Summer in the City: Mandarin Oriental flew its GMs from around the world to Manhattan in June to meet with luxury travel advisors, and we took the opportunity to find out what’s going on in their world. See our report, pages 38-40.
I’ve got a few new ways for you to pitch travel to clients. The goal, as usual, is to get them to celebrate life with loved ones by going somewhere great, but perhaps these three new trip categories will make your delivery a bit fresher.
The Rite of Passage Trip: Bring your 20-something children to a region of the world and cover it from A to Z. I picked this up from Amanda Hyndman, general manager of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, who attended our roundtable discussion in Manhattan in June. “A lot of American families are bringing what I call ‘grown-up kids,’ in their early 20s, and they are doing half of Southeast Asia. It’s almost like a rite of passage for the parents to show them this part of the world,” Amanda told us.
Sending kids off to see the world after college is not new; in fact, it’s quite a traditional practice in some parts of the world. But I like “the rite of passage” moniker, the thought that a grand trip can be viewed as a bridge from childhood to adulthood. And we all know travel can do just that.
The YOLO Vacation: We’ve talked about YOLO before (You Only Live Once), but why not pitch YOLO vacations as a practice? People immediately get the point and it will appeal to anyone in any age group. Remember, YOLO trips should also be over the top and include only the most iconic hotels, since who knows what tomorrow will bring?
The Hail-Mary-Moon: I just picked this one up from a piece in The New York Times that focused on couples trying to save their marriages by taking a last ditch vacation to rekindle their long-lost mutual bond. Or, as Harriet Lerner, a psychologist and author of “Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up,” who was cited in the article calls it, “a save-cation.”
How great would it be to do a general promotion touting a “Hail-Mary-Moon?” I’ll bet it would touch a chord with a number of your clients. (I’d recommend doing a general blast rather than surmising which of your clients appear to be on the verge of a break-up and targeting them directly.) If you get any feelers, remind your clients that save-cations have to be luxurious and fabulous. This is no time to cut corners. It’s their last chance!
You’ll have plenty of new luxury stock to offer these travelers; as I write this, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has announced a new CEO. That Allen Smith is currently head of Prudential Real Estate Investors might just be a nod to the fact that Four Seasons is looking to expand its footprint. Smith grew Prudential’s global presence quite dramatically while he was there. Let’s see what happens next.
The other hot piece of news is that Peninsula wants to open a hotel in London, hooray! With Rosewood setting its sights on the city as well, we’ll soon have a new array of luxe London hotels to drop in on. There’s plenty going on at sea as well; Regent has finally announced a new ship and it sounds as if it’s going to be pretty amazing. Add to that Seabourn’s new spa suites and Crystal’s revamp of the Serenity’s Penthouses and Lido Deck and your clients have at least three brand new reasons to cruise. This issue is filled with new luxury suites, hotels and other cruise news, so dig in; and while you’re at it, please say congratulations to Patrizio Cipollini, who our readers voted the General Manager of the Year in our Awards of Excellence program.