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16 Sep 2015
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ttgluxury Seminar: Quintessentially's Ian Neale – ‘Don’t hesitate to offer alternatives’

Travel agents shouldn’t be afraid to use their product knowledge to offer advice to high-net-worth individuals. 

Ian Neale, Quintessentially

Ian Neale, global chief executive, Quintessentially Lifestyle and Travel, said that a lot of rich people were time poor.

 

“It’s about having that confidence to actually present people with some alternatives,” he said.

 

“These people generally don’t have time; they may have read about something in a magazine they want to try but may not understand it.”

 

Quintessentially Group was founded in 2000 as a concierge business, but Neale said the firm had gradually moved away from this definition.

 

“Over the past couple of years we tried to move away from ‘concierge’ [description] and more toward ‘lifestyle’.

 

The reason being is if you ask most people about a concierge, they think of a hotel booking that restaurant or museum tour.

 

“The extreme level of request that we have in the business is a mix. Members use us for anything: if their washing machine breaks down, finding them a dog walker, trying to get their kids into Oxford and Cambridge.

 

“We have such a plethora of requests that when I’m asked the question I say: ‘as long as its moral or legal we genuinely try and do it’.”

 

Quintessentially operates across the world and Neale said that there were differences between countries’ attitude to travel and service.

 

“I would love to be in a situation where if I get an enquiry I can put a £200 price tag on it: if they book they get it back, if they go elsewhere they don’t,” he said.

 

“It happens in the US, but unfortunately, I don’t see that ever happening in the UK or Europe. It is great in the US that they appreciate service.”

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