What does your job entail?
I arrange travel for very high-end clients; hedge fund CEOs, entertainers and CEOs of other major corporations. Most of the travel I confirm are FITs, with some touring for the mid-level clients I have. I research the destination, research the best hotels for my clients based on their personal preferences, recommend the best guides in many destinations and suggest the sites to see. I may book private planes and yachts, make all their dinner reservations and any other services that are required from the hotels. I will recommend and confirm cruises, mostly smaller luxury cruise ships. I look after a lot of family travel and one or two destination weddings.
How do you position Protravel International agencies in the world of luxury travel?
Protravel is in the envious position of dealing with the highest level of luxury. This is epitomised by Protravel generally having the highest average daily rates at the luxury hotels as well as cruise lines. With regard to air fares, the majority of our air sales are in the front of the plane.
What are the most popular destinations for your clients?
The season is the main determinant as to where the emphasis is. In summer, it is more to Europe and Asia while in colder months they head to the warmer climates. Hawaii gets a big play year-round and in our colder months the South American and South Pacific markets see greater sales.
Where do your clients want to go next?
Now that the Middle East is relatively quiet politically, Israel and Egypt are incredibly busy. Turkey is starting to make a comeback because the political atmosphere there is uneventful. In the Caribbean, clients generally want what is new and different. Last year, it was places like the newly refurbished Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla that came back on the scene. The price point is not of concern for our clients and many times the higher the entry level room price the more in demand a resort becomes.
Where do you find your travel inspiration?
I am inspired when I speak to my clients. When they call me for a new destination, one that I may not be so familiar with, it allows me the opportunity to do research on the city or country. I become excited for the family as there is so much to see and experience in this world, I almost live the experience through the client. Overall, the years I have been in travel I have been fortunate to travel lots myself. There are still so many destinations to see. I also love it when I find a good tour operator who has excellent agents; they inspire me with their knowledge and enthusiasm.