Luxury Gold Offers A Sweet Taste Of What Guests Enjoy
with Bruce Parkinson
Julie Virgilio, Regional Manager, Corporate Stores for TDC, with Jeff Element, President, The Travel Corporation Canada.
Carla Brake, VP Sales, with Brad Ford, President Luxury Gold Canada.
The Omni King Edward Hotel’s savoury finger sandwiches.
Layers of deliciousness.
Karen Scott Caplice, Director Business Development, Travel Edge, with Luxury Gold’s Brad Ford.
The only way to truly understand quality is by experiencing it. So when The Travel Corporation’s top guided vacation brand Luxury Gold invited its leading Toronto-area partners for a presentation about its 2019 Worldwide Collection of Luxury Escorted Journeys, it sought a venue and experience that would emulate the level of quality guests can expect on its trips.
Afternoon Tea at the Omni King Edward Hotel was the inspired choice. After a presentation by a tea sommelier, guests chose from a selection of fine and rare teas, before enjoying savoury finger sandwiches, a selection of delicate pastries and melt-in-your-mouth scones, served with Devonshire Cream, house-made Ontario strawberry jam and a passion fruit curd that elicited groans of delight.
It’s those moments of pure, privileged pleasure that Luxury Gold aims to deliver, under the slogan “Bringing Back The Golden Era Of Travel.”
Moments like visiting the Sistine Chapel after hours for a long, undisturbed view of its majesty. Or touring the beautifully restored gardens of Alnwick Castle in the company of the homeowner – the Duchess of Northumberland. Or dining in Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe. Or bedding down in magnificent splendour at Ireland’s Ashford Castle, which was lovingly restored by The Travel Corporation’s owners the Tollman family.
An offshoot of Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold has now become a brand of its own, with its newest brochure/magazine counting 172 pages and profiling 55 luxury guided journeys that put the emphasis on personalization and exclusivity. A subset of the Luxury Gold line is the Chairman’s Collection, a group of tours personally curated by Tollman family patriarch Stanley. These include diverse and exclusive opportunities like meeting Austrian Princess Anita Von Hohenberg at her castle or making music in Nashville with Grammy Award-winning musician Charlie McCoy.
Luxury Gold staff were in sprint mode this year, trying to meet as many travel advisors as possible in what President Brad Ford described as “the year of saying yes” – yes to every conference and opportunity to interact with travel professionals.
The result, according to VP Sales Carla Brake, has been “a fantastic year in 2018 and advance sales up 40% going into 2019.
Retailers are telling Brake the Luxury Gold hits all the right buttons for their most discerning clients. Groups are smaller (max. 40, avg. 25), and there’s a careful balance between experiences and free time. There are no optional tours, and guests often have a choice of more than one included option in a destination. ‘Relaxed starts’ are another popular feature, and guests can choose to have breakfast in their rooms at no extra charge.
Brake also points out that travel advisors shouldn’t look at Luxury Gold as a motor coach operator. “We use whatever form of transportation is most suitable for the destination, whether it’s luxury coaches and river cruise ships in Europe, bullet trains in our new Japan program and safari vehicles in Afrlica.”
For those who want the ultimate in exclusivity, Luxury Gold now offers fully bespoke tours in Ireland, Scotland, Greece and Eastern and Southern Africa. Groups of two or more can create their own tailor-made independent holidays in conjunction with a Luxury Gold Travelling Concierge.
“For clients seeking very special moments,” says Ford… “They happen on Luxury Gold journeys.”
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.