Welcome to Selling Luxury, the podcast produced by the editors of Luxury Travel Advisor. This series inspires and educates 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, VP and editorial director of Luxury Travel Advisor, chats with Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara, a member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family of cruise lines. Here, Larry talks about affluent travelers, the experiences that appeal to them and what’s new in the world of Azamara.
Among Pimentel’s top tips for selling luxury travel is that “people will stretch [their budget] for the right experiences, irrespective of their economic capability.” So, never pigeonhole your clients into a bucket or category, where you expect them to be spending. On that note, Pimentel says luxury travel advisors must constantly ask their clients “asking a series of qualifying questions about what they're looking for, what their dream is, what they think their personal luxury is.” He says that people’s travel goals or spend may change over time and it’s crucial to stay informed.
One commonality among luxury travelers, though, are often what they seek on a trip: “People want authentic, real, local experiences,” Pimentel says. “Personalities, and that is connecting people from one culture to another, is absolutely at the core of what people are looking at.”
And to help people better connect with locals and culture, Pimentel says that Azamara has made a “massive change” by offering over 1,700 extensive land programs. These options—not just “shore excursions”—are available, pre- and post-cruise, as well as mid-cruise, taking guests on land for one, two or three nights and having them catch up with the ship at a different part of the itinerary. With the change, the removed “Club Cruise” from the name and now go by, simply, Azamara.
Take a listen and learn more about selling to luxury travelers, what guests of Azamara can expect with the added destination experiences and more.