Right out of college, Jonny Drubel sought a career in entertainment. He tried production, casting, on-camera work — but nothing stuck; he wasn’t fulfilled. Drubel asked himself, “What makes you happy? What are you good at?”
“The answer was travel,” he tells Luxury Travel Advisor.
It was an industry he was relatively familiar with: Growing up, his mother was a client of Leslie Locatelli of Frosch Travel in Houston. Drubel adds he was reading travel publications when he was as young as 14 years old. Just over two years ago, he took the plunge and joined Protravel International’s Beverly Hills office, where he’s been building his business since.
Drubel’s niche is high-end and ultra-high-end leisure, he tells us. He also tries to sell a lot of cruise, something fairly uncommon for a 30-year-old (#unique, he says). As a lifelong traveler, Drubel says he understands the high-end clients he services, adding that he’s stayed at the properties and visited the destinations he sells.
Without spilling the names of his clients, Drubel says, “I love the people I work with and am lucky to be at a point where I can turn away those who are not a good match.”
Drubel adds that he has been very successful in converting travelers who didn’t use advisors into believers. “I have been able to build a client list of people who have not thought of using a travel agent before but, now, could never imagine booking travel any other way.”
What sets him apart in the industry, he tells us, is his dedication to learning the Sabre GDS. “I knew that if I spoke the language and learned the coding, I would be able to better service my clients while gaining the respect of others in the industry,” he says.
He also credits Protravel for his success. “There is a real sense of camaraderie within the group,” he says. “We all share tips, lend helping hands and truly want each other to shine in the eyes of our clients.”
What’s the latest from Drubel? Recently, he launched The TravelWell Group. “I hope that TravelWell will become a brand that high-end travelers want to book with while high-end sellers will want to sell to,” he says of his aspirations. Down the road, he looks to bring on additional talented advisors who can help turn TravelWell into “the go-to agency for the well-traveled.”
Recent and future travels include the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Berlin, 45 Park Lane in London, Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, and the Four Seasons Resort Marrakech.
Looking to visit Los Angeles (Drubel’s hometown)? He recommends Hotel Bel-Air, the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.