Panache Travel Group

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Travel Agency - Upscale Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

In order to reach its goal of becoming one of the premiere luxury tour operators and travel planners, Panache Travel Group will adopt the following strategy:

  1. Establish the reputation of PTG as a differentiated, specialty provider of luxury travel. This will be accomplished through a diverse marketing communications program directed at the target market of PTG utilizing various media.

  2. Provide unparalleled service to clients in order to gain repeat business and referrals. This will include providing superior service in all phases of the Panache experience, including timely follow-through.

  3. Aggressively promote the Panache brand of luxury travel and, in particular, small group travel through Panache Journeys which will be promoted as "the ultimate in luxurious small group travel."

5.1 Value Proposition

The value proposition of Panache Travel Group comes from the personal knowledge and love of travel of its founders and employees. They are confident of their ability to meet the needs of their customers because they share the enthusiasm of the clients for the travel experience they offer. Their confidence and ability translates into confidence for the client. It is basis for developing a long-term, trusting relationship.

5.2 Competitive Edge

The competitive edge of Panache Travel Group is its focus, passion, experience, and in its superior product with Panache Journeys. PTG provides a differentiated offering with creative management and commitment.

5.3 Sales Strategy

Panache Travel Group will sell the benefits of the services it promotes and the luxury tours it offers. PTG will provide clients with all the arrangements which they can foresee, as well as many they would not have contemplated. Our concern is not to maximize profits on any individual sale, but to satisfy the client. We are confident that doing so will reduce costs and increase profits in the long run. It is less expensive to maintain a relationship than it is to create a new one. At PTG, we believe in the value of the travel we sell and we are confident that we can satisfy the seasoned traveler and the newcomer as well. Sales projections are detailed in the Yearly Sales chart accompanying the Sales Forecast topic and table.

5.3.1 Sales Programs

Sales programs will include sales awards for the highest grossing sales representative and customer service awards for those employees who best exemplify Panache Travel Group's commitment to clients. On-site sales, telephone sales, on-line sales, off-site sales and third-party sales will all be closely correlated with marketing promotions. Aspects of the sales processes, which may include training, cold-calling, leads, productivity, order-fulfillment, measurable and attainable goal-setting and follow-up efforts, will all be evaluated and clearly described.

5.3.2 Sales Forecast

Detailed projections are located in the sales chart and table below. Panache Travel Group expects sales to double in the first three years of operation. We believe this is a conservative estimate, given the nature of the vast market of potential clients and the market niche of Panache Journeys.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Journeys $310,000 $900,000 $2,700,000
Services $190,000 $600,000 $1,800,000
Total Sales $500,000 $1,500,000 $4,500,000
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Journeys $202,800 $688,500 $2,025,000
Services $144,000 $534,000 $1,584,000
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $346,800 $1,222,500 $3,609,000

5.4 Marketing Strategy

Panache Travel Group adheres to the theory that the goal of business is to create and keep customers. Its marketing strategy will reflect this goal as it builds its reputation to clients throughout the United States.

5.4.1 Marketing Programs

Direct marketing methods may include the following:

  • Advertising Specialties. Items, specifically, cotton T-shirts printed with Panache Journeys & (destination), to be given to Panache Travel Group clients.
  • E-Mail Mailings. Regular or infrequent mailings to lists with updated information and special offers.
  • Direct Mail. Brochures, newsletters.
  • Sampling: Occasionally a discounted journey may be offered as a "trade-in-kind" to a visible and vocal trend-setter who is otherwise unable to afford a Panache Journey. Clear expectations would be established for what we would receive in exchange.

Informal Marketing/Networking. Activities such as joining organizations, public speaking, or attending conferences will be explored. For example, an invitation has been extended to one of the founders of PTG for membership in the "DOM professionals," club a charitable organization for women engaged in the sale and or promotion of passenger transportation and travel in New York City. Its membership is a who's who of the industry and is a valuable networking organization.

Customer-Based Marketing may include the following:

  • Emphasizing repeat sales by clients who have taken one Panache Journey.
  • Exploring add-on sales to increase the total revenue per client through the sale of extra products or services, such as additional, unescorted, trip planned through Panache Services which might follow a Panache Journey or a domestic trip, business or leisure.
  • Add-on sales facilitated by links to our website.
  • Strategic Partnerships may include cooperative advertising, distribution agreements and bundling.
  • Special Offers and Promotions may include increased commissions or limited-time-only offers to PTG representatives or travel agents for seasonal promotions.

5.4.2 Positioning Statement

Our aim is directed at individuals, corporations, civics groups and charitable organizations who wish to participate in luxury travel, and towards travel agents who want to sell the finest small group luxury tours on the market.

5.4.3 Pricing Strategy

Much of the pricing of Panache Travel Group is determined by market standards. It will attempt to maintain modest margins on Panache Services and slightly higher margins on Panache Journeys. PTG will make every effort to maintain a competitive pricing policy and keep the price of Panache Journeys slightly below the price of other luxury tours for the first three years. However, as Panache Journeys builds its reputation as a premier small group luxury tour operator, it expects to earn the ability to charge comparable rates to other luxury tour companies.

5.4.4 Promotion Strategy

The image we are promoting:


from Late Latin (pinnaculum): small feather;
from Old Italian (pennachio): ornamental tuft of feathers, often on a helmet; