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TTG LUXURY International Luxury Travel Market 2012 | www.iltm.net Ever changing, yet staying the same p1 ttg_lux_cover summer12 13/6/12 14:39 Page 1


SUMMER2012 ■ £7.50 ttgluxury.com


HEATING UP


DUBAI UPS THE STAKES WITH ITS MIX OF CUISINE,, CULTURE AND COOL


ISLANDS IN THE SUN BEST OF THE BALEARICS AND


CANARIES FOR HIP HIDEAWAYS IN A SUNNY STATE


EXPLORING FLORIDA’S TROPICAL CHARMS PLUS


THE SEYCHELLES, BEVERLY HILLS, PERU & YOUR GUIDE TO BLOGGING


Ever changing, yet staying the same – that’s the travel UK sector, says ttgluxury editor, April Hutchinson


It may be on the modest side, but a survey by national travel body ABTA has found that the number of customers booking an overseas holiday through a high street travel agent rose by 2% in 2012. That’s still just over a quarter of all bookings, but for those agents who have survived the bloodbath on the UK’s pavements thus far, this brings a chink of light.


BLOOMTIME


PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAYAN CALENDAR PREDICTING THE END OF THE WORLD – MEXICO’S ONLY JUST GETTING STARTED...


A chink that has almost certainly been spotted by the likes of Kuoni and Abercrombie & Kent too – two of the strongest high-end tailor-made companies operating in the UK have opted to make a high street presence for themselves as well. A&K has opened a beautiful and elegant new showroom in one of our capital’s most affl uent work thoroughfares – the fi rst of a global retail footprint. Kuoni now has 21 high street stores and has signed a deal with John Lewis, one of the leading department stores in the UK, which will see it open stores within stores – four so far – and both companies taken their design cues from luxury retailers, rather the traditional agency set-up. Both companies have also realised the need to get face-to-face with customers and enhance brand presence.


ABTA also found that 36% of respondents said they preferred the “reassurance of dealing with a person”, up from 28% last year. Meanwhile, other recent research found 90% of travel industry people think the sector will be investing more in digital channels; not before time, as with the ongoing march of Google to create content, trip-planning and in-destination tools of its own, travel companies need to literally ‘get with the programme’ and come to terms with the direction travel is heading in.


‘Travel companies need to literally ‘get with the programme’ and come to terms with the direction travel is heading in.’


You’ll no doubt hear talk from the UK market that the culture of discounting has become something of an issue this year: we defi nitely see a great deal of ‘shopping around’. Meanwhile, a rise in the likes of Secret Escapes, a members travel club that has reportedly won £8 million in new funding based on its model of offering cheaper rates for luxury hotels, is also shifting the dynamics. But as most of us know, there is a fi ne line between offering great prices; and cheapening the brand with deals for quick wins.


It’s all been keeping our sector on its twinkly toes. Which means that ttgluxury’s new luxury travel community, Cohort, has become even more of a perfect environment for dissecting these issues – more at cohortcommunity.com. Next time you’re in the UK, look us up. In person. Or online. Whatever works.


April Hutchinson Editor, ttgluxury


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