Recommend Jan 2018 - 97

Europe

Defining Value Travel
"Value cannot be measured in dollars and
cents," says travel designer Susan Farewell,
owner of Farewell Travels and regular
contributor to Recommend. Nadya Phelan,
Europe product manager for Goway Travel,
agrees, noting that, "Regardless of budget,
everyone wants to feel they are receiving
value for their dollar." She adds that, "The
term value is one of the most used terms in
tourism today; it is said as frequently as the
term ECO was 10 years ago."
Phelan says one of the best ways for agents
to get their clients a good value experience
is by setting group departures. "Setting
departure group travel tends to add value
to trips, the price may seem overwhelming
at times, but it is looking at the inclusions
that provide some of the best value. They
can then budget better for what they will
spend in the destination, and the quality
of the services, knowledge of the guide
is controlled. They need to realistically
approach us with a budget. Once we have
a budget, we can really narrow down
options and desires for what the client
wants to experience."

What Do Clients See as Value?
Farewell says her clients find value in
VIP access to experiences they wouldn't
otherwise be able to attain. Such as "access
to private homes for home-cooked meals
and meeting the locals. Having dinner with

"

Timing is everything;
we can find value in all
budgets, however, knowing
the budget and having the
flexibility of when
someone can travel can
truly provide the best
value for the passengers.

"

Michelle Marie Arean

Cosmos is offering a Magic of the Italian Lakes itinerary, which visits Lake Garda.

-- Nadya Phelan, Europe Product
Manager, Goway Travel

a local artist or winemaker. Access to certain
museums off-hours, or to a gallery exhibit
opening. Or access to local experiences
such as having your child play soccer with a
local league in Spain. It's one thing if these
are 'canned' touristic experiences," she
adds. "Another, if the agent is able to set up
private arrangements for families, couples
or individuals. The value comes with how
resourceful, connected and confident your
travel designer (or travel agent) is."
These types of experiences are what's at
the top of every agent's list when it comes to
value travel. As Lynn Ciccarelli with Cassis
Travel Services, Inc., a Virtuoso member,
puts it, her clients are looking for "authentic
interactions with locals." They're searching,
she says, for "something no one else they

know has done before. Or sometimes it's just
a dream destination that they want to do but
have no clue how to put it together."
And, she points out, "All clients want value
for money spent. Effortlessly traveling from
place to place without stress."

Luxury + Value = Experience
"All clients are looking at experiential travel,"
says Phelan, "however, we find luxury clients
are looking more in-depth at experiences that
they would like to have. The dollar value is
not necessarily what drives the sale, but it is
the experiences that are offered. Staying in
a castle for a private tour visiting the D-Day
beaches from Paris to track down ancestors'
graves are some examples we are asked for by
our luxury clientele. For some, the simplicity
of the space in a first class flight or a first class
train ticket is considered incredible value.
Or a private cooking lesson, or VIP tour of
the Vatican. These are the experiences that
luxury travelers are looking for."
Ciccarelli adds, "It's why they use a travel
planner. I work in the luxury segment and
because they have money does not mean they
don't want value. I believe that is what I give
them-a memorable experience. That has
value. When a client seeks out my advice it
is an honest assessment of what would make
them happy."

january 2018 97



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend Jan 2018

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