Each year, Luxury Travel Advisor introduces its Trendsetters, in which we highlight top advisors from the most prestigious luxury travel agencies across the United States and beyond. Now, to feature those who help make the Trendsetters the rock stars they are, we’re debuting Luxury Travel Advisor’s Road Warriors.
All of our 2019 Road Warriors are suppliers who were selected by our most recent batch of Trendsetters. Here we have Rebecca Gruyer, director of sales North America at The Bürgenstock Selection.
Handling segment, leisure and MICE travel for Hôtel Royal Savoy Lausanne, Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & THE SPA and the Bürgenstock Resort above Lake Lucerne, Gruyer covers a lot of ground for the brand. To keep up with demand and to keep advisors informed, she tells us that she’s on the road 40 percent of the time, depending on the season. Gruyer conducts various types of sales calls, hosts office presentations, attends trade shows, does sales blitzes and meets with independent contractors one-on-one. “I think a mix of these activities keeps it interesting and allows me to have a different schedule every week,” she says.
Recently, Gruyer says, she’s begun going on sales calls with industry friends who represent other hotels or airlines. On working with suppliers who represent other brands, Gruyer says it’s a great way to share contacts (“We are lucky to be in an industry where we work hard for business but are also surrounded by wonderful people who are happy to share,” she adds); when both offer impressive products, there isn’t much to worry about.
Gruyer tells Luxury Travel Advisor she’s fond of working with airline partners as it gives the advisor comprehensive knowledge of the hotel, the destination and even how to get there.
It’s not just about the product, however. It’s about the relationships. Some of the best way to forge close bonds? FAM trips, Gruyer says. “In my current position, it became personal to bring the advisors to my home country (of Switzerland), and especially Lausanne. Every time I visit at the Royal Savoy Lausanne with advisors, I explain that my parents still live a five-minute walk from the hotel. I’ve been asked many times if they could join our FAM group for dinner. For me, this is simply incredible and shows what our industry really is: a people business!”
Those bonds go beyond the workplace, we’re told. To note: An agency in Washington, D.C. threw Gruyer a baby shower last year.
“Being reactive and honest are two important components that I see in my role,” Gruyer tells us. “Luxury [travel] advisors create memories for their clients, and they need to work with reliable people—just as reliable as a Swiss watch.”
Since she was young, Gruyer tells Luxury Travel Advisor that she knew she wanted to be in the travel industry. She got her feet wet when she moved from Switzerland to San Francisco in 2009 and began working at a DMC (she also met her now-husband there!). In 2012, she took a sales position with Relais & Châteaux after a move to New York City, and in May of 2018, Gruyer took a position with The Bürgenstock Selection and headed back home.
On eventually finding her way back to Switzerland (where Hôtel Royal Savoy is so close to her parents and just across the street from her primary school), Gruyer says, “It was meant to be.”