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Editor's note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, TravelAge West is encouraging all readers to stay at home and do their part in flattening the curve. This includes travel to Hawaii. We hope that the information in these stories will help readers stay up to date for when it’s once again safe to return to Hawaii.
Hawaii wholesalers aren't sitting on their hands during the coronavirus crisis. Instead, they're rising to the occasion by staying engaged with the destination and the travel advisors who sell it.
Here, officials from two wholesalers — Classic Vacations and Globus Family of Brands — discuss how they’re generating positive vibes with suppliers and advisors while the Aloha State remains off-limits.
Classic VacationsEver since travel to Hawaii was put on hold, Classic Vacations has been protecting relationships through proactive outreach, says Dave Ferran, Classic Vacations’ head of sales.
“Our product team is in regular contact with our Hawaii partners via email, phone and social media,” Ferran said. “While we are in the midst of the crisis today, we talk about tomorrow — the great experiences and offers that we’ll make available to the U.S. market once the virus passes.”
To keep agents engaged, on April 15, the company will launch a series of educational webinars and podcasts that showcase Hawaii and Classic Vacations’ partners. The series will also demonstrate why Hawaii is the ideal destination to visit when it’s safe to travel again.
The webinars and podcasts will be promoted by email to Classic Vacations’ advisor database and through its Facebook community.
“We’ll emphasize the Hawaii difference, and we’ll look at how our partners will bring a sense of ohana (family) and comfort to travelers post-virus,” Ferran said. “We’ll focus on a hotel’s future value proposition; how it will evolve relative to the U.S. market; and how the customer experience will change.”
We’ll emphasize the Hawaii difference, and we’ll look at how our partners will bring a sense of ohana (family) and comfort to travelers post-virus.
In addition, Classic Vacations is developing a new campaign called Hawaii Rising, with marketing initiatives designed to lead the company back to selling the destination as it supports its suppliers in Hawaii.
“We’ll leverage our 42 years of selling the islands, which is where we started as Classic Hawaii,” Ferran said. “We know Hawaii well, and we love it. It’s a warm and engaging culture, a land that has been preserved and protected. It’s home to a welcoming people. Against the backdrop of today’s troubles, Hawaii is a safer choice.”
GlobusWhile Globus has proactively cancelled tours to all destinations worldwide until June 30, 2020, the company is reminding clients that “dreaming doesn’t stop,” says Cory McGillivray, channel marketing manager for Globus Family of Brands.
“Through email and social media, we are encouraging Globus travelers to let their minds and hearts wander by inviting them to roam destinations — such as Hawaii — from home, becoming armchair travelers through images and through virtual and video voyages,” he said.
Primary targets for this message are clients who have been affected by cancellations and people who have traveled with Globus before.
At the same time, in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic, Globus has created the Peace of Mind travel plan, which provides advisors with early commission payments.
“We consider travel advisors to be valued extensions of our team,” McGillivray said. “When advisors and their clients choose to receive a Letter of Credit, we are paying commissions on that voucher.”
Should travelers cancel their plans, regular cancellation policies apply. For more information on the Peace of Mind plan, click here.
Through email and social media, we are encouraging Globus travelers to let their minds and hearts wander by inviting them to roam destinations — such as Hawaii — from home, becoming armchair travelers through images and through virtual and video voyages.
Although the coronavirus has had an undeniable impact on the travel industry, McGillivray said he’s heartened by the resolve that travelers are showing by opting to rebook their vacations instead of canceling them.
“This ‘time out’ is reminding all of us what a privilege it is to travel the world, to see and explore its many wonders and to connect with others from different countries and cultures,” McGillivray said. “Our commitment to our guests, travel advisors and partners in travel is to provide clear options during the hiatus and offer helpful incentives and lines of communication to speed the return.”
The DetailsClassic Vacationswww.classicvacations.com
Globus Family of Brandswww.globusjourneys.com
Read more from TravelAge West about the COVID-19 outbreak.