“Digital nomad” Calvin Kanoho, working from his home office or a hotel room, organizes adventure travel with a focus on supporting indigenous cultures. Some of his favorite experiences include “a tea lesson at a Berber home in Morocco, exploring Colca Canyon to see the giant Andean Condor in Peru, attending the Merrie Monarch festival in Hilo to watch traditional hula and listening to the sounds of Fado in the Alfama of Portugal.”
Working at Casto Travel, he says his customers generally are C-level executives and entrepreneurs and their families. “Many of my clients are million-milers, passionate about food and wine and adventure,” says Kanoho.
In addition to adventure travel, he has gotten into combining his customers’ leisure travel with volunteer work. So far, he has “planned trips for a couple donating bikes to girls in Zambia, yoga instructors studying in Pune, India and a doctor-training healthcare professionals in Malawi.
Kanoho’s other niche is air travel points redemption and ensuring a great jet experience. He explains this specific focus succinctly: “Flying there is the beginning of the vacation.”
Kanoho describes this focus and commitment to his clients as one of the secrets to his success. “I am the personal assistant and go-to expert for my clients,” he says. Kanoho understands how big of an investment travel can be and, so, he says he provides the same care a financial advisor would give to a client’s portfolio. He looks to maximize credit card benefits and loyalty programs and works with experts from around the globe to plan his customers’ experiences.
Raised in Kauai, Kanoho began his education and career in Hawaii, where he worked in the hospitality business, working at hotels. Following a move to California, Kanoho joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Before transitioning to the travel business, Kanoho’s contact with the elite clientele at his jobs led to a brief stint as an estate manager. “As I learned more about the world of luxury travel, I became fascinated with the adventures and the service, which transitioned my career into the travel industry full-time,” Kanoho tells us.
After training with a travel concierge company in 2009, Kanoho has spent the past nine years as a travel advisor. The last three of those years have been with Casto Travel, where he brings in an average of $1.5 million in revenue. He counts himself fortunate to be working at Casto. Not only does he get to share his ideas and think outside of the box, he says, he’s working with a team with extensive knowledge that can share its ideas with him.
Right now, Kanoho views social media as an avenue for future business growth. “I’m engaging, following and collaborating with my social network on Facebook and Instagram,” he tells us. He’s also looking into the retainer market, hoping to create a membership program.