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Heading into the final month of a strong year and forecasting much the same for 2013, Classic Vacations’ co-president Greg Bernd says that his company is focused on market expansion, and it plans on increasing resources and tools so travel partners can provide their clients with tailored itineraries packed with even greater details.
“Travel agents say that their clients often don’t know what they want to do before they get to a destination,” said Bernd. “We have enhanced our website with more details on activity options that they can pre-sell, and we have provided collateral that they can tailor with information on these activities.”
Among these enhancements are e-brochures that can be personalized for each client and branded with the agency’s name and logo on the cover.
“The Hawaii market is still our number-one destination and it showed a strong rebound in 2012,” Bernd says. “The Caribbean and Europe are close seconds. And Mexico is rebounding nicely right now on a percentage level.”
For 2013, Classic’s advance bookings are up over 2012.
“Even with (the recent storms) that happened on the eastern seaboard, we haven’t seen a downturn in business,” said Bernd. “The people we work with are still pretty positive about what’s going to unfold next year.”
Bernd notes that Classic also plans expansion to new destinations.
“We want to be able to deliver consistent customer service levels and experiences everywhere we are,” he said. “We’ll only go into a destination where and when we know we can deliver that level.”
Among those under consideration are Dubai, Maldives and Seychelles.
“We also have direct connectivity with partners such as the Halekulani,” said Bernd. “It’s real-time availability and real-time pricing, with access to every single room category. So it has decreased the amount of time in our reservation call center, making agents able to work more efficiently.”