Generation Travel's Neil Pirie on how agencies are tailoring travel for wealthy adventurers
High-end travel agencies offer luxury connoisseurs the chance to create a totally tailored travel experience
As unique, tailor-made experiences become the holy grail of travel, holidays are no longer about ticking destinations off a bucket list but unique encounters and personalised itineraries. This is becoming the norm particularly within the luxury travel world, where travellers are opting to board private planes to access remote locations or hire local guides for exclusive insights into a destination.
One way to take the hassle out of planning a trip such as this is working with a travel consultant such as Neil Pirie, founder of Generation Travel Group, an agency specialising in fully tailor-made holidays for discerning travellers. Tempus speaks to Pirie about what high-end travel agencies can offer luxury connoisseurs around the world.
In a market that's dominated by online travel portals, what are the benefits of using a high-end travel agency such as yours?
All of the luxury travel services I offer involve no membership required or hidden cost. By working with me and my agency, I evaluate your needs and expectations, taking into account your likes and dislikes, and am able to understand exactly what will suit you best. Whatever the occasion, all clients receive a personalised, dedicated one-to-one service throughout the entire travel experience.
What is your particular area of expertise?
I am in a very unique position where I specialise in creating bespoke luxury travel experiences. I tailor-make all elements of a client's travel arrangements. This can include flights, private aviation and helicopters, transfers, luxury accommodation, private guided tours and excursions, exclusive VIP experiences, and much more. Whether my clients are holidaying with family, travelling for business or hosting an important client, I can excite them with original travel opportunities. >>
What do you do that people can't do themselves?
Trips such as the ones I plan are time-consuming to organise, and time is something that most of my clients simply don't have. After an initial consultation, I tailor make an itinerary featuring the finest hotels and the most exciting destinations and experiences in the world, which I present to my client with an assortment of options to choose. Fundamentally, I save them time and offer them a travel solution they may not have previously considered.
Who is your typical clientele?
Most of my clients are wealthy travel enthusiasts with large disposable incomes who don't have time to plan trips themselves. My clients tend to have a certain expectation of service as many of them are accustomed to receiving personalised care in their own lives, so why should it be any different when on holiday? Me and my team will ensure they'll receive the same level of attention they'd expect in their normal lives, if not more so. Returning customers are a big part of my business and that's something I am extremely proud of. One couple, for example, are currently planning to stay at each Banyan Tree property around the world following the consistent level of service they receive at each.
What are some of the most exciting, or complex, trips you've planned?
One very discerning group recently engaged with me for a family trip across Australia. This involved a mixture of private and commercial aviation, with party members arriving and departing at various times from multiple international locales. The five-week trip featured multiple elements of accommodation and flights, a series of guided and non-escorted tours, an exciting sailing trip to the Whitsundays, and much more. It was complex to organise but it was a great success. In the early summer 2018, one family will experience an Arctic sailing expedition where they'll witness one of the largest populations of polar bears in their natural environment as part of a tailor-made trip.
Can you explain more about your new partnership with Tempus?
We recognise that readers of Tempus have an affiliation with luxury. We also appreciate that there's a need to make the experience of organising travel arrangements as easy as possible. As I am a standalone provider of luxury tailor-made travel, I can easily and effectively connect readers with the experiences that are featured within the magazine. If you read about something that you like, I will immediately facilitate for you to enjoy the same and managing the process, catering to your specific travel requirements.