‘We want our travelers to experience a destination.’ — Elizabeth Moriarty, MLT Vacations vice president of product development
TW: Is your new NWA WorldVacations
Lifestyle Collection your fastest-growing
Moriarty: Our Lifestyle Collection is
our fastest-growing program. Each year,
more than $20 billion is spent on destination weddings and honeymoons, and the
luxury segment continues to be the fastest-growing segment in travel, thanks largely
to baby boomers
and the tremendous
amount of disposable income they
have. We recognized
there was a huge opportunity to capture
more of the high-end
and destination wed- Elizabeth Moriarty
ding business, so we Vice President
launched the NWA MLT Vacations
WorldVacations Lifestyle Collection program to grow these up-and-coming market segments.
With the strong demand for travel to
Cancun and the Riviera Maya, we are expanding our [Lifestyle Collection] Luxury
program to include Puerto Vallarta and
Riviera Nayarit in the fall of 2008.
These additional airline options now allow
us to offer all Mexico destinations on a
year-round basis with air access from virtually any U.S. origin city.
TW: How will MLT’s new product un-
der the Continental Vacations brand dif-
fer from what you currently offer through
NWA and Worry-Free, particularly in
Mexico? Will there be any new categories, product lines or strategies for selling
Mexico via the Continental brand that
you haven’t tried before with the other
Moriarty: Continental Airlines is the
largest U.S. carrier to Mexico; therefore,
MLT will expand its vacation package offerings to complement where Continental
Airlines offers air service to Mexico.
As an example, MLT will offer vacation
packages to Huatulco, Loreto, Isla Mujeres
and Oaxaca. MLT is already one of the largest tour operators to Mexico, so our core
program offerings and hotel lineup are already very competitive and will support the
expanded opportunities that Continental
Airlines Vacations will offer.
TW: Both your NWA WorldVacations
and your Worry-Free Vacations brands
have expanded their package offerings to
Cancun and Puerto Vallarta this summer.
Why those destinations in particular?
Moriarty: Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto
Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are MLT’s top-selling Mexico destinations.
These destinations are very appealing to
our customers because of the great value
they offer and the incredible diversity in
their product offerings.
TW: What changes have you made to
Moriarty: MLT Vacations has expanded
its product offerings to focus more on the
experiential aspects of travel.
We want our travelers to experience a
TW: How does the new agreement for
increased access to SkyTeam partners
work? Does this mean that MLT will sell
seats only on Sky Team partner flights
that are Northwest codeshares, or will you
be selling them on all Sky Team flights to
Moriarty: MLT is not limited to only
selling seats on SkyTeam partner flights
that are Northwest codeshares.
In addition to [our] being the exclusive
tour operator on Northwest to Mexico, we
have agreements with Aeromexico, Alaska,
Continental and Delta to offer their scheduled air service on the NWA WorldVacations brand.
So our travel agent partners are able to
offer more choices to their customers by
booking Sky Team partners’ scheduled air
service on the NWA WorldVacations brand.