WAIKOLOA VILLAGE, Hawaii -- As part of our ongoing coverage of the third annual Hawaii Travel Exchange, Travel Agent sat down with Jana Lavell, regional sales manager for MLT Vacations, to find out what's hot when it comes to selling Hawaii.
Lavell told us that MLT, which has been selling Hawaii for the last 20 years, has been doing an enormous amount of multi-generational travel over the last three years or so, a trend that she says really began to blossom once people started traveling again following the 2009 economic downturn.
"I think when people began traveling again, they were kind of looking for a security blanket, they really wanted to travel in packs," she says. "And that's how this multigenerational market to Hawaii really grew."
Some of MLT's new offerings to Hawaii include it's Destination Weddings program, which started about two years ago and offers clients the opportunity get married in select, off-resort sites. MLT offers five sites in Oahu and four sites in Maui, all in locations that are outside of the clients' resort. The program also includes limousine transfers to and from the wedding site. The most popular of the offerings, Lavell says, is a floating lagoon wedding site in Oahu.
MLT has also developed a strangle hold on air access to the destination. In fact, Lavell says MLT has access to 82 percent of the lift to Hawaii. She says that number really spiked when MLT Vacations inked a partnership with United Airlines roughly three years ago before the United and Continental Airlines merger.
Presented by Luxury Travel Advisor and Travel Agent magazines with partner the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, the Hawaii Travel Exchange fully immerses travel sellers on the islands of Hawaii. The 2012 event is being held at the Marriott Waikoloa Beach Resort & Spa on the Big Island, Hawaii.
"I think this show does a great job in finding the right agents," she says of the nearly 150 agents who are in attendance. "The organizers must have done some great surveys because they really did a great job qualifying these agents. These agents are all doing great business to Hawaii and that means more business for us."
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates from our ongoing coverage of the Hawaii Travel Exchange.