How to position yourself as a luxury travel agent

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In the realm of travel, there exists a segment that caters to the discerning tastes and preferences of travelers seeking extraordinary experiences. Luxury travel agents are experts in curating exceptional journeys, crafting personalized itineraries, and arranging lavish accommodations and transportation for their clients.

In this blog post, we will delve into the area of luxury travel and explore the distinct features that set luxury travel agents apart from regular travel agents.

To position yourself as a luxury travel advisor, you must up-level your services in order to attract the kind of high-paying client you wish to have.  To do this, you will need to know your fair share about luxury destinations, concierge transportation and accommodations, and even explicit ways to communicate with your clients.

Unveiling Luxury Destinations

Luxury travel agents possess an intimate knowledge of exclusive destinations around the world. These destinations go beyond popular tourist spots and embrace hidden gems that offer exclusivity, privacy, and unparalleled beauty. From private islands and secluded resorts to opulent city escapes and cultural retreats, luxury travel agents have a deep understanding of the unique experiences that luxury-seeking travelers crave.

By staying informed about emerging luxury destinations and maintaining connections with local insiders, luxury travel agents can offer their clients VIP access and treatment, as well as curated experiences that appeal to their refined tastes.

luxury travel, seaside view from the top

Booking Luxurious Transportation

When it comes to transportation, luxury travel agents are adept at securing the most lavish options available. They have connections to a wide array of luxury transportation services, including private jets, chauffeured limousines, and chartered yachts. By collaborating with reputable providers, luxury travel agents can ensure that their clients experience the epitome of high-class comfort, convenience, and rarity while traveling.

These agents go above and beyond by arranging seamless transfers, personalized itineraries, and private tours — all of which contribute to a truly opulent travel experience.

Curating Exquisite Staying Accommodations

Luxury travel agents excel at curating exceptional accommodations that embody luxury and sophistication. From boutique hotels and luxury resorts to private villas and elite retreats, they possess a keen eye for selecting properties that offer exquisite amenities, breathtaking views, and impeccable service.

These agents consider their clients’ preferences, such as spa facilities, gourmet dining options, private pools, or stunning architectural design, to ensure a tailored experience that exceeds expectations.

By leveraging their extensive networks and partnerships with organizations like Virtuoso, luxury travel agents can secure specialized upgrades, superior amenities, and VIP treatments for their clients, enhancing the overall travel experience.

Embarking on Luxury Cruises and Chartered Yachts

Luxury travel agents are well-versed in the world of luxury cruises and chartered yachts, offering their clients the opportunity to explore the wonder of the seas in the utmost style and comfort. They have access to an extensive portfolio of luxury cruise lines and yacht charters, enabling them to match their clients with the most suitable options based on their natural inclinations and desires.

From elegant ocean liners to intimate river cruises, and from private yacht charters to expedition cruises, luxury travel agents can tailor these experiences to their clients’ desires, ensuring memorable moments amidst the serenity of the water.

Sending Luxurious Notices and Updates to Clientele

Luxury travel agents understand the importance of maintaining an exceptional level of service even before their patrons embark on their journeys. They go the extra mile by sending luxurious notices and updates to their clientele, showcasing their attention to detail and commitment to providing a truly bespoke experience.

These notices may include customized welcome packets, beautifully designed itineraries, and exclusive invitations to special events or activities at the destination. By creating a sense of anticipation and excitement, luxury travel agents set the stage for an unforgettable travel experience right from the beginning.

luxury travel, remote accommodations

Now that we have looked at what luxury travel agents can do for their clients, let us take it a little further and highlight some advice and tips from luxury travel experts.

Need some top-rate advice from a top luxury travel consultant?  Keep reading!

Kristin Chambers, the founder of Boston’s Travellustre, specifically focuses on the types of “ultraluxe” clients who are willing to splurge on their travels (think spending $100,000 to $2 million per week!).  She shares with up-and-coming advisors that they should have deep destination knowledge.

Chambers says, “The definition of luxury is different for everyone, but basically, it means forward-thinking service and truly authentic, designed itineraries. None of this mass market stuff.”

So, taking advantage of Seminars at Sea and even familiarization trips (FAM Trips) are a great way to gain more in-depth knowledge of the destinations you market to your client.  Try organizing an entire Yacht Club ship for a family vacation; rent out a palace for a special dinner with type-tier musical performances and entertainment; host luxurious mountaintop “invite-only” parties and celebrations; or, even try buying out a full Caribbean resort for a week!

