As part of Travel Agent’s coverage of the recently-concluded Delta Vacations University conference and trade show in Atlanta, we learned that the operator recently added Tahiti to its list of product offerings.
Patricia Christensen, director of product development, told Travel Agent that Delta Vacations will offer four islands in Tahiti, including the main island of Tahiti and Bora Bora. Nicole Bouteau, Tahiti’s tourism minister, along with several Tahiti suppliers, were on hand for the event. This was the first year Delta Vacations University offered a class on the destination.
“To have a class on Tahiti for agents is huge for us as far as creating more awareness for the destination,” Alex Hervet, Air France’s general manager for French Polynesia, told Travel Agent during a Tahiti press conference held on Saturday. “We think a lot of travelers at least are familiar with Tahiti and Bora Bora, but the class hopefully made them more aware of everything else we offer.”
What Else Is New and Trending at Delta Vacations
Elizabeth Moriarty, vice president of product development, says Delta added more than 1,000 new rooms to its hotel inventory. Delta has also aggressively expanded its Europe product offerings. Moriarty also says Colombia has been hot this year and domestic travel within the U.S. has also gone up extensively, which could be attributed to the Zika scare that has been leading many clients to travel within the country. Moriarty says that Nashville, in particular, has been especially hot.
This is also the first year Delta Vacation is having a class on Cuba, having just added the destination for the first time earlier this year, says Eric Fandek, senior director of product development.
The main priority in selling Cuba, he says, is ensuring that the agents are keeping the clients well informed on what to expect from Cuba from an infrastructure standpoint.
Other Notes from the Show
The effects of Hurricane Irma forced Delta Vacations to cancel one class, which focused on selling the Florida Keys, and to slightly modify another one on what’s new in the Caribbean. The Keys were still represented at the show, however, as they had a booth for the trade show portion of the conference.
Moriarty also says about 50 percent of this year’s attendees are first-timers.