To stand out in a world full of consumer-direct booking websites, Rosalena Huarcaya — an independent advisor affiliated with Cadence in La Jolla, CA— has turned to creative marketing, which nets her more than $1 million in sales a year.
“I’m constantly thinking about how to differentiate my company from the competition,” she says. “To that end, it’s important to understand who you are competing against. In my case, I’m competing against the, ‘I can do this myself’ mentality.”
Huarcaya says, “No traveler is alike and no trip is the same,” so discovering what’s going to “resonate with their [clients’] style and taste” is the forefront of her objectives.
With Cadence’s marketing team, Huarcaya focuses on customizing her marketing based on her clients’ preferences. Through Cadence’s diagnostics, they can pinpoint the brands, destinations and types of travel her clients are interested in. It also helps to travel, says Huarcaya, who hits the road often, customizing her own fams to experience things as her clients would.
Selling family travel is a natural for this luxury travel advisor; she’s been exploring the world with her two children since they were in diapers. “That creates a special bond with my clients; I understand what’s important when traveling with infants to teenagers,” she says.
Social media plays a role in her marketing.“I also enjoy keeping in touch with my clients via Instagram @luxurytravelgal and Facebook,” she says. “The travel agent community has an awareness challenge. Many people don’t know what we do and how we bring value and experience to their travels. Marketing helps me tell that story.”
Huarcaya has a quarterly travel segment on Fox 5 San Diego’s morning news show, which literally puts her in front of her audience.
Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Huarcaya has been traveling since her childhood. After she married her high school sweetheart — a Peruvian World Surfing Champion — they moved to Carlsbad, CA, where she worked as a bilingual aide at an elementary school.
After meeting someone who was attending travel school, Huarcaya knew this was the field she was meant to be in. She spent two years working for an air consolidator, then in a store-front travel agency. Five years ago, Huarcaya decided to become an independent travel consultant. In total, she has been in the business for 20 years.
“And I have never been happier,” she says.
Huarcaya has clients all over the world with a focus on North America and South America. The majority of her clients are well-traveled Generation Xers, who usually take one big international trip annually as well as smaller vacations — think ski and beach trips — scattered throughout the year.
Due to her upbringing, Huarcaya says that custom luxury tours to South America are a dominant portion of her sales. “I’m passionate about luxury lodges and resorts that immerse you in the local culture as well as provide value,” she notes. “I specialize in finding those special hotels and resorts that are so fantastic you want to give yourself an extra day or two to just enjoy the hotel itself!”
Huarcaya just visited Colombia. “I found both Bogota and Cartagena incredibly sophisticated and chic and they complement each other beautifully,” she says. “Both cities offer a perfect combination of city life and local culture, along with amazing shopping, art, restaurants and night life.”
When she can, she even brings her one-year-old Cavalier King Charles, Kingsley, on vacation with her and her family. Clients can follow Kingsley on Instagram @luxurytravelpup.