Three tour operators give us their insight and an out-of-this-world tour made specifically for the high-end vacationer.
cox & kings
Today’s Luxe Client: “The luxury traveler today wants the comfort and safety that goes along with using a reputable travel professional and tour operator, but is willing to do more adventurous trips. Looking at the lost pyramids of Northern Sudan, trekking chimpanzees in remote Tanzania, and in-depth programs to Colombia and Greenland have become more popular with the ‘luxury’ crowd. These travelers are more active and more spirited in their quests and consider it a luxury to have a travel professional organize these for them,” says Scott Wiseman, president, Cox & Kings—The Americas.
Over-the-Top Tour: The 11-day Royal India tour (October & December, $5,715 pp). This tour leads travelers to discover the best of India in pure luxury with stays at palace-style accommodations. In Delhi, travelers room at The Leela Palace New Delhi with deluxe accommodations, five-star dining, and the Spa by ESPA. Three nights are spent at The Oberoi Rajvilas featuring luxury villas and royal tents situated on 32 acres of lush landscapes. The tour leads travelers to the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid in Delhi, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Amber Fort in Jaipur, and the Udaipur City Palace. The journey closes with a stay at The Leela Palace Udaipur on Pichola Lake with views of the Aravalli Mountains.
Today’s Luxe Client: “For many decades, the focus of most upscale travelers was lavish hotels and gourmet dining. While those expectations remain, the new luxury traveler today is equally concerned with the authenticity and uniqueness of their tour. Witnessing once-in-a-lifetime moments has become an expectation, no matter the destination. The evolution and changing desires of the luxury travelers inspired us to create a fresh product line, Private Journeys. These tours are focused on satisfying the appetite of the ‘new’ luxury traveler who is seeking personally crafted tours,” says Jerre Fuqua, president & chief experience officer, Travcoa.
Over-the-Top Tour: The 13-day Time of Your Life: Italian Style III tour (June 2015, $16,590 pp). On this tour, your clients can trace their fingers along smooth Carrara marble, the stone Michelangelo used for sculpting; take a
; visit the village of Marciana, the beaches at Marina di Campo, and Napoleon’s Villa dei Mulini; view Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence; enjoy a private concert at the Vatican; and take a carriage ride through Rome. Hotel stays are equally as alluring in boutique properties like the five-star, 13-room Hotel Noblesse filled with antiques, and the 12-room Hotel Hermitage, on Elba Island, with views of Biodola Bay.
Today’s Luxe Client: “While they are now much more informed due to the Internet, [luxury clients] are also in information overload mode—they want a travel specialist who can listen carefully to their interests and preferences, and then be able to propose customized, special-access experiences. When such experiences are presented to them, luxury clients will generally purchase beyond their stated budgets. We’ve noticed that as the travel specialists on Zicasso get better and better at proposing customized unique experiences, the average booking value has grown each year, now exceeding $11,000,” says Brian Tan, CEO, Zicasso.
Over-the-Top Tour: The 15-day Best of African Safari & Antarctica Ice Safari: South Africa, Antarctica & Seychelles ($128,000 pp based on a private group of eight). Not only are travelers rooming in luxurious hotels like the 11-room La Residence in South Africa’s Franschhoek winelands, or the haven that is the North Island in the Seychelles with only 11 villas, but travelers will experience Africa’s Big Five on safari; tour the UNESCO site, Robben Island; experience the icy wonders of the Antarctic, journey to the Seychelles; and dine at Groote Schuur, the residence of South Africa’s president—and somewhere in the mix travelers take a helicopter ride over the Blyde River Canyon before landing on a secluded spot alongside Pinnacle Rock for a champagne picnic. Take note agents: Zicasso has a selection process for travel partners; if you are interested in booking Zicasso tours, visit zicasso.com/about#_howitworks.
Cox & Kings: (800) 999-1758; coxandkingsusa.com or coxandkingsusa.com/content/travel-advisor-portal-signup
Travcoa: (888) 979-2948; travcoa.com or travcoa.com/travel-agent-brochure-request
Zicasso: zicasso.com or zicasso.com/about#_howitworks