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March 3, 2014updated Mar 24, 2014

The Travel Corporation Ups its Luxury Quotient

By Chris Boyle

travel corporationThe Travel Corporation is not a consumer brand and in fact, most of its activities from its more than two dozen brands are mid-market.  It’s also a key player in the youth travel market.  However, more and more of its growth will make its offerings of interest to elite travelers.

It’s eclectic luxury hotel group, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, dots key elite traveler destinations such as London, Geneva, Palm Beach and Cape Town.  The newest additions, Ashford Castle and The Lodge at Ashford Castle, add Ireland to its portfolio.  A $25 million investment is underway and plans for a spa are in the works.  Weddings, family retreats and takeovers will be ideal.  Archery, falconry, equestrian and fishing make for activity packed days.

In the group Uniworld offers river cruises. While traditionally these vessels have had limited luxury traveler appeal, a new generation of vessels provides a credible luxury experience and a different way to see Europe.  As an example Super Ship Catherine debuting this year at 443 feet features suites from 305 to 410 square feet.  Décor is strictly five-star and there is an increased culinary focus. With a capacity of 159 passengers, river vessels like this in my opinion are a great option for full takeovers, both for family groups as well as company incentives.

Adventure travel will in the future feature more prominently.  During a visit with the group’s CEO Brett Tollman in London, he noted that the recent purchase of Australia-based Adventure World will be the foundation for a play into what is a $200 billion travel segment.

One aspect of the family run group I think all elite travelers will find appealing is its credo, “No request is too large, no detail to small.”

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