Classic Collection to push Africa holidays as chief hails success of long-haul sales

The chief executive of Classic Collection has hailed the success of the operator’s long-haul product and pledged to invest more in marketing Africa holidays within the trade.

Andy Freeth, who was tasked with growing Classic Collection’s long-haul growth strategy when he joined the business in November 2022, said he is “really happy” with how agents have responded to selling long-haul, with particular success in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

He said the best selling destinations include the Maldives, Barbados and Dubai which has prompted the operator to create additional marketing materials to support more bookings in those areas.

More: Classic Collection hints at cruise portfolio launch

“We launched our long-haul product at the end of 2019, just three months before the pandemic hit,” Freeth told Travel Weekly during the operator’s third annual conference.

“We started getting great results in 2022 and our average booking value for a long-haul holiday is £13,000 so we’re really happy with the quality of the enquiries you’re giving us.

“We’re also keen to attract more lower-end bookings worth about £7,000 so we’ll need agents’ help to get to that side of the market.”

Freeth went on to say the operator would like to grow its Africa sales, as it has not given the continent “enough air time” compared to other destinations.

He pledged to invest more in both marketing materials and time to support the trade selling Africa holidays.

“We don’t think we’ve given Africa enough air time from a marketing perspective so we need to turn up the volume and raise awareness of the amazing product offering in the continent,” said Freeth

“It’s quite difficult to get traction in a market which we’re not typically associated with so we need to create more digital marketing materials for agents so we become front of mind when people think about Africa.”

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