With the start of every New Year, marks the arrival of the latest numbers, statistics and insights. Some of these are reflections of the past year: international travellers (1.138 billion), growth of the tourism industry (5%). Some are forward facing and personal: company targets, brand ranking, repeat guests etc. it is easy to get caught up in the numbers, focusing on the analysis, the reporting and the record-setting. Yes, the figures do matter. But this is not what drives Trafalgar, and this is most certainly not why we are #1.
Our simple focus is the power of one. Our singular motivation: our guest. Whatever we are doing, wherever we go, however we innovate, wherever we invest, it is always focused on just one measure – one guest. Because that is who matters.
For Trafalgar, a company that has proudly showcased for millions of our guests numerous destinations around the world, why do we take this non-mass approach? Because we understand that it is the personal wishes of each and every guest, that makes our business a success, or not.
In the world of travel trends we speak about ‘transformation of the industry’, and we try to determine the next ‘big idea’ that will give us the competitive edge. In theory it makes sense, keeping an eye on the stats and trends will give the industry the ‘need to know’. But at Trafalgar, we take a very different approach. We go back to the one – one guest. And we work to get to grips with what our guests want, as well as to understand ‘why’. What motivates he or she when it comes to travel? What turns a traveller in the direction of one destination versus another? What steers their decision-making? What creates their most precious memories? What is considered time well spent? And time wasted? What makes a moment fulfilling? What makes an experience meaningful? And what will bring them back?
This is the driving force behind our innovation, and the foundation of our commitment to our guests. Our invitation to travellers to “See the world from the inside”, and our investment in the creation of itineraries that turn travel schedules into personal wish lists, is not the result of spending our time mining through a multitude of data about what is happening in global tourism, and where the numbers are going. Yes, we all keep this as a source of intelligence, but the real insight comes from what is inside the hearts and mind of travellers – why they really want to travel.
Taking the time to really understand the stimulus of our guests is what has earned Trafalgar the respect of the industry, the loyalty of our travellers, and the envy of our competitors. Is it about a guest’s wish to see Italy? Yes, partly, but it is also about creating memories together as a family while in Italy. Is it about seeing the great icons of America? Yes, but it is also about feeling, and truly experiencing that you are in the presence of history.
From this understanding, and respect for the individual, we have created award-winning offerings in Trafalgar such as our exclusive “Be My Guest”, and we continue to promise to all of our Trafalgar travellers the discovery of hidden treasures, that only our expert Travel Directors can share.
Behind my great confidence in 2015 is that fact that everyone behind Brand Trafalgar is a firm believer that an itinerary is not a route with a price, but a series of magical memories one guest at a time.