TIR November17.pdf - Page 10



Luxury clients expect special treatment
BY SHANNON LATIMER
LUXURY clients live and
holiday differently, so the approach and considerations
that come into play when
booking holidays and dealing
with these clients is different too.
“W hen dealing with
luxury clients, you literally
have to up your mindset.
Our service should always
be client-centric however,
when dealing with those who
have no budget restraints
or larger travel budgets, the
service you offer should be
unique and cater to their
every whim,” said Claude
Va n kei r sbi lck , Tou r ve st
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer.
Sean Hough, Pentravel
Chief Executive Off icer,
commented that high-spend
clients insist on dealing via
mobile and will not call a
reception or a call centre:
“They will also call at any
time during the day or night
and do not stick to office
hours. They form a relationship with experienced consultants and will never deal
with anyone else, especially
a newbie.” Because of this a
very strong relationship develops, based on knowing
what the client likes.
“I find that most high-end
clients are just as value-conscious as budget travellers,
perhaps more so,” said Wally
Gaynor, Club Travel Managing Director. “They want
quality at a good price. They
may have money, but expect
the best for what they pay.”
Joanne Visagie, Beachcomber Sales and Marketing Manager, explained that
although their clients may
be considered luxury clients,
they are also young couples
on honeymoon, parents who
have saved in order to give
their family a holiday and,
sometimes, the rich and famous.
World cruise launches from CPT
BY SARAH ROBERTSON
CRYSTAL Cruises’ Crystal
Symphony will commence
its world cruise from Cape
Town in 2018. This is the first
time South Africa has been
chosen for the start of a world
cruise and the event is expected to raise South Africa’s
profile as a desirable cruise
destination.
Fares are from US$54,000.
The Crystal Serenity will
join in Sydney on February
17, when guests will be able
to continue on the Symphony
to Fort Lauderdale or embark
on the Serenity en route to
Rome.
George A rg y ropoulos,
Cruises International Chief
Executive Officer, said Cape
Town had been chosen as the
boarding port for the cruise
due to its consistent ranking
as one of the top ports visited by Crystal passengers.
He explained benefits to the
country would be substantial, including large worldwide advertising campaigns
promoting Cape Town as a
cruise destination, in addition to the tourism revenue
generated by the passengers
and crew through pre cruise
accommodation, meals, entertainment, sightseeing and
souvenirs.
He added that word of
mouth promotion by passengers would also be beneficial.
According to Mr. Argyropoulos, cruise volumes from
the South African market
were showing strong growth
due to the value of cruising
and said many local passengers were expected to board
in Cape Town.  
Crystal’s new air cruises
itineraries will be released
before the end of this year and
will vary from 14 – 21 days.
Some will offer in-depth explorations of a country; others will feature the best golf
courses or UNESCO World
Heritage Sites.
These trips will be aimed
at the high-end luxury market st a r t i ng f rom ab out
US$100,000 fully-inclusive.
The aircraft will accommodate 84 passengers and
feature onboard butlers, bars,
restaurants, lounges and a
wine cellar.
Guests will be accommodated in five-star hotels in
each destination.
Cunard – Shaun McCarthy, Whitestar Cruise & Travel General Manager
What makes luxury cruise lines different?
Luxurious, spacious and stylish suites, private butler service, intimate restaurants, rich
amenities and personal service.
What is unique to Cunard?  
The Cunard Grills tradition began aboard Queen Mary in 1936, when guests paid for exclusive access to an evening of speciality dining and dancing in the Verandah Grill. Today,
80 years on, Cunard continues the legacy of The Grills suites and restaurants which have
consistently ranked amongst the finest at sea. Cunard offers a mix of experiences – luxurious and stylish suites, some with double storey apartments, with butler service, intimate
restaurants, rich amenities and personal service – while offering all the facilities of a large
ocean liner; cinema, libraries, the only Planetarium at sea on Queen Mary 2, theatres with
private boxes, several swimming pools, a golf simulator and ballroom dancing.
“Our approach is the same
whether it’s to the honeymooner or the rich and famous. And our success is
shown in the multitude of 
people who return. We offer
a very personal booking service and great care and attention to our clients throughout
the process of booking and
holidaying.”  
“It is about the experience
from the first point of contact
through to the last goodbyes.
Our marketing material must
portray our message in a luxurious way that will appeal
to them and we must always
focus on our professionalism
and forging bonds of trust,”
said Pieter Beyers, Insight
Vacations General Manager.
“We are aware that not
eve r y t h i ng is ab out t he
price. These clients who pay
a premium do want to get
exceptional service, added
extras and little touches,” said
Pictured above: how breakfast is done in a Queen Victoria suite onboard the Queen Mary.
Cathie Bester, World Leisure Holidays National Sales
Manager.
Ser vice levels need to
meet a client’s expectations,
added Lieria Boshoff, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise
Collection Brand Manager.
“When dealing with luxury
clients it is important to understand their needs... they
are often looking for exclusive, truly unique voyages
that provide unparalleled experiences...” 
“We need to always be at
the top of our game in terms
of researching new destinations or adventures before
our clients become aware of
anything newly available,”
said Monica Horn, Harvey
World Product Manager.
Rebone Motsatsi, Executive Commercial Avis Rent
a Car SA, said the company
understands their luxury customers are discerning and require extraordinary service.
“Our entire process... aims
to exceed our customers’ expectation.”
Expert feedback:
Luxury cruise benefits
Crystal Cruises – George Argyropoulos Cruises International CEO
What makes luxury cruise lines different?
The all-inclusive nature of luxury cruise lines is what sets them apart. And, by all-inclusive,
I’m not only referring to the inclusions of drinks, specialty dining, Wi-Fi, or the entertainment, but the attention to detail and personalised service that creates that all-inclusive
experience. This is what Crystal Cruises offers. Service is of utmost quality and No is not an
option. The guest-to-crew ratio is much higher and excursions go well beyond the typical
experiences. On a luxury cruise the client enjoys truly unique, personalised and customised
experiences.
What is unique to Crystal Cruises?  
Crystal Cruises now has a portfolio of four different types of cruise experiences – ocean,
river, yacht and air cruises. The most unique being air cruises. Crystal AirCruises’ maiden
journey, in partnership with The Peninsula Hotels, will take guests on lavish adventures in
the comfort of Crystal’s privately owned Boeing 777-200LR. On the river cruises we offer
ships with a much smaller complement of guests, more dining options and longer cruises
which start and finish at the same port, always with an overnight before departure.
Silversea – Gaynor Neill, Cruise Vacations General Manager
What makes luxury cruise lines different?
One of the key differences with luxury cruise lines is suite/stateroom sizes, space to passenger ratio is normally higher and a wide range of amenities. Silversea suites include a
walk-in wardrobe, bedroom and separate seating area. Focus is on personal attention, with
a butler attending to your every need, including making restaurant and tour reservations to
unpacking, packing, cleaning spectacles and polishing shoes. Luxury cruises tend to offer a
more personalised service to guests.
What is unique to Silversea?  
Silversea cruises are the only Relais & Chateaux associate at sea, with a huge emphasis
on cuisine. Added features include a pillow menu as well as a choice of amenities with
the standard being Bulgari, but also a choice of Ferragamo and a Hypo-Allergenic option.
Scenic River Cruises have a unique Scenic Sun Room feature, where the balcony can be
closed at the touch of a button with a glass window, giving you the use of this space even
in inclement weather.
Regent Seven Seas – Janine Pretorius, Encore Cruises General Manager
What makes luxury cruise lines different?
Luxury ships tend to be small or mid-size, with suites generally being more spacious.
Walk-in closets and more spacious bathrooms. And, of course, the all-inclusive fare. Then
there are thoughtful touches like fresh flowers or binoculars for wildlife viewing. The luxury
amenities on a Regent Cruise include fine linens, marble bathrooms with L’Occitane amenities and interactive flat screen televisions. Gourmet dining is a cornerstone of the Regent
Cruise experience. Luxury ships focus on providing memorable on-shore experiences and
enrichment programs.
What is unique to Regent Seven Seas?
Regent offers unlimited Wi-Fi and choice of shore excursions in each port of call included
in the fare. Guests that book a Concierge suite or better, have included benefits of a onenight pre-cruise stay in a luxury hotel, priority online shore excursion and specialty dining
reservations, 15 minutes of ship-to-shore phone calls, a 10 percent discount on premium
wines and liquor, a five percent discount on Regent Choice shore excursions, hotel and land
programs and in-suite niceties.
10
TIR Southern Africa

December 2016

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