FCTG’s Luxury Travel Collection to offer complete biz solution

EXCLUSIVE: Glading discusses LTC's game changing solution for travel agencies

Photo credit: Andrea Francolini.

“There is no other luxury collective in market that can provide this full ecosystem for the best travel agencies servicing high-end clients. We are unique and different,” Glading tells LATTE.

Future-proofing luxury travel businesses has been identified as one of the key focuses of Flight Centre Travel Group’s Luxury Travel Collection (LTC). Five weeks into her role as General Manager of the new Luxury Membership portfolio, Nikki Glading has discussed for the first time to the media, what her position entails.

Speaking exclusively with LATTE, Glading provided a deep dive into what her portfolio encompasses, and why she believes it’s a game changer for luxury travel agencies and business entrepreneurs.

For background, Glading left Flight Centre Travel Group in mid-2019 after more than 20 years to take on the Head of Sales position for Seabourn and Holland America Line at Carnival Corp, a role she held for three years before it was made redundant in August 2022. Glading was quickly snapped up by Virtuoso as Account Director, Partner Relations AU/NZ before recently landing her dream role with FCTG, commencing 1 May 2023.

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Glading is leading the Member portfolio of the overarching Luxury Travel Collection. Globally, the Collection includes the established Travel Associates and Scott Dunn brands. Other future luxury acquisitions will also sit within the stable.

She has been tasked with building and promoting the Luxury Travel Collection’s Member portfolio.

At the Capella Sydney, from left are: Liz Rodgers, Regional Sales Director AU & NZ, Capella Group; Scott Darlow, GM LINK Travel Group; Rachel Kingswell, GM Travel Associates AU/NZ and Operational Director LTC; Astrid Richardson, GM Operations FCTG Independent; Nikki Glading, GM Luxury Membership Portfolio; Danielle Galloway, FCTG Global MD Luxury & Independent; Nicolena Oborn, Director of Sales & Marketing, Capella Sydney; Allie Sparr, Global Head FCTG Independent Marketing; Anna Burgdorf, Global Brand & Marketing Director, Luxury; and Sue Graham, Global Head of Product FCTG Independent.

“We’ve identified a clear gap in the market for a complete business and client solution in the luxury travel space,” Glading explains.

“Our concept uniquely fills a position for boutique and luxury agencies wanting a holistic ecosystem including business support, client-facing activities, acquisition of new luxury clients for growth, plus the all-important community and connections that the travel industry values so strongly,” she said.

Glading believes that one of the things that will entice agencies to align with LTC Membership is the scope of the luxury event portfolio that has been built.

These include The Luxury Travel Event (which LATTE can exclusively reveal will be replicated beyond Sydney to the Gold Coast in Q1, 2024), the recently acquired Luxperience travel trade show, as well as a series of consumer-focused aquisition events, including cruise partner lunches and bespoke events for cluster partners within high-performing suburbs and communities.

Michelle Keatinge, Head of Finance - Luxury; Shannon Fogarty, Head of Product - Luxury; Shannon Fogart, Head of Product - Luxury; Dani Galloway, FCTG Global MD Luxury & Independent; Nikki Glading; GM Luxury Membership Portfolio and Lisa Wright, Travel Associates Events Manager.

The Luxury Travel Collection Member portfolio will operate in parallel with other membership partners like Virtuoso, which Travel Associates has been aligned with for a number of years.

“We really value our partnership with Virtuoso. Virtuoso delivers a great offer for premium businesses, including trade events and a suite of high-end luxury products plus amazing relationships and Learning and Development.”

Glading explained to LATTE that LTC is heavily focused on the luxury client as it’s centrepiece, building a pipeline of new luxury clients to support members’ business expansion. In addition, it will provide a complete ecosystem for these luxury agencies to excel, Glading said.

“Luxury agencies are all extremely busy at the moment, but that may not always be the case so we’ve developed the solution that will help to fill the luxury consumer funnel,” Glading said.

“Many agencies no longer have marketing or event managers in their business, and they are too busy to plan their own activity, and therefore lack the time and resource for future-proofing and growing their business. And that’s

Nikki Glading, GM Luxury Membership Portfolio | Photo credit: Andrea Francolini.

where we have the solution which is ready to go. Under the Travel Associates banner, there are existing, proven resources, connections, commercials – the entire luxury solution.”

“In my research I am finding a real variance in business needs, from a small luxury boutique agency wanting a simple luxury EDM solution, through to a larger agency that wants to grow its client booking value, but don’t have the right ecosystem to deliver that elevated service,” Glading explained.

“I’d love to be able to provide that luxury support network to the industry and to businesses that are entrepreneurial and successful, but don’t have the means to source all of the tools required.”

“And of course, the right commercials are a huge part of the offer. A luxury agency demands a luxury return, not just from it’s clients, but also from it’s partners. We have made this a transparent priority of our membership.”

Membership will be offered by invitation, or by application, with a clear criteria in place to ensure the Luxury Travel Collection remains both exclusive and inclusive for the best in the luxury market.

“There is no other luxury collective in market that can provide this full ecosystem for the best travel agencies servicing high end clients. We are unique and different,” Glading said.

Glading is available for confidential discussions with potential new Members. Contact her via LinkedIn.

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