Arrange one-of-a-kind food and wine tastings, and always be sure to follow up with your clients post-trip.  Don’t be intimated by “ultraluxe” clients.  As long as you are dedicated to planning an incredible trip for them, the sky truly is the limit.

Follow these tips for more success on your luxe travel advisor quest.

1. Do not be afraid to market yourself to your clients – and suppliers.

Whether you are a beginner or have plenty of experience, marketing yourself is key to long-term success.  Georgia Schley Ritchie shares, “Take a little time every day to reach out to someone with an idea. Or, send a great email blast with special deals. There are lots of ways to stay in front of clients and keep you in the front of their minds.” She also notes that she has generated so much business simply through networking within her local community.

Marketing yourself to your suppliers is equally important. Attending networking events and conferences can set you up for success and aid in giving you the confidence needed to reach your ideal client.

Yes, you need to know how and where to travel, but suppliers help you make the arrangements to get there.  Establishing (and maintaining) positive relationships with them should always be one of your top goals.

In return, your client will have a far better experience because of your relationship with a supplier who knows — and prefers to work with — you.

2. Be sure to find the right agency; your peers’ experience can unlock more opportunities and provide a wealth of wisdom.

A boss that can empower and encourage you will change the way you sell and close deals.  Additionally, your fellow colleagues can also extend your knowledge and even refer you to clients.  Working with agencies such as Pickles Travel Network can provide you with added resources and training to sharpen your travel advising skills and help you build your brand.

luxury travel, reflective resort

3. Travel, travel, travel.

As a travel advisor, you really are “a tourist and student of the world.” Return to your favorite destinations, again and again, to build more knowledge, mingle with the locals, and even find out about up-and-coming attractions.  Learn the language.  Learn the customs.  Learn the lifestyle.

When a client asks if you have traveled to a particular place, being able to not only say “Yes!” but also provide first-hand knowledge will give you the expert credibility luxury travel clients expect.

4. Be creative when you work with your clients.

Invite them to ongoing themed lunches or send welcome gifts and room upgrades to their hotels.  Do more than “just book.” One expert says to “get things for people that they didn’t know were possible and to strive for excellence in everything you do.”

Ask questions and then listen to your client in order to give one-of-a-kind experiences instead of “copy and paste” ones.  Offer insight your clients may not have even thought about.

Tailor each vacation to individual clients, and you will set yourself apart from other advisors.

Luxury travel agents possess a deep understanding of the refined tastes and preferences of their travelers. They excel in curating extraordinary experiences, sourcing luxurious transportation and accommodations, and providing personalized attention to detail throughout the entire travel journey.

By embracing the realm of luxury destinations, lavish transportation, exclusive accommodations, and indulgent experiences, luxury travel agents elevate travel to a new level of opulence, create memories that last a lifetime, and establish long-term relationships with clients who do not mind spending “the big bucks.” When high-end clients know their travel designer will always aim to impress and leave no stone unturned, they will view you as a luxury travel expert and most likely refer you to their inner circle.

 

Meet Pickles Travel Network: The Host Agency That Makes It Easy to Start and Scale Your Travel Business

Whether you’ve just started your travel agent journey, or you’ve been on it… Pickles Travel Network has the tools and resources to help grow your business. Unlike other host agencies, we believe in letting our members choose what works best for their business. Pickles Travel Network allows you to choose your commission rate, along with whether or not you want to charge planning fees. As a member, you’ll receive instant access to our list of suppliers, several marketing platforms and monthly coaching/trainings. 

IATA | CLIA Membership

PTN IATAN code: 45769253

PTN CLIA number: 00032299

When you enroll with suppliers, you must use PTN’s codes to receive a commission from us. Want to sign up for your own CLIA or IATA numbers for exclusive travel benefits? See below.

Get your own IATA/IATAN ID Card:

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The IATA/IATAN ID Card is the industry-standard credential to identify bona fide travel professionals. Key benefits include access to concessionary incentives from industry suppliers. Just added, the IATA MemberPerks program provides cardholders with daily savings at over 300,000 merchants across North America.

To be eligible, you must be registered with IATAN under PTN’s IATA number 45769253, working a minimum of 20 hours per week and earning a minimum of $5,000 per annum in commissions. You’ll need to send PTN a support ticket asking for approval. Once approved, we will send you a PRIN # to allow you to register with IATAN and ask for an ID card.

Get your own CLIA EMBARK ID:

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Obtain a CLIA EMBARC ID for travel discounts and FAM (Familiarization) trips. Join CLIA as an Individual Agent Member, under Pickles Travel Network CLIA #00032299.

Once you’ve registered, submit a support ticket to let us know, and we will approve your registration.