How long have you been working with The Goldman Group?
Since 2014 in my current role at LHW, but I remember my first call to David Goldman when I was at Park Hyatt Sydney, hoping he would speak with me. That was back in 2006!
Can you outline the advantages of working with a brand whose businesses encompass a range of travel segments, ie corporate travel, leisure travel, cruising?
The advantage for most hoteliers is the ability to attract both corporate and leisure travellers. The downside of corporate travellers is that they don’t typically stay past a Thursday night… but a leisure traveller does…
In your view, what are the most significant travel trends in the current Australian market? Do you believe they are likely to be short or long-term?
For us at LHW, we are increasingly seeing that the 30-40 something traveller looks to their peers for destinations to experience and hotels to visit. Hotels that are popular amongst this age group are Villa d’Este, Le Sirenuse and Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. I think that the “word of mouth” trend will never go out of style, therefore will remain a long-term trend.
Despite popular perception, do you believe clients genuinely save money booking their own travel online versus using an experienced agent? Why, or why not?
Sometimes perhaps they do, but our typical customer values service and experience over price. By no means do our clients want to overpay, but they want expertise to make sure every travel experience is unique, memorable and flawless.
Luxury travel, value for money, unique experiences and destinations? What are Australian travellers looking for in 2019?
At LHW, we sit in the luxury travel space and our customers come from all different walks of life. Many are curious travellers that value unique experiences, new destinations and local food. Others are creatures of habit that will go back to the same destination year-on-year and want to enjoy the finer things in life. What our clients have in common is their value of the authentic and local nature of our member hotels, independent and often family-run hotels, which are immersed in the local community and culture.
What’s your hot destination tip for 2019?
Greece is the top choice this year, and I recommend island hopping between Mykonos and Santorini. Portugal is also very popular.
Describe your ideal holiday (and pretend you’re not paying)!!
I think I just experienced it…I recently hosted a famil trip to Italy and Switzerland and skied in Courmayeur, Zermatt, Gstaad and Andermatt for two weeks. However, for a holiday to be considered “ideal,” I would need to have my wife Hayley and three children (Zara, Malia and Malachi) with me…
With multi-generational travel a growing trend, which destinations are the most popular for family groups, and why?
We are seeing many multi-generational bookings to Europe…London is extremely popular, as is Italy. Ski destinations over the Christmas period are also seeing a surge in bookings.
How are Australian travellers different from our counterparts overseas?
I know our hoteliers love having Aussies in house, and not just because they stay longer, spend more and drink in the bar, but because of how grateful most Australian travellers are… travel isn’t just something that we do, it’s something that we love!
What’s your must-have travel accessory – that one thing you can’t leave home without?
I would love to say my family, but most of the time when I travel, I unfortunately don’t get to take them with me, so I would have to say my phone and charger. It keeps me connected to everything and everyone.
If you weren’t in travel, what would you be doing?
Possibly architecture or building project management.