Partners on New Brand
Pleasant Holidays and Singapore Airlines announced a partnership to operate a new brand called Singapore Airlines Vacations. The brand, which will begin taking reservations April 1, will be managed and operated by Pleasant, and it represents a move to increase brand awareness for Singapore.
“This is a strategic move on the part of Singapore Airlines to become much bigger in the tour Asia market,” said Ken Bright, vice president of marketing USA, for Singapore Airlines, in an exclusive interview with TravelAge West. “We’re focusing on a fairly high-end product with very broad distribution, it makes a lot of sense to go with Pleasant Holidays. They certainly have the distribution network and the high-end product.”
According to Jack Richards, Pleasant’s president and CEO, the new pre-set and custom tour packages will focus exclusively on Singapore Airlines and its five U.S. gateways: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Newark and Houston. Tour destinations will include Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, China, the Maldives, Bali, Vietnam and Cambodia. In Europe, there will be packages that include Frankfurt and Moscow which are current airline mid-point stops as well.
The tours will be aimed at the upscale market, and will utilize four- and five-star accommodations. In addition, Pleasant will use new ground operators for these packages.
A new Singapore Airlines Vacations brochure will go out next month, and Richards said he expects there to be an extensive program to get the word out to agents, including consortia-wide training seminars, trade-show events, in-agency visits and fam trips. The new brand will also have a presence on the Singapore Airlines Web site.
Ogg Joins Travel Counsellors
Travel-industry veteran Joanie Ogg has assumed the role of senior vice president of global sales and industry relations for Travel Counsellors, USA.
“Joanie is synonymous with the home-based travel segment and her expertise in the field is unsurpassed,” said Peter Rasmussen, president of Travel Counsellors, USA.
Ogg has championed the home-based travel industry, founding the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents (NACTA).
“For me, this move is a chance to be part of the successful future of the home-based market & The business model, support tools, technology and marketing expertise are unmatched in the market and I can’t wait to be a part of the U.S. expansion,” said Ogg.
In addition to her new position at Travel Counsellors, Ogg was also inducted into the CLIA Hall of Fame at this year’s Cruise3Sixty.
Reward Program Reaches New Heights
Red Lion has a new rewards program.
In the spirit of Red Lion Hotels Corporation’s Stay Comfortable promise, the hospitality and leisure company redesigned and renamed its loyalty program. The New Red Lion R&R Club now offers lower point redemption thresholds and customized redemption options, which include choices as diverse as a Stay Comfortable Bed by Sealy or a skydiving adventure.
“The new lower point threshold and variety of redemption options make the benefits achievable and relevant to what our members are really looking for,” said executive vice president of hotel operations, John Taffin.
A free night’s stay at any Red Lion hotel is awarded at 10,000 points, while other rewards are given for as little as 5,000 points. In addition, members can earn 10 points for every eligible dollar charged to their room.
Record Year for Global Brand Leader
Carlson a global brand leader in business travel, hotel, restaurant, cruise and marketing services reached $39.8 billion in 2007 systemwide sales (sales by Carlson’s owned and franchised operations).
Marilyn Carlson Nelson, the former chairman and CEO, attributes the 7.3 percent increase to a reinforced strategy to grow Carlson’s core businesses and brands with international partners.
Earlier this month, Nelson turned over her leadership position to Hubert Joly, who has served as president and CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel.