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p16 lux seminar dec5 2/12/08 17:52 Page 16
news conference report
ttgluxury seminar
November 26 ■ InterContinental London Park Lane
More than 80 luxury travel
agents attended last week’s
Luxury objectives
inaugural seminar at the
InterContinental Park Lane
evolving – Kuoni
Hotel in London. The day’s
VALUE for money must be at the forefront of
central theme was ‘Capturing
agents’ sales strategies next year, according to
Luxury 2009 hotspots
value in the luxury market’.
Kuoni’s sales director.
Manuel Mascarenhas believes luxury customers
Martin Ferguson reports
will be more cautious with holiday spend next
St Lucia
year and will be anxious not to get “ripped off”.
Bali (book early)
“The market is in slowdown, but there is still a
East Africa
lot of business out there,” he said.
“We have to provide our customers with as Kuoni’s Manuel Mascarenhas predicts next year’s big sellers
much information as possible and reassure them
they’re receiving value for money. Freedom and time were found to be most
“Luxury holidays are becoming less to do with important to the luxury traveller.
conventional five-star products and more to do More than half of the research group said they
with the experience.” would spend less on travel this year. Nearly 35%
Mascarenhas said to sell the concept of luxury said they would curb spending in 2009.
agents must “capture the essence of luxury and “The notion of a luxury holiday is evolving,
engage with its emotional element”. with most under-24s saying brand names were
After surveying the general public, Kuoni twice as important as service, while most
found that luxury travel was “a combination of a over-65s said service was twice as important
state of mind and exclusivity”. as product,” Mascarenhas added.
‘Beware of mainstream agent rivals’
MAINSTREAM retail travel agents could try to “It’s inevitable that some agents may look to
tap into the lucrative luxury sector next year in the luxury sector to supplement their business,”
a bid to find new revenue streams during the she said. “But, ultimately, our clients are savvy
economic downturn. and realise that when spending substantial
Luxury agents will have to be on their guard, amounts of money on a holiday they need the
but Amanda Matthews, managing director of security of dealing with the experts.”
Designer Travel, believes there is no substitute for Nick Newbury, co-founder of Original Travel,
experience when it comes to selling luxury breaks. said “over-delivering” would be key next year.
NEW YEAR BASH: Woody Allen is to host a
New Year’s party at InterContinental’s new
Give customers flexibility, advises ITC
resort in south-west Spain. The actor was
invited to help celebrate at La Torre golf CONSUMERS who ditched their travel agents opting to use the web to book their holiday. But
resort in Murcia, which officially opens on last year to book their own holidays online will many of them come calling once they run into
December 15. Lesley Cherfils, area director return to trusted agents. problems. As an industry we need to capitalise on
for sales and marketing, said forward Jennifer Atkinson, chief executive of ITC this and be proud of our role as intermediaries.”
bookings through the trade had been Classics, said clients did not understand the Atkinson said loyalty worked both ways. She
strong. The site has three 18-hole courses pitfalls involved with booking their own holiday. advised agents to be flexible with customers who
designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus “We’ve had some experience of faithful clients were having to tighten their belts.
16 05.12.2008
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