The Travel Network Group has held its first luxury event for members, who heard that to expand into the market they needed to focus on key areas such as marketing, networking, product knowledge and supplier relationships.
Despite days of snow last week, more than 70 members battled into London for the event – one of a series of “cluster meetings” the consortium is hosting for members this year.
Lisa Henning, group membership services director, said: “One of the key areas members fed back to us is that they would like to broaden their knowledge of the luxury market, how they can grow their luxury sales and learn how to market and approach clients in this growing sector.
“These new-style meetings are designed to give members a further opportunity to do that and to network with like-minded members too, as they identify and explore ways to grow their business and share best practice.”
As well as a session by editor of ttgluxury April Hutchinson on luxury trends and how to make the most of the market, three members operating in high-end travel discussed their take on running a luxury agency.
Simon Morgan, chief executive of Tailor Made Travel, based in Penarth with 10 branches across south Wales, said: “We keep details of all our client preferences and also ask them to complete wishlists, so we know where they want to go in the future too. If you deliver delight for customers, they will show off for you.”
Consortium boss Gary Lewis said: “We were delighted with the response to this first Cluster Meeting. It demonstrates there is a huge appetite by our members to get involved with the luxury market.”
There will be a further eight cluster meetings this year, with the next luxury event in south Wales on May 2, which Hennings said would focus on “growth”.
Lewis added: “The cluster meetings are very much a key part of our 2018 Performance Improvement Strategy, which offers three major initiatives, including voice analytics technology, Institute of Customer Service days and a ‘mystery shopper’ offering.”