Classic Collection reveals further growth plans at trade event

Classic Collection revealed plans to continue the expansion of its portfolio at an update for agents and its first trade awards ceremony on Thursday.

Speaking at the day-long event at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club on the outskirts of Birmingham, chief executive Oliver Garner insisted the struggles of the past two years had not slowed down growth plans.

Garner told trade partners: “We have not stopped our expansion. We have added long-haul destinations to our portfolio alongside the existing short-haul destinations and we’re very excited about how they have started to trade.

“We launched the new destinations in January and we haven’t stopped plugging away.”

Classic now has 37 countries in its portfolio and a total of 90 destinations, with more than 1,000 hotels.

Alex Gavalda, director of product and commercial, said the company has strong buying power in 14 key European destinations, with plans to add more.

During his presentation he told agents he wanted Classic to be their “one-stop shop” and “go-to partner”.

In addition to more destinations, he said additional plans included introducing more hotels for couples, solo travellers and families, recommended private itineraries and more flexibility through enhanced technology.

Speaking after receiving national media coverage this week for taking Ukrainian refugees into his home, director of agency sales and marketing Si Morris-Green said Classic was “investing in agents” in 2022.

He revealed plans to host more than 150 agents overseas in Madeira, Italy, Spain, Greece and long-haul destinations before the end of the year, and told guests the firm had also invested heavily in marketing and brand, with a rebrand of both Classic Collection and Classic Package Holidays on the horizon.

Following the updates from executives, guests at the event heard an inspirational talk from guest speaker, multiple Paralympic gold medallist Sir Lee Pearson.

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