Selling Luxury: Florence Brethome, GM at TravelStore

Welcome to Selling Luxury, a podcast/video series produced by the editors of Luxury Travel Advisor. This series aims to inspire and educate travel advisors who want to enter the luxury arena and provides great insights for those advisors who are already successful in this niche.

Ruthanne Terrero, vice president of the Questex Travel and Meetings Group, recently spoke with Florence Brethome, the general manager of TravelStore’s Palos Verdes/South Bay office, particularly as it related to romance travel. Brethome has been with TravelStore for 20-plus years and is among the agency’s destination wedding and honeymoon specialists.

The good news: People are again booking honeymoon travel, according to Brethome. As for 2022, she calls it a “bit of a roller coaster” as a result of the Omicron variant. Typically, January is the month for bridal shows but many have been pushed back to the end of February and March. That said, based off the shows TravelStore was able to attend in 2021, the demand is there—and people are very emotional finally being able to plan their wedding or honeymoon.

Couples “are trying to realize their dream, they’re trying to make it happen,” Brethome says. “They’ve been kept away from even thinking they could accomplish anything for too long. So, now we’re really seeing an appetite for exotics.” She adds that instead of Mexico and the Caribbean, couples are looking to places like Tahiti (which Brethome calls the hottest honeymoon destination of 2022). And it’s not just the honeymoons, either. TravelStore is handling more weddings in Europe and even one in Tanzania.

One common request among travelers? “Food has become huge,” Brethome says. Foodie experiences, regardless of the destination “are no longer the cherry on the cake—they are the cake.”

For the full conversation, check out the video above.

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