Meet Sally van Ruth, Travel Designer at Kaleidoscopic Travel in South Australia.
What does your job entail?
As a mobile Travel Designer, I work with my valued clients to create the perfect itinerary. It is important for me to develop strong supplier relationships so that I can recommend holidays that are seamless and filled with unique experiences, thus ensuring my clients’ expectations are exceeded and they return to me in the future. I consistently provide a high level of service before, during and after their travels, in order to develop an ongoing professional relationship.
In addition to working with my clients, I ensure I am always attending our internal monthly supplier training days, and conferences like Luxperience, so that I am consistently learning and providing my clients with the most up to date information and recommendations. I also endeavour to conduct, or participate in, our Kaleidoscopic Travel group events to showcase our supplier’s products to hand selected clients to provide opportunities for them to be introduced to new products and experiences.
How do you position Kaleidoscopic Travel agencies in the world of luxury travel?
Kaleidoscopic Travel recognises that in order to provide the highest levels of service to its luxury clients, travel designers need to be mobile, to meet high-end clients discreetly, in locations and at times that suit them. The Travel Designers selected to join Kaleidoscopic Travel are highly experienced professionals who have travelled extensively and are dedicated to their clients. We recognise that to place ourselves in a world class position, we need to have the best travel designers, training and supplier relationships to deliver the highest levels of service and product.
What type of experiences are your clients seeking?
Our clients are generally well-travelled, have seen the iconic tourist attractions, and are looking for authentic, local experiences that can’t be selected online. They are looking for recommendations from their Kaleidoscopic Travel Designer on bespoke itineraries that they wouldn’t necessarily have thought of themselves. They may start the consultation looking for a trip with accommodation and flights, and end up booking a fully streamlined itinerary with a locally operated supplier who will look after them from the time they arrive to the moment they fly home. The itinerary is usually filled with new experiences that have been tailored to their hobbies and interests.
Are there any particular markets you are focusing on?
We are led by our client’s needs. Our focus is on the professional person, aged between 35-60. However, each individual Travel Designer has the freedom to develop their own unique client base. We aim to educate ourselves widely so we can provide our clients with a truly independent offering that meets their individual requirements.
What changes have you seen recently or are anticipating within the industry?
As the new wave of retirees enter the marketplace we are finding a well-travelled client who is looking for more physical activity in their itineraries, such as walks, treks and cycling, as well as more traditional luxury trips like river cruising, small ship cruising and small group touring. We are also finding our clients are interested in taking their extended families on multi-generation holidays, worldwide.
The professional client is seeking a one to two-week holiday that allow them time to connect with their families, partners and themselves, from luxury beach breaks, to adventurous itineraries, through Asia, Europe or the USA. The emerging trend for this generation as they move from their 40s to 50s will be spiritual, physical and adventure experiences where the traveller, whether solo or in a group, will seek to understand more of themselves and the natural environment via the catalyst of travel.
Where do you find your travel inspiration?
At Kaleidoscopic Travel we love to see innovation in travel product that creates sustainability for the location it is servicing, includes local guides to create more local employment, has unique accommodation styles, and provides our clients with an experience they wouldn’t have received by visiting the destination with an online airfare and accommodation booking.
We love working with suppliers who are as passionate about these things as we are, such as Abercrombie and Kent, Secrets of India, and all of the luxury resorts who have sought sustainability credentials. We have a strong love of the world and the environment.