Jean Newman Glock of JNG Worldwide has become so successful in the social networking arena, she’s no longer selling individual travel; rather she’s consulting for other travel advisors and suppliers, as well as with the Signature Travel Network. In fact, Klout, the leading measure of social media influence, recently named Glock as one of the top 10 leading experts and influencers on the topic of travel worldwide.
When we spoke to Glock for her October 2013 profile, she was curating luxury experiences to clients (think private galleries in Shanghai and after-hour visits to Versailles), using the connections and skills she developed as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s travel department where she worked earlier in her career for 17 years. In her new career path, she’s still traveling and sharing her knowledge of the world and travel via blogging and travel writing, and of course, social networking.
“I feel that content is king when selling travel,” Glock tells Luxury Travel Advisor. “Travel offers, pictures of hotel room beds or cabin dimensions on cruise ships all have a place in promotions, but on social media it is the story of a destination or what you can experience there that ultimately sells. This trend continues to accelerate as most travelers are now on social media and sharing their own stories. I have been fortunate in my career with the Smithsonian to travel to almost every country in the world with the best experts. I love learning their stories, the history and experience of digging deeper into a culture,” says Glock. “I feel privileged to now share all those with a wider audience.”
Glock has traveled to Russia five times over the past two years. “The enigma that has always been Russia continues to amaze,” says Glock. One of her favorite sites there is Alexander Palace, birthplace and final home of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family. The Park of the Fallen Heroes in Moscow is another favorite.
An Around the World private jet trip with TCS World Travel was another recent jaunt, staying exclusively at Four Seasons hotels. “Highlights included a private dinner in a Romanov palace that had been virtually closed since the revolution and has changed little,” says Glock. Other memorable experiences were a private dinner on the secluded part of the Great Wall and a visit to the private apartments of the Emperor in the Forbidden City with a Sotheby’s expert on decorative arts.
This globetrotter is now writing a book on Gilded Age hotels, including properties travelers can still visit today. The sneak peak she gave us includes some of her favorite hotels, such as the Grande Bretagne in Athens, Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg and The Ritz and Hotel de Crillon in Paris. “Perhaps my best Gilded age hotel moment to date was at the Hotel du Louvre in Paris, where I stayed in the same suite that Pissarro stayed in in 1898 and from which he painted his iconic painting of ‘Belle Epoque Paris’,” says Glock.