More than 100 luxury travel specialists joined 40 preferred partners at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Marco Island, FL for the annual Affluent Traveller Collection Symposium (ATCS) from September 19-22, 2021.
In the first company conference since the pandemic began, inspiring speakers shared their expertise on the luxury segment and their prognosis for the future, amidst a high energy level of face-to-face networking.
In addition, the group enjoyed all the amenities of JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Marco Island, FL, which is also a member of The Affluent Travel Collection Preferred Hotels & Resorts program.
“Thoughtful leadership was a common theme in this year’s meeting,” said Nicole Mazza, chief marketing officer, ATC. “In our few days together, it was energizing for our advisors and partners to discuss the optimistic prognosis for luxury travel and our dynamic speakers delivered thought-provoking insight and hands-on advice.”
The opening keynote session was led by Arnold Donald, president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation, alongside Josh Leiberwitz, president of Seabourn, who discussed leading during the pandemic and provided insight into their future growth strategy.
Chris Austin, chief sales officer, Explora Journeys, one of ATC’s newest partners, also delivered an impactful session highlighting luxury trends and how to target luxury clients keeping them loyal to your brand.
Members could also hear their colleagues on a peer-to-peer panel who spoke about their client’s changing travel wish list and tips on how to upsell.
“As an agency affiliate, it is extremely reassuring that you have our backs during these difficult times and I look forward to building on our relationship to make our agency stronger during the upcoming year,” said Lew Winger of Winger Travel Agency, Inc. from Vero Beach, FL.
Brand campaign announced
A new brand campaign was also launched: Luxury is the Standard for The Affluent Travel Collection, which is positioned to be the premier luxury travel marketing group.
“We’ve highlighted our ATC advisors as curators of luxury travel experiences, who are committed to creating the ultimate luxury travel experiences and best-kept secrets are their expertise,” the company said.
The new messaging will be featured in a series of trade and consumer advertising as well as social campaigns.
Many new hotel partners were welcomed into the ATC luxury portfolio providing several value-add amenities and exclusive incentives for advisors’ clients: Red Carnation Collection, IHG including their Intercontinental and Kimpton brands, Wynn Las Vegas, Conrad Punta de Mita, The St. Regis Bermuda Resort and more, bringing the collection close to 1,000 partners.
Enhanced amenities announced were daily complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, $100 USD value-add amenities, upgrades and more.
In addition to hotels, other travel partners were announced such as Explora Journeys, private aviation Star Jets International, Greek DMC Escape Journeys, FIT tour operator GT
Experiences as well as several tourist board partners from Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Bahamas.
Prior to the conference, the ATC Engagement Council, represented by several agency owners covering a diverse group of agencies in the U.S. and Canada, convened and confirmed their sales projections citing no slow-down in growth in the luxury and premium space.
This validates the robust forecasts that ATC is also showing, with an average increase of 48 per cent for 2022 travel bookings.
“We want to thank our sponsors, suppliers and speakers for their inspiration and optimistic prognosis for the luxury segment as we pave the path forward,” said Mazza. “As we all face the challenges of our changing landscape, these strong partnerships prove that our luxury advisors are well equipped to build back their luxury business.”