The most successful professionals today are the ones who create something. Resellers play on fixed margins; artists, builders and designers set their margins based on the value of the work, quality and craftsmanship. As luxury travel advisors, you have to start thinking like the latter set.
An architect would be the perfect profession to emulate. First, during an initial consultation you build a profile of your client and their travel requirements, preferences and budget, etc. Then you create a unique set of holiday blueprints using your expert ‘insider’ knowledge. Finally, your itinerary becomes concrete and your clients’ experiences and memories become as real as a building itself that stands tall and proud.
I recently attended the Vacation.com Conference in Las Vegas, where Ruthanne Terrero, Luxury Travel Advisor’s editorial director, was moderating a panel. Panel member Gary Davis of Platinum Travel said it best: “To be the most successful travel architect, remember these three words: Listen, Design, Deliver. If you follow this mindset, what you charge can be endless."
When thinking about Ireland, a wonderful hotel to put into your blueprints would be Ashford Castle. They recently expanded to include The Lodge at Ashford Castle. This country manor house is directly on the grounds of the estate and guests can use all the services of Ashford Castle as well. To mark this historic occasion, the Irish came to New York to celebrate and spread the word (I’m pictured here with Mari Atchason, owner of Travel Professionals). Also pictured here are General Manager Niall Rochford, Director of Sales and Marketing Paula Carol and Owner Gerry Barrett (in typical Irish fashion, an impromptu sing-along broke out soon after this photo was snapped—the Irish Idol went to Niall!).
But don’t worry if Niall doesn’t sing a song for your guests: Ashford’s Dungeon Bar hosts traditional Irish sing-alongs every evening.