LATTE chats with Emily Cai, Founder of ONLYLUXE CLUB, a new website aimed at curating luxury trips to Australia to the affluent, digital savvy Chinese traveller.
- Explain the role of ONLYLUXE CLUB.
ONLYLUXE CLUB provides the best of Australian luxury travel experiences in both English and Mandarin for discerning travellers. The site is mobile-friendly and customers can book and pay online through WeChat Wallet, PayPal, UnionPay and Alipay. For luxury travellers who prefer to have more personally meaningful holidays, ONLYLUXE CLUB allows customers living in Australia or China to create their own ‘wish list’ itinerary online from a collection of hand-picked experiences ranging from Kimberley cruises to wine blending and private golf tours. By booking luxury holidays with ONLYLUXE CLUB, customers can also earn and redeem reward points for further luxury experiences.
- What is the difference between using a website like ONLYLUXE CLUB to book a trip and using a travel advisor? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
At ONLYLUXE CLUB, we handpick the best of Australian luxury experiences and invite our customers to engage with the technology to discover and create a personalised itinerary. The advantage for customers is that we make it easy to choose and easy to use as we have already done the selection for them. We are not offering quantity which some might see as a disadvantage, but I see it that we are offering quality for a discerning traveller. I guess the customer experience and engagement with ONLYLUXE CLUB is like shopping in a boutique store rather than a department store.
- How do you promote yourself to a generation of young, digitally savvy travelers?
ONLYLUXE CLUB is designed for the young, digitally savvy and discerning traveller who is looking for high-end, authentic experiences in Australia.
Prior to launching ONLYLUXE CLUB, I started Yu Teng, a Sydney-based concierge company specialising in offering a bespoke travel service for the high-end Chinese traveller. That service caters for those who might feel less comfortable in a digital environment. But for millennials, ONLYLUXE CLUB will provide a high level of convenience when planning and booking their holidays.
The site is also mobile-friendly as we know that mobile devices play a critical role in millennial’s holidays, from pre-holiday research and decision making to taking photos and sharing those with their friends during their holidays. The ONLYLUXE CLUB site is also integrated with the WeChat platform, which will enable the young and tech-savvy travellers to engage with us through China’s most popular social media with 806 million monthly active users.
- How do you get inside the head of your client?
We have several years of experience through our work with our clients at Yu Teng. They told us that they don’t want to participate in experiences that don’t get under the skin of the destination, but would rather pay more to hear about wines directly from the winemaker or play golf with a pro or chat with the chef who prepared their dinner. That’s how we learn: from listening to our clients and thoroughly researching what we think will make great memories for them when they come here to Australia.
- What does luxury mean to you? How do you balance technology with human service to provide the luxury travel experience?
To me, luxury is a moment when people feel comfortable, connected and happy in their own way. We use technology to inspire travellers from around the world and make it easier for them to access the best of Australian luxury travel experiences. But we also have passionate and knowledgeable travel consultants to help them make decisions and tailor make their holidays if they need our assistance. And then of course, true luxury begins when they arrive and they are exposed to the people behind these wonderful tourism experiences in Australia.
- What is it about Australia as a destination that appeals so much to the luxury Chinese market?
In China, there are a lot of luxury goods, luxury cars and multi-million-dollar apartments. In Australia, we have nature, free space and fresh food – which are “money can’t buy” experiences back in China.
- Do you think this will change in the future?
Shopping plays big part in Chinese travel. I think there will be more luxury shopping retailers catering for the growing market.
- What do you personally love so much about Australia as a travel destination?
It’s very relaxed and easy to travel around. You can almost find yourself in a beautiful, unknown beach almost everywhere you go and find good quality coffee to sip and watch the surf.
- How has ONLYLUXE CLUB been received by the Australian travel industry?
With both Yu Teng and ONLYLUXE CLUB we have had fantastic support from the Australian travel industry, from suppliers to tourism organisations, which gives us a lot of encouragement to continue working on what we believe in and have a passion for. I really appreciate all the help we have received.
The new site of course was just launched in October so we are looking forward to people discovering it either from their connections with us at Yu Teng or as new clients.
- LATTE signature question: What’s the best coffee experience you’ve ever had?
Sitting at the White Elephant Cafe with a flat white, facing the deep blue Indian Ocean at Margaret River in Western Australia. Amazing!