Pi­o­neer in be­spoke travel

TravTalk - Middle East - - AGENTS -

Start­ing off in Sin­ga­pore in 2009, branch­ing to Hong Kong by 2011 and reach­ing Dubai by 2014, Light­foot Travel has been grad­u­ally con­quer­ing the lux­ury travel sec­tor. Si­mon Cameron, Founder & Manag­ing Di­rec­tor—Mid­dle East, Light­foot Travel, shares plans ahead to grow in the ME, the UK and Asia. Could you de­fine the lux­ury busi­ness model you pro­mote?

We’d like to say we of­fer ‘ex­pe­ri­en­tial lux­ury’ by com­bin­ing truly high-end prop­er­ties and unique ex­pe­ri­ences. We work with the best sup­pli­ers world­wide, and we qual­ify th­ese in a num­ber of ways. Firstly, all of our travel designers have worked for lead­ing tai­lor-made travel com­pa­nies; so we have pre-ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ships with th­ese sup­pli­ers. Se­condly, we are a mem­ber of some ex­clu­sive trade or­gan­i­sa­tions such as PURE and Trav­eller Made where we meet up with the sup­pli­ers each year. Most im­por­tantly, we only work with des­ti­na­tions, ho­tels and sup­pli­ers which our sales and prod­uct team have ex­pe­ri­enced them­selves. This ‘tried and tested’ model al­lows us to share first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the des­ti­na­tions with our clients.

What are your key sell­ing points?

The key dif­fer­ence between us and most lo­cal travel agen­cies, OTAs and concierges is we only hire peo­ple who have an ex­ten­sive first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the des­ti­na­tions and prop­er­ties we use. We in­vest in send­ing our travel designers out in the field for two to four weeks per year to visit the ar­eas they spe­cialise in. The other ma­jor dif­fer­ence to book­ing with a lo­cal agency or OTA is that the clients will deal with a sub­ject mat­ter spe­cial­ist. So, for in­stance, if you wish to travel to Africa, you will deal with a travel de­signer who has over 15 years of or­gan­is­ing lux­ury hol­i­days ex­clu­sively to Africa. This in-house knowl­edge al­lows Light­foot to have a very high re­peat and re­fer­ral rate.

We only work with des­ti­na­tions, ho­tels and sup­pli­ers which our team have ex­pe­ri­enced them­selves. This ‘tried and tested’ model al­lows us to share first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the des­ti­na­tions with clients

An­other key USP is the sup­port which clients get on their hol­i­day. Not only do we of­fer sup­port through the travel de­signer but also through our lo­cal part­ner. This means that dur­ing an emer­gency, we are on the ground to deal with it swiftly. An­other ser­vice we of­fer at an ad­di­tional cost is an emer­gency re­sponse ca­pa­bil­ity with ac­cess to a 24*7 emer­gency op­er­a­tions room.

Tell us about the new part­ner­ship with Gulf Avi­a­tion and Anan­tara.

Be­sides the ex­clu­sive new pri­vate jet jour­ney in part­ner­ship with GI Avi­a­tion and Anan­tara Re­sorts, we are also launch­ing an Oman and Abu Dhabi ex­clu­sive trip by pri­vate char­ter flight. The trip will take our guests to Qsar Al Sarab, Salalah, Jebel Akhdar and Sir Bani Yas Is­land. Our ini­tial target was the Asia mar­ket but based on our growth, our num­bers in­di­cate that it is well suited to a wider au­di­ence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.