ResortQuest Hawaii is looking to grow this year by heightening consumer awareness and helping travel agents sell the brand more effectively, says Shari Chang, senior vice president sales of marketing and revenue management.
Along the way, she told Travel Agent in a wide-ranging conversation, the company is looking to expand its network of properties, and to hone the tools it provides travel agents.
Agents Are important
"The success of our programs and the success of our properties depends on travel agents," says Chang, who herself once was a travel agent and has advocated for retailers during the span of her career in the travel industry.
"They are an extension of our own sales and marketing. We have to be out there to support the travel agents who support us." This meshes with the company's policy of ensuring retailers receive commission through the various booking channels, as well as its long-running rewards program.
To this end, ResortQuest has begun providing regional webinar training, with sessions lasting 60 to 90 minutes. She hopes to expand this initiative; agents who are interested can contact their regional sales manager directly or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second half of the year will bring the launch of an upgraded web site. Design is in progress, but retailers can look forward to a password-protected travel agent section that will provide details on commissions, incentives and specials.
In the meantime, ResortQuest
Agents with whom Chang spoke wanted to see more pictures, so this is reflected in the new materials. Pieces are added to the corporate site as they're completed, as are other tools, such as flyers agents can customize for their clients.
"I think because agents are having to market themselves a little bit differently nowadays, those who can provide really very specialized, custom service are finding it's a real positive for them," Chang says. "Any way you can simplify the agents' opportunity to pick up information and have it available for themselves and their clients helps all of us."
Among the initiatives designed to heighten awareness among
consumers is repositioning and relaunching a key property on each island. The
first property to undergo this process is also ResortQuest's newest, the
Agents soon will find themselves with more ResortQuest
Planned for a 2010 opening is a second phase with 44 additional units. The 22-acre project will include a pool, a 40-foot serpentine water slide and children's play areas, as well as an agricultural preserve.
Agents may also be hearing about further expansion in the
next few months.