Should You Specialize in Luxury Travel?

September 20, 2017

By Emily Peters Contributing Writer Montrose Travel

At first glance, choosing to specialize in luxury travel seems like a no-brainer. Wealthy clients, fat commission checks—it’s the dream, right?

For the right travel advisor, it can be. The law of averages tells us there are more mid-market clients out there than luxury ones, yet the wealthiest luxury travelers travel nearly four times as often and spent considerably more. What we’re saying is this: luxury travel is not a niche that an ambitious travel professional should ignore. 

What does a luxury travel agent REALLY do?

While the fundamentals of booking luxury travel is similar to other budgets, the responsibilities aren’t identical. Let’s distinguish what a luxury travel professional does.

  1. They Focus on FIT. FIT stands for Free Independent Traveler—someone who isn’t booking a tour or typical package. Wealthy travelers have seen much of the world, are travel-savvy and seek unusual experiences they can’t create on their own. That requires a luxury travel agent (and his/her host agency) to be deeply curious, inventive and open to spending their own time and money on exploring new destinations.
  2. They’re Inclusive. Despite their wealth, luxury travelers aren’t keen on minutiae of tipping, upgrade fees and last-minute optional expenses. Luxury travel advisors must keep a vice grip on pricing so they can offer an inclusive rate—which involves more up-front research and stronger supplier relationships than your average vacation request.
  3. They’re Live in the Off-Hours. Wealthy clients expect elevated service. Luxury agents are open to midnight calls and early-morning Skype sessions—not only with their clients, but with their on-the-ground suppliers to ensure every element of the trip is perfection.

Should You Specialize in Luxury Travel?

Luxury travel clients, while trickier to cultivate, can be worth their weight in gold. Let’s examine what you need to become a luxury travel specialist.

  1. The Right Host Agency Partner. A reputable host agency like MTravel brings connections to high-end suppliers, first-hand destination expertise and clout to overcome red tape—everything that will keep your luxe clients coming back for more.
  2. You Have the Right Consortia Partner. The right consortia partner elevates your travel business services with exclusive rates, perks and upgrades. MTravel’s status as the only global account with Virtuoso, the leading luxury travel consortium, gives your clients access to the ultimate luxury experiences.
  3. You Maximize Your Prospect List. So much of luxury travel relies on referrals from happy clients. Even one affluent lead in your prospect list can pay off in spades if you market to them correctly to stay top of mind.
  4. You’re Expanding Your Circle. As an independent business owner, you hold special significance in your community, large or small. Use that to network in its influencer circles: the country club, local government or charity organizations to build relationships.

Specializing in luxury travel could be the best decision you make for your travel business, and MTravel has the infrastructure to take you to the next level. Contact us today or call 800-870-5799 to learn more!

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