Luxury travel consultants clocks are missing hours in this Tourism revival. High-end consumers generally had no financial hardship during the pandemic and all the pent-up desire during the period of social isolation is taking a huge blow as the borders of the world’s major destinations have reopened.
A barrage of requests for scripts and experiences, and an ever-increasing demand for expert advice, to harness time (another luxury good) and turn it into unforgettable memories. More sophisticated travel agents and consultants are delighted and relieved at the power of this relaunch, but braving the times is an arduous task for those who must dedicate themselves to every entry, to every itinerary.
For all the professionals PANROTAS spoke to at the most important luxury tourism fair in Latin America, ILTM Latin America, this is the scenario of the segment. We asked them: what costs your time the most and how do you deal with it?
FRED FAJARDO – FRED TOURS
Fred Fajardo of Fred Tours, voted by suppliers as one of the best travel agencies in the BEST OF TURISMO PANROTAS 2022, says the intensity of a consumer accustomed to WhatsApp has radically changed their routine. According to the miner, the fear of immediate answers is taking control of the personalized travel professional.
Serving a large number of customers at once is what will cost you the most time and not just for boarding. “Also during the journey. Customers lack consistency during the journey. They change their minds in a matter of minutes. This is serious business. They change their minds during their stay and are often relentless in texting and don’t care about the time zone he adds. “This is serious stuff, but it’s part of our daily lives, we have to deliver the best. I don’t get nervous, but I get annoyed, it disrupts my sleep.”
Most wanted products and destinations at the moment at Fred Tours: United States, Europe (Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Spain) and Thailand from.
TUCA RATTO – TRAVEL HUNTERS
The way is to work on weekends. Tuca Ratto, of Travel Hunters, has used a few hours of his Sundays to increase operational demand without major disruptions and to leave work days off to provide better customer service, which is the most important thing. Without delving into the customers on a case-by-case basis, Travel Hunters has no reason to exist, she says. That’s why Tuca and his partner hired another professional to get their hands dirty and have more productive conversations with their travelers.
“Only by getting to know my customers well can I meet their expectations,” she says. “Another thing that I think is essential is a close relationship with some good operators on our side, so I’m just a phone call away from solving my passengers’ problems. Travel Hunters mainly works with FVO, Teresa Perez Tours and Viagens & Cia,” adds Tuca.
Most popular products and destinations right now on Travel Hunters: Europe (mainly Italy and France) and an awakening interest in Asia.
RENATA GARCIA – GOYA BY COPASTUR
There is what is urgent and there is what is “only” important in Goya’s daily life by Copastur’s Business Manager, Renata Garcia. Serving clients is urgent as failure to do so will impact the agency’s operations. The challenge is to organize time in such a way that you are not held hostage by the clock. Therefore, every start of the week is a time to map out what can be, what can be delegated and what can be postponed.
“This break to organize the agenda can avoid unnecessary recruitment, but it is worth saying that at Goya by Copastur we have an extremely competent team, which helps me not to be centralized and use our structure,” says Renata.
“Service is what takes up most of our workload, but at the same time the most important thing. Today, the customer demands more attention and willingness from his adviser and often wants to be helped after working hours. People want to feel helped and, more than that, understood.” The director is also boosting the number of ultra last minute clients at the agency who are looking for new trips for the same week.
Most popular products and destinations at the moment at Goya by Copastur: Europe (Italy, France and Greece) are very strong, but it is worth mentioning the return of Africa, mainly Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania.
FERNANDA BALESTRA – FB TRAVEL
FB Travel, by Fernanda Balestra, is one of the travel agencies that hired this revival of luxury. However, instead of hiring a professional to do the operational thing, the strategy was to partner with another specialist. Felipe Bari is this new reinforcement.
“More than a simple air and hotel reservation, customers are looking for more quality. They want to travel to have unforgettable experiences and have no time to lose. There is a real demand for service and advice, that’s why we chose Bari and his experience in the position.”
Most searched products and destinations at the moment on FB Travel: Italy, because it took longer to reopen, came back with everything and is on top of desire. Greece is also in high demand for the summer. In America, Orlando has a concierge and ski season in South America, specifically Portillo (Chile) and Ushuaia (Argentina).
MAURICE PADOVANI – PRIMETOUR
The operator specializing in luxury travel is dealing with a huge concurrent demand. Customers are ordering multiple custom routes at once, well above what it was before the pandemic. In addition, health protocols are still a concern and time-consuming for consultants and CBs.
“And while demand is skyrocketing and customers want immediate responses, the industry is suffering from a labor outage. Few suppliers are not facing this challenge to fill vacancies lost during the pandemic. Primetour happened too, but we stand for this challenge and replace our team. It is a moment of hard work, but very positive in relation to the resumption of sales”, concludes Padovani.
Most popular products and destinations at the moment on Primetour: Authentic experiences in the Arctic and Antarctica; Italy, which was one of the last European countries to be open to Brazilians. France and Portugal are on the rise.
LEONOR BERNHOEFT – LTN BRAZIL
The customer is becoming better informed. You reach your advisor after you have searched the internet for what you are looking for. But if most of them wanted to be independent before, the scenario has now changed.
“Due to the accidents caused by the pandemic, the work of the agent was more appreciated,” said Leonor Bernhoeft of LTN Brasil. “Our time should be devoted to the dialogue with the supplier. It is this exchange that will guarantee the care of the traveler on the other side. expected,” he concludes.
Most popular products and destinations right now on LTN: Europe is the ball of the day. Almost all of Italy, England, especially London, France, Spain and Portugal.
INTEGRATED PART OF PANRO BAG MAGAZINE
This article is an integral part of this week’s PANROTAS Magazine. Check out more content about ILTM Latin America coverage and over 100 tips for enjoying Walt Disney World in the digital edition: