The Travel Corporation’s luxury touring arm, Luxury Gold, is focused on money-can’t-buy experiences, as the company continues to evolve and grow. The recently released 2020 Worldwide program has expanded into Colombia for the first time, building on the addition of trips to Russia, Ireland and Scandinavia this year.
Luxury Gold Global CEO Ulla Hefel Böhler says she is particularly excited about the new program venturing into Colombia, which is an expansion of Luxury Gold’s offering to Peru, Chile and Argentina in South America.
“It’s really one of the emerging destinations. What it has to offer as a country is incredible. A combination of natural beauty, history, culture and some of the experiences we can offer there are amazing.”
Hefel Böhler said Luxury Gold guests will meet locals, including a niece of literary great Gabriel Garcia Marquez while in Cartagena on the 10-day Art, Culture & Cuisine of Colombia itinerary. Other highlights include a visit to a salt cathedral before hours and a gold museum after hours.
“For many years Colombia wasn’t deemed safe to go to, but that has changed. The country has really come around and we are really excited about its inclusion in our 2020 program,” she told LATTE.
Hefel Böhler said the Australian market is a key source for Luxury Gold, accounting for about 30% of global business. A number that is growing. Only the USA is ahead of Australia in terms of bookings.
She says luxury these days is “all in the detail”.
“No longer is luxury about golden taps and marble bathrooms. It’s about staying at the right hotels and having the right experiences, but people also want those money-can’t-buy experiences that you couldn’t possible do on your own. People want to brag about their experience,” Hefel Böhler told LATTE.
For the ultimate in bragging rights, Luxury Gold’s Chairman’s Collection ticks the boxes, she said.
“There’s exclusive and then there’s super exclusive. Every Luxury Gold itinerary has something that we call a VIP experience – but with The Chairman’s Collection we have added a little cherry on top.”
On select departures there are even more exclusive experiences, such as in France guests meet Count Richard de Warren for a private dinner at his French Chateau, or an encounter in the UK with the Duchess of Northumberland for a private tour of Alnwick Castle Gardens.
“If you’re a travel agent who has a customer that has seen it all, done it all, and the regular Luxury Gold isn’t exclusive enough, you’ve got The Chairman’s Collection.”
Luxury Gold trips popular with Australian travellers
Hefel Böhler also revealed to LATTE those trips in the Luxury Gold range that are favourites with Australian travellers.
“Number one for the past few years in our Majesty of the Rockies in Canada. For 2020 our new Timeless Scandinavia itinerary is seeing strong forward bookings.
“The Elegance of the Nile is selling really well, as well as the Trails of the Incas and Ultimate Italy is another favourite,” she said.
“It’s really mixed in terms of destinations and continents, which shows the importance of having a global footprint for Luxury Gold,” Hefel Böhler concluded.