Selling Luxury: Tania Swasbook, VP of Travelworld International

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.

Matt Turner, editor for Luxury Travel Advisor, this week spoke with Tania Swasbrook, luxury travel designer and vice president of Travelworld International Group. In our conversation, Swasbrook shared details about the agency’s new membership-style lifestyle concierge offering, Vgari Lifestyle. The services cover before, during and after trips, in addition to planning much further down the road. As part of the consultation with members, Travelworld has created its “Pillars of Passion;” these are to ultimately find out why a person travels. “What are your real passions – is it gastronomy, is it adventure, is it fitness?” Swasbrook explains.

In all, Swasbrook says that despite the pandemic, people want to get out there. “People are traveling. Their pent-up demand for travel [is there]—but they are also a little bit nervous to. So, they’re relying on experts like us to help them through the travel-planning process, as well as when they’re traveling,” she tells us.

Swasbrook adds that, to ensure clients will be able to travel, the agency has been “trip-stacking—which is probably a naught word, now, in the industry.” For instance, a client was very interested in visiting Japan and South Korea for Spring Break, so Travelworld helped plan the trip—but also planned a trip for the same time to Egypt, which was also on the client’s bucket list. In the end, Japan would not open in time, they moved the dates to 2023 and the client will be going on the back-up trip. It’s important to note, however, transparency is key. Suppliers “know that we’re doing this. It’s not something behind the scenes. This is what’s happening; everyone understands,” Swasbrook says.

Tip: Swasbrook mentions she recently visited Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland and found it to be much more than a "golf resort."

Beyond this, some trends that Travelworld International is seeing: More multigenerational travel, more traveling with pets (there have been plenty of new adoptions during the pandemic!), an increased focus on flexible cancelation policies, couple’s retreats, and a desire for local/cultural experiences.

For the full conversation, check out the video above.

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