Classic Collection to showcase holidays with new categories

Lifestyle brochures will be released early next year

Classic Collection to showcase holidays with new categories

Classic Collection is planning to segment its holidays in different ways to showcase the lifestyle and experiential offering available for agents to book for clients.

Brochures are in production for the new categories – Inspirational Journeys by Classic Collection, Boutique by Classic Collection, Select by Classic Collection, Multicentre Creations by Classic Collection and Villa Life by Classic Collection.

The first one will be Multicentre Creations in early January. The new segments will also be seen online.

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Andy Freeth, chief executive of Classic Collection Holidays – the parent of trade brands Classic Collection and Classic Package Holidays – told a Travel Weekly webcast that the new segmentation is in response to market trends and agent feedback.

“Classic Collection is 35 years old this year, that’s 35 years of being trusted by the trade to look after their customers,” he said.

“We are going to segment things slightly differently…to show that slightly different edge.

“We’re not a commoditised product. We’ve got lots of additional perks and we’ve got a wide range of differentiated products that needs to be segmented.”

He added: “As we’re predominantly B2B, we really need to listen to what travel agents say they want from us.

“This is about doing things that are a little bit more quirky, a little bit more funky.”

Si Morris Green, agency sales and marketing director at Classic Collection Holidays, outlined the segmentation in more detail, saying: “Customers want experiential holidays. They want something different, the bucket list stuff, they want to do more pack more into holiday, so we’re splitting our portfolio into a number of different areas.”

He said Inspirational Journeys features touring holidays and “great experiences” such as trips on the Orient Express train journeys.

The Boutique collection features smaller hotels, around 20-22 rooms, and boutique cruising in Croatia with 18-cabin ships.

The Select category offers private jets, private yacht charters and “the creme de la crème”, he added.

The Multicentre Creations category will feature holidays such as Greek island hopping or twin-centres in Italy such as Venice and Rome or Venice and Sorrento.

The Villa Life category caters to growing demand for private villas and villas within hotel resorts.

Freeth continued: “Some of the fantastic product that we’ve got in Croatia and the Nile cruises are selling really well [as are] some of those multicentres.

“[Agents] come to us knowing that customers will be well looked after, it’s going to be seamless, [with] the concierge service that we offer while customers that are in resorts.”

He said Classic has been trialling some of its more “quirky” itineraries with digital marketing assets for agents to share on social media.

“It’s about giving our travel agent partners the assets to be able to create noise socially, create demand and engage with our customers on more interesting itineraries,” he added.

Commenting on the new brochures for each segment, Morris-Green said: “Traditionally at Classic Collection, we’ve had summer sun, Portugal, Canaries brochures…now we’re moving into more lifestyle brochures.”

Asked if there might be confusion with Gold Medal’s touring brand called Incredible Journeys, he commented: “It’s inspirational. I don’t think it’s conflicting with anyone in marketing. Everyone’s got a different brand.

“The way it will look and feel is completely different to any competitor. And they’re all ‘by Classic Collection’.”

Freeth added: “These aren’t sub-brands; it is really just a way of selecting the products and putting them into groupings.

“It is just a tag, so we can market them separately; we can have a product focus from our product team and a marketing focus.

“We can have specific campaigns with the partners in these destinations who really want to be able to lift their products out, so it’’s more of more of a marketing proposition.

“We have we have quite a large Facebook group of agents [to whom] we’ve been putting out the multicentre itineraries and the share on those has been off the scale.

“We’re seeing a massive difference in inspirational differentiated products because it’s something different that can be talked about and reach out to their audiences.”

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