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There are a multitude of platforms to coordinate your own trips: flight-finding websites, digital hotel reservation forms, Air bnb, tripadvisor, as well as a myriad travel blogs. The ubiquity suggests that in this day and age travel agents are becoming obsolete.  And perhaps agents of a certain sort, those simply booking flights and charging a fee for it, might be. However a luxury travel agency does something entirely different.

In this overview we look at the essential components of the best agents in the business.

What’s the difference between a travel agency and a luxury travel agency

In an article exploring the difference between packaged tours and tailor-made trips created though a luxury travel agency, it was revealed that packaged tours require compromise because ‘by their nature, planned itineraries cater to a common denominator.” So for those seeking something a little more bespoke, a luxury travel agency takes care of a tour from start to finish, at all times tailor-making a trip to suit clients’ specific interests and preferences, be it staying at an intimate inn, social haven, grand hotel, private villa or recluse’s retreat.

According to Forbes, high-quality travel agents  provide special expertise, access to better rooms and prices, and ultimately cater to “the growing demographic of more sophisticated, worldly and well-traveled consumers who are increasingly looking for “something different.”’ These customers want authenticity and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

A luxury travel agent can:

  • Save precious time by putting together an itinerary that bears in mind: the best time to visit, the top places to stay, and most importantly, the identity of the client.

  • Deliver insider insights, from precautions to recommendations.

  • Provide access to private or exclusive venues, hotels, museums and experiences.

  • Local knowledge of where to eat and stay and how to avoid the crowds.

  • Find professional architects, art historians, or chefs to walk clients through the spots that are linked to a client’s interests.

  • Provide better deals, upgrades, discounts, perks and offer deals through partners and consortium contracts.

  • Get client’s into the best rooms and hotels.

  • Provide assistance when things go wrong (as they sometimes do), from finding lost luggage to bridging the language gap.

  • Create authentic and tailor-made experiences.

When travelandleisure.com compile their list of top travel agents, they prefer to use the term ‘advisor’. The connotations are clear: advice implies guidance, expertise and insider knowledge that the word ‘agent’ doesn’t quite do justice.

How to find the best ‘advisor’ in the business

First off partner with locals who have a natural love and respect for the country they welcome their guests to. In Italy for instance, Charme & Adventure, a bespoke luxury tour service, are passionate about sharing authentic experiences of the the country they adore, with people who will inevitably adore it too. The group has been providing insider insight and luxury tours of Italy to discerning travelers for years. It was the current CEO’s father, Renato Cepparo, who said that ‘Life is a diving board’, inspiring so much of the work that Charme & Adventure does today. They believe that if you can dream it, they can do it.

For more information about providing enriching, authentic, tailor-made travel experiences,  contact Charme & Adventure,  specialists in luxury tours of Italy.

by Luca on Jul 10, 2015