MacNair Travel Management/American Express has launched www.macnairtravelandcruises.com, a consumer-focused Website dedicated to vacation travel and resources.Due to growth in its vacation department, continued expansion of its honeymoon division and ability to provide online vacation planning, the dedicated vacation Website has been designed and released, according to MacNair’s Vacation Manager Skip Fortier.
Trends in travel and planning have been changing and an opportunity existed to meet its clients’ needs…particularly the engaged couple’s approach to honeymoons, according to Fortier.
“Unique aspects of www.macnairtravelandcruises.com include a first-time honeymoon registry to help our honeymoon couples take the dream honeymoon they desire,” Fortier says. “Friends and family can contribute money toward the couple’s honeymoon including airfare, resort accommodations, restaurants, spa treatments and excursions.”
“Couples detail out specific aspects of their honeymoon, creating a picture for their invited guests of how they envision their dream honeymoon. This free honeymoon registry allows guests to help fulfill a dream…a practical alternative to the traditional wedding registry,” he continues.
The Travel Institute (TI) reports that the average U.S. couple spends over $4,000 on their honeymoon…three times the average amount spent on other types of leisure travel…a Honeymoon Gift Registry can provide newlyweds with a honeymoon that might otherwise have been out of their budget.
Another new trend, according to TI, shows honeymooners locating and utilizing ‘traditional’ travel agents via the Internet. “Due to the significant emotional and financial investment involved in honeymoon planning, many Internet savvy couples are not utilizing large travel Web sites to book travel,” TI explains. “Instead, they’re seeking the services of ‘traditional’ travel agents who have made the successful transition from conventional to e-commerce business.”
Beyond its specialty in honeymoon travel, many clients select MacNair Travel & Cruises for its team’s expertise. To further personalize MacNair’s dream trip designers’ knowledge, a new section on the Website features each of the travel counselors and they provide their personal travel recommendations, Fortier adds. “This personalized feature helps a client connect with a dream trip designer they might not actually meet in person and these travel recommendations give insight to hot travel trends and might have a traveler consider a destination they might not have otherwise.”
Additional new Website features include a new American Express product titled Distinctive Escapes, which allows for clients to search for specials and exclusive offers from American Express preferred suppliers.
According to the Travel Industry Association of America’s (TIA) Travelers’ Use of the Internet, 2005 Edition, more than 80 percent of travelers who plan their vacations online also book reservations via online tools…this represents more than 64 million Americans who bought or reserved an airline ticket, hotel room, rental car or package tour online this past year - up from 70 percent the previous year.
With the increasing use of travelers booking their vacations online, Fortier explains the newly launched Website allows clients to research and book their own vacations online. “From cruises to land packages, a customer can plan out their vacations at their convenience if this is their preferred means of booking travel,” he adds. “Of course, a traveler can contact any team member via phone, email or in-person. We are meeting all travel needs.”
Since releasing new Website, Fortier says he has already seen an increase in online travel leads. This is partially due to its link share program. Sharing value-add resources with clients have multiple benefits: builds customer loyalty and dovetails with partners expanding reach. “When we link share with other companies, we get the advantage of their own key word advertisement and it brings our Web site up when clients do an Internet search,” he says. Types of partners to link share with include: books, weather, maps, currency, cell phone, Internet, travel advisories, passports and customs.