Everyone always says it's in the details. Gets a bit boring, really. Of course if you come off an aircraft and find the hire car which you expected is no longer there, then that's a fairly serious detail gone wrong. But that's the basic side of tourism. The mechanical side.
High-end travelers of course expect the mechanics to work, like everyone else. But they expect something more.
A level deeper than simple mechanics is knowing where you are sending people. Again fairly basic, but amazingly something which a large percentage of travel professionals do not do. Having told punters they can't do things on their own as they're not "professional" this cadre then jumps on a computer and thinks that they can do it all with Google and Tripadvisor without ever having been to the country in question. Hmmmm.
On the other hand we've had seasoned travelers tell us that what we did for them was the best they ever had. The country of course takes some credit - but we are of course not the only beautiful country in the world. So how is what we do different to what other people do. Well, it's all in the details.......
- actually treating every client as an individual and understanding what makes them individual
- actually communicating with properties and guides to ensure fit and that any details are taken care of
- actually having a relationship with properties and guides based on trust and mutual esteem where they look forward to receiving our clients and looking after them as they know us and want to do well by us. They also respect us and understand the clients will (usually!!) arrive relaxed, happy, fulfilled, and expecting what they're about to get.
- actually developing new, exciting, vibrant and deep experiences. These have done so well people are now regularly copying some of them. We still have about 5-10 years headstart :)
- actually being here and able to respond to last-minute changes
- actually having the contacts and intelligence to respond well to any requirement
- actually being able to get dry cleaning done on a public holiday (as opposed to a well promoted concierge company)
- and of course having had the experience of these sophisticated itineraries for a good 10 years now, so we really do know what we are doing
What this results in for a client is a lovely warm feeling of being looked after by someone who knows what they are doing. No day is out of balance with an excess of activities; no driving distance ridiculous. People are all warm, friendly, and interesting. And it all seems easy.
Way way back - ten-odd years ago - we ran a complex day on Waiheke Island for a VVIP associated with Louis Vuitton and the America's Cup. They came back saying it had all come together so fortuitously. Rubbish. We had done our homework, understood the clients, had a dry run, selected the right players, briefed everyone, added a few surprises and ran it smoothly. We also had a large number of contingencies we never needed to use.
True mastery of details appears as effortless as a bird in flight.