It’s been 40 years since Jimmy Buffett’s hit song made Margaritaville a household name, and the company that bears its name will be celebrating all year long. And as part of the celebration, insiders say, the company is mulling a broad rewards program for travel agents.
At their colorful booth at the New York Times Travel show in Manhattan last week, Margaritaville chief marketing officer Tamara Baldanza-Dekker told TMR that in 2016 “each of our properties had its own program for rewarding travel agents; our Hollywood property, for example, has a License to Chill program that offers gift cards and overnight stays for top-producing agents.
TMR editor Cheryl Rosen at the Margaritaville booth during the New York Times Travel show.
For 2016 it offered prizes and bonuses starting at $50 for 50 room nights, and promised that agents selling 1,000 room nights “will qualify as a member of a unique program that will be launched at the end of 2016.”
Now Margaritaville is “putting together a program that will be launched nationwide,” she said. “Our hospitality division has been growing so rapidly that we’re taking a step back to understand how valuable the travel agent channel is. We’re in the preliminary stages of looking at what we can do to work together to help travel agents spread the word about Margaritaville.”
Besides the company’s restaurants and consumer products, the hotel arm now includes nine properties open and three under construction. Coming in early 2018 will be a new mixed-use 300-acre property in Orlando, with a 12-acre water park, condo units, and 200,000 square feet of “festive retail space” across from Animal Kingdom—“you can own, rent, or spend the night.”