China, Europe next markets for Luxury Escapes to tap

CEO says expansion to Europe likely within 12 months

Travel e-commerce specialist Luxury Escapes will look to lay foundations in markets in North Asia, China and Europe in the next year.

The Australian travel company which specialises in package holidays has already established roots in Southeast Asia, having opened a corporate office in Singapore two years ago, and is continuing to bed down its operation in the United States.

Speaking exclusively with LATTE, Luxury Escapes’ Chief Executive Officer Cameron Holland admitted the travel disruptor has been passively working in the US market for some time, with a small team based in New York “to keep our toes in the water”. Holland said the response from the US market for its package deals at upmarket accommodation had been “quite good”.

“It’s early days but we’ve got a good team up there that are starting to form the relationships and build people presence. Sales are good for an emerging market that we haven’t put much effort into, but we hope to grow and we’re also looking to increase our supply of product out of the US as well,” Holland said.

“We’ve already done a fair bit of ground work in New York, LA and down in Mexico, but there’s still more work to do and supply to build up.”

Luxury Escapes CEO Cameron Holland

Holland said currently Luxury Escapes is available in 22 different currencies, including Euro and Pounds, which leads to the question of what other overseas markets are next to tap and establish a greater presence.

“We’ve had a team in India for quite a while and we’re looking at North Asia at the moment as well because it’s too big to ignore. Then next will definitely be Europe,” Cameron said.

He said there are no firm plans in place yet regarding offices in Europe and the UK, but they are on the horizon, responding to demand from those regions.

“We do sell in the UK on a dedicated website in pounds which is very popular,” he said, suggesting that business likely stems from the Australian expat market already familiar with the Luxury Escapes brand and proposition.

“We are going to look at that market more closely within the next 12 months,” he confirmed.

Meanwhile on the trade front, Luxury Escapes has forged its first international travel agency partnership with New Zealand’s House of Travel. As revealed exclusively by LATTE 11 months ago, Luxury Escapes’ founder Adam Schwab said he was “open to opportunities” with front-line retail agencies beyond Australia after signing deals with TravelManagers and italktravel and cruise last year.

House of Travel’s Product Director Dave Fordyce commented: “No other New Zealand retail travel network has direct access to Luxury Escapes’ prominently advertised and promoted holiday content. Under our agreement, HOT retail travel agencies now have access to Luxury Escapes’ broad range of experiences for customers that range from beach holidays through to touring experiences to destinations across the globe including domestic New Zealand.”

The arrangement between Luxury Escapes and House of Travel is for three years.

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