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Luxury marketing not hitting the mark in Australia and New Zealand

February 15, 2018 Business News No Comments Email Email

Following Virtuoso’s continuing expansion into the Asia Pacific region, the global luxury travel network has commissioned in-depth research into how our industry targets and markets to the luxury consumer.

Virtuoso’s Luxury Marketplace White Paper reveals 77% of Virtuoso agency members in the region are seeing growth in the business, and three quarters of travel suppliers also anticipate growth in sales from the Virtuoso network in the coming year.

“The luxury travel segment is thriving both here in our region and globally. Consumers are trading up to the best experiences the industry has to offer and our business grew over 20% in 2017, making this one of Virtuoso’s fastest growing markets globally,” Virtuoso’s Managing Director – Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Michael Londregan said.

“While desire is high, we feel our industry is lagging behind the consumer when it comes to the way we market luxury travel. We found a strong belief amongst both luxury travel suppliers and advisors that there are few viable and effective marketing channels to communicate their message and support their brands.

“There is a lot of activity in the travel marketplace but most of it is distress marketing – promoting our “brown bananas” – and very little communicates the luxury value proposition in a way that connects with luxury clients. Our research shows this is something our luxury suppliers and agents are craving.”

Key insights from Virtuoso’s white paper include:

  • Luxury travel suppliers are willing to spend more from their marketing budgets but they don’t believe current joint marketing campaigns portray their brand well.
  • Luxury travel agencies believe there is opportunity to connect more effectively with luxury clients through co-operative marketing beyond pure discounting.
  • Repeat business accounts for more than 70% of most Virtuoso advisor business and new client acquisition is attained overwhelmingly through referrals, but relationship marketing holds a small share of existing marketing spend.
  • Most luxury supply marketing is aimed at new customer acquisition which is least likely to convert and often fixated on discounts.
  • The APAC market craves localised marketing and personal messaging, rather than those repurposed from larger international markets.
Mr Londregan said following the white paper’s findings, Virtuoso will make a significant investment in marketing resources for the region in order to better service supply partners and agency members.

As a direct result of the research Virtuoso is delighted to announce that Adrian Clarke, will join Virtuoso’s APAC team in a marketing role in March 2018.

“Transitioning from the member side of the program into Virtuoso itself is an exciting progression,” Mr Clarke said.

“I’ve always admired Virtuoso’s clear market position and look forward to working with the best suppliers and advisors in the region to grow engagement and revenues through better marketing programs.”

Mr Clarke has held numerous senior marketing roles in the travel sector including most recently as the Head of Marketing with Travel Associates, one of Virtuoso’s valued members.

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