‘People are going to want to deal with real professionals’, Geoff Kent, a leading figure in the luxury travel sector, has said.
“The travel agent will become more important than ever before, as long as they’re smart,” Geoffrey Kent, the founder and co-chairman of Abercrombie & Kent, reveals in this exclusive TTG Face To Face interview.
Speaking to the editor of TTG Luxury April Hutchinson, Kent added: “Agents will be very valuable, versus booking something just off the internet. People will want to know ‘am I safe’, ‘who is going to take me’, ‘what company is it’, ‘is our money safe’, ‘have they been around for a while’, and ‘who do I call if I need to’.
“This will push everyone back to expertise, which is where it should have been in the first place. This is the time for the real professional travel agent to make the most of it and come back.”
In the interview, Kent also stresses the importance of getting tourism back to places where it’s most needed, such as countries which rely on it for conservation funding.
“In Africa, conservation is so important — we’re having a lot of problems with this; there’s no money, as no-one’s going into the [national] parks any more, so we’ve got to get people travelling again as animals are going to threatened until we can do that,” he urges.
“We’re doing the best we can to help - both in terms of Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy and with Friends of Conservation – but things change quite fast.
“We’ve already seen that the wonderful Silverback gorilla Rafiki in Uganda has been killed, which is unheard of. And in terms of people - there are no big government hand-outs in many places, so the quicker we can turn any green shoots of tourism into thick, clumps of palm trees, the better!”
Kent also offered to personally match any donations made to Friends of Conservation to help wildlife projects; anyone interested in doing so should contact April Hutchinson.
For more on Geoff’s views and those of other leading names in luxury travel, also check out the Summer issue of TTG Luxury.