In advance of the Classic Vacations Star Performers event in
Maui last week, which celebrated top agents who sold more than $500,000 in
2015, the company unveiled a new website on Aug. 28.
Still in its beta rollout with a full launch expected at the
end of October, the site introduced an updated look and feel, with clean,
responsive design, bright images and lots of white space. It also changed the
booking functionality for agents working with Classic. The new booking engine
will be faster, said Dave Ferran, Classic’s head of sales. It will also allow
multi-room and multi-destination bookings, as well as date deviation.
Designed to accommodate both digitally inclined and
traditional agents, the site enables construction of complex itineraries and
offers private-label branding on digital assets or tear sheets so agents can
promote their business with customers.
“We want to be sure we are equipped to give [agents] the
kind of solutions they need,” said Jonna Jackson, Classic’s head of strategic partnerships.
One new tool is Wanderlist, a shopping cart-like feature
that allows agents to create customized proposals for travelers. They can pick
two or three hotels, add a handful of tour options, then private-label the
information and send it to customers with their own comments. Agents can create
multiple lists for each client or save lists for future customers, and they can
integrate the content with third-party travel-planning apps like Axus and
Umapped, both of which are Classic partners.
The website is available on mobile, so advisers can update
lists and book travel on the go.
“The various pieces work together powerfully,” said Ferran.
“Take as much as you want, take as little as you want.”
As is often the case with digital launches, the new site also
caused some frustrations.
“It was hair-pulling time for me,” said Steve Macknight of
Perfect Honeymoons in San Diego.
“There may be some technical challenges right away,”
conceded Ferran, but he assured agents that any glitches and slowness would be
addressed and fixed.
However, Macknight and his wife Gretchen Macknight, a fellow
luxury travel consultant with Perfect Honeymoons, also recognized the potential
in the new digital platform, pointing to multi-island and multi-room booking
options and the branded tear sheets.
“We’re excited about the promise of the new website’s
capabilities,” said Gretchen.