Editor's Letter: Five Things to Know in 2023

Business for 2023 is back on all cylinders but we’ve all got a lot of work to do to ensure the infrastructure of the luxury travel industry will endure for years to come. Here are five important insights I’ve culled from recent conversations with industry colleagues.

Suppliers: Full Transparency on Sustainability is a Must: Data shows luxury clients will pay more if a hotel or supplier practices sustainability in their business operations. However, how that sustainability ethos is executed has to be fully explained to the advisor and the client. A mere switch from plastic to paper straws isn’t going to do it anymore. When you’re planning your next series of e-mail promotions to advisors, be sure to include a one-sheeter on how your establishment is green and why it matters. 

Ruthanne Terrero

Advisors: You Have Got to Cultivate the Next Generation: I’ve heard from multiple advisors since January that they are turning away business because there’s just too much. However, a lot of valuable time is still being spent culling through which client’s business is of higher value than another’s. Unless the would-be customer is an obvious tire-kicker or just someone milking your expertise so they can book on their own, most business has value. Shore up a team that can take the business you and your top advisors don’t have time to handle. Where do you find them? If you’re in a restaurant and your server is especially dynamic and smart and sells you on something on the menu you never dreamed of eating, ask them if they are interested in a career in travel. Same goes for when you’re shopping in a department store. Is that person behind the counter especially engaging? Good sales people are all around you. Be sure to have an elevator speech ready on why they should consider a job in travel, working with you. 

Travel Advisors Have Got to Keep On Traveling: Not just for the obvious reason but because many of their DMCs are so overbooked, they’re not taking on new business. Plan a trip to the destinations you book the most to search for new ground operators who can get your clients from point A to point B and help you with all of the good things your clients need once they get off the plane.

Country Tourism Offices Have Got to Draw More Talent: Along these same lines, tourism offices have got to make the travel industry more appealing as a career. It doesn’t matter how many clickthroughs you get on your websites if you don’t have people on the ground to service travelers. This goes for DMCs, hotel workers and everyone in between. Jobs in travel often require long hours and hard work but there is also the human side of the business that can deliver a lot of joy and satisfaction. Emphasize the people-to-people element of travel to attract new talent and do it as soon as you can. We need to have a strong tourism infrastructure to keep travelers satisfied.

Authenticity and Luxury Are Now Intertwined Forever: I love hearing that hotels are now adding programs that bring in cultural programs that guests can easily participate in. It’s not always necessary to send clients off on a tour if the hotel you’ve selected has good relationships with local artists and artisans who can provide a fascinating experience in just a few hours that will bring a destination to life. And how about finding someone who can sit with your client in a café, expTtlaining local customs to them as they sip a latte or glass of wine, simply watching the world go by? Luxury doesn’t always have to be a lush extravaganza of opulent offerings to impress people, even your most affluent clients.  

Related Articles

Virtuoso Names New Vice President of Sustainability

Waterstone and Destinations of Distinction Strike Partnership

Signature EVP Ignacio Maza Shares His Must-Visit Destinations

Travelers Are Seeking New Destinations: Luxury Travel Roundtable