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An Exclusive Interview with Richard Parks at WTM London, Representative of Luxury Travel Ltd (www.luxurytravels.asia) in the UK

November 2, 2013 Trade Events No Comments Email Email

We talk to Richard Parks, to get his take on Vietnam’s tourism boom and the increasing demand to the Far East and how to provide the World’s most authentic luxury travel experiences in the Vietnam and South East Asia and his company’s vision in the Mekong Region.

1. Can you tell us a little about your company and yourself?

My company, RP Marketing, represents Luxury Travel in the UK promoting their services to the travel trade.

Richard-Parks2. How does Luxury Travel distinguish itself from the competitors in Vietnam?

Their exceptionally high standards of service, creativeness and innovation, as well as their competitive rates on luxury products, make Luxury Travel a market leader and award-winning company. 

3. How do you define luxury travel?

Luxury travel means different things to different people but nowadays it is as much about the experience as about the standard of accommodation. It is also about having exclusive access or meeting people. Also it is about the highest levels of service from start to finish.

4. As a premium travel sellers, why we should sell Indochina now?

 There has never been a better time to promote travel to Vietnam because of the wide selection of deluxe hotels, the country’s tradition of excellent service, the improvement of the infrastructure as well as ease of access with an ever increasing number of airlines now flying to both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The ‘can do’ attitude of the Vietnamese means that itineraries can be designed to meet the tastes and budget of all visitors whether they want to stay in international-standard hotels or intimate, stylish boutique hotels; explore in a limo or experience the country up close on the back of a Minsk motorbike; cruise Halong Bay or, for those short of time, fly over in a helicopter; and dine in smart international restaurants or savour the delicate flavours of Vietnamese food in refined colonial villas.

5. Are travel agencies looking to the same values when programming Vietnam?

Travel agencies know their clients personally so endeavour to communicate the needs of their client when requesting itineraries. They want the holiday to be a special one so that clients will return to use their services again.

6. What is your main target market for Luxury Travel?

There is a huge special interest and niche market in the UK and many of these travel companies offer experiential travel combined with comfort.

7. Could you name the top five most high-end experiences in Vietnam?

Cruising around Halong Bay on a deluxe traditional junk

Spa holiday at one of the many gorgeous spa resorts

Luxury train from Hanoi to Lao Cai

A round of golf on an international-standard golf course surrounded by stunning scenery

River cruise from Saigon to Siem Reap

8. What are your favorite luxury hotels in Vietnam?

My  personal favorite is Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Nha Trang, but I find that the top five that seem to leave clients in awe are Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel, La Residence Hue Hotel and Spa, the Nam Hai in Hoi An, the Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel and Six Senses Con Dao.

Again, there is always room for different styles of travel, but these are well known brands and most clients feel comfortable with them right at the start.  However, each has its own unique style and charm.

Six Senses Con Dao has everything you might want, like a much larger resort, but it is limited to a smaller clientele, with fewer rooms and suites, guaranteeing exclusivity.

9. What are the most popular activities requested once in Vietnam especially the Briton tourists?

Boat and train trips are nearly always requested and Vietnam ticks all the boxes with deluxe train carriages and luxurious traditional junks and river cruiseboats.

10. How about your new-joint venture in Cambodia – Asia Premium Travel?

This ensures that Luxury Travel can guarantee the quality of the service in Cambodia and be a trendsetter when it comes to experiences and sourcing hotels that go the extra mile for its guests.

11. The last question, how travel agents and tour operator work with you and Luxury Travel?

The UK market is a demanding one and in the digital world travellers have access to a lot of information. Tour operators have to make sure their service to their client is seen as added value and this extends to the relationship with Luxury Travel (www.luxurytravels.asia). Prompt answers are a must as well as the ability to make suggestions which would enhance an itinerary to help the tour operator to sell it to the potential client.

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