Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Passion for business

What three things does it take to be successful in business? Passion, intuition and precision! That is what I answered in an interview with Citywealth: a monthly newsletter providing news, analysis  and features on wealth management to ultra high net worth individuals around the world.

Passion: Collette O'Connor in our London office in interesting
talks with Scott de Mercado on Golden Eye Hotel Jamaica
I have always known that passion and intuition were important in building up Select Travel/Select Collection over the last 22 years.

But recently we have sharpened the tool of precision at Select. More than ever we are able to focus on our discerning customers to provide personalized luxury. Our technical setup has advanced dramatically so that my team can pour their passion and energy into serving our valued customers to perfection.

More questions were taken up in the interview published in the September issue of the Citywealth newsletter, mailed out to 8500 ultra high net worth individuals around the world. Here are some of them:

Tell us about your business?
We create individual luxury travel experiences, with our chic Nordic-style travel boutiques offering a perfect start to a perfect journey. 

Where are the most exotic places to travel to now?
Burma is very exotic, with its golden pagodas, rubies and silver, beautiful waterways  and people living as they have done for centuries. A luxury cruise is the way to explore.
Another place for those who have seen it all is Bhutan, where the people value gross national happiness more than GNP. Warm friendly people who live cut off from the world in the Himalayas.

What is the most unusual trip you have organised?
When a honeymoon couple booked by another travel agency phoned our office crying about their awful hotel on the Barrier Reef, I organized for them to fly to another island – and managed to get their money back from the first one.

Where do very wealthy clients really want to visit?
Generally the most popular destination for those who can afford it is “paradise” - a lush, tropical island with just one luxury hotel, offering villas on stilts or on the beach, your own private pool, gym and spa. But our wealthiest clients are now also demanding top notch adventures like Galapagos and Antartica.

What do you do for wealthy clients that they can’t get elsewhere?
Our concierge service reaches around the earth, so you could get champagne delivered to the top of a Table Mountain, ready for a carefully orchestrated proposal of marriage, or be serenaded by an opera singer in a gondola in Venice … 

Do you see philanthro-tourism?
The five star hotels we prefer make an effort to support and invest in the local communities. It is too early still for customers to come in and say: “Take me somewhere where they are doing good”. But I personally would like to create the demand…
What are the secrets to travelling ?
Of course the real secret is to have a tour operator who plans everything so well that there are no unfortunate surprises – only pleasant ones

Who would you most like to have as your travelling companion?
My lovely man – whom I met just before my recent birthday

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