Understanding affluent consumers and how to grow or enhance a luxury travel business will come under the spotlight at a new event from Abta next month.
The Luxury Travel Conference will take place at UK Chamber of Shipping in London on March 22, with TTG Media partnering with the association for the event and ttgluxury’s editor April Hutchinson moderator for the day.
“Delegates can expect to learn how to identify and reach the luxury customer and how to promote and sell the right products to these customers, with experts across the luxury sector sharing their expertise on the day,” said Victoria Bacon, director of brand and business development, Abta.
Among the speakers will be Peter Shanks, managing director UK & Ireland of Silversea Cruises, whose topics will include how to engage with the over-50s luxury traveller.
“[They] have gone from the ‘silent generation’ to the boomers and now represent the largest market segment,” said Shanks. “It’s luxury and cruise that are increasingly appealing to them, especially something like expedition cruising.”
Shanks added he would also look at how agents can feel more “confident” selling luxury travel.
“Confidence is key I’d say, as you have to be able to bring the product to life and talk confidently with luxury customers,” he said. “In the wider industry, travel can be more about price and promotion, but we need to focus on explaining why some products are reassuringly expensive. This [luxury travel] is an emotive product and selling it can be a daunting journey for an agent, but it doesn’t have to be.”
In another session, Philippe Brown, founder of bespoke travel designer Brown & Hudson, will cover topics such as how to present yourself as an expert advisor, interviewing clients, cultivating lasting relationships and exploring people’s motivation behind travel.
“You have to adopt a palette of approaches, as affluent travellers are constantly changing and the key thing is to treat clients as individuals,” Brown said. “Yet some business models don’t always allow you to do that; instead they’re focused on shortcuts – but you can’t think like that in luxury, it has to be about crafting something unique.”
For more information, the full agenda and tickets to attend, visit Abta’s website.