornaments.

Meanwhile, Classic is expanding its collection of private homes and villas with up to five bedrooms and 9,000 square feet of living space, including three new homes in the Pineapple Hills Estates in Kapalua, Maui.

Classic’s Hertz VIP service has been enhanced for 2008 with two new benefits: hotel delivery and valet return. All Classic Hawaii travelers continue to benefit from pre-registration and express check-in, bypassing lines entirely.

Geared to Groups
In response to the growing trend of multigenerational and group travel, Apple Vacations launched its Hawaii Small Groups program in 2007.

Starting at just five rooms, Apple provides upgrades, extra amenities and special attention for family trips, class reunions, girlfriend getaways, destination weddings and other intimate gatherings.

Apple’s newest Hawaii pitch focuses on educational travel and the enjoyment of the destination’s natural environments. For example, clients looking for a Big Island vacation can book the Kona Complete Tour, an exclusive eco-adventure program enhancing an itinerary with three outings: Hawaii Forest and Trail’s Hualalai Holoholo Pinztrek Adventure; the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, including a planetarium show; and lunch at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The add-on cost for the Kona Complete Tour is $139 per person.