Suppliers and destinations focusing on hygiene are making an impression on luxury travel advisors. During the temporary closures of hotels and destinations around the world, many brands and destinations management organizations have announced they are creating new and enhanced checklists for hygiene in order to welcome back guests safely. Offering a certification like this should see positive results, as 78 percent of advisors said these programs give them more confidence in the destination/property.
In a follow-up to our previous poll, Luxury Travel Advisor Barometer on the Return to Travel Survey, Luxury Travel Advisor set out to get a pulse on how the luxury travel industry was evolving over the course of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and how it will affect advisors’ businesses going forward.
Advisors also weighed in on how they'll deal with suppliers in the future. Which destination management companies (DMCs) that travel advisors work with is also up in the air. When we last asked, almost half the respondents said they would not do business again with certain DMCs because of their cancellation policies. This time around, 61 percent said that, in the future, if they were able to receive a percentage of their commission at the point of deposit, this would influence their choice of a DMC. As to what changes luxury travel advisors would like to see made by DMCs to better accommodate their business, common responses were: Commission protection (and commissions paid upon deposit); flexible cancellation policies and payment options; full refunds (and quickly); and more.
As for where clients are asking about, domestic and nearby destinations topped the list. Within the Continental U.S. received the most votes with 59 percent of advisors saying their clients were interested in such a trip. The Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska and Canada were also among the top seven responses. Interestingly, Europe was the second most popular response with 42 percent of advisors saying their clients were asking about a trip there.
The survey was conducted from May 6 – 18; over 500 travel advisors participated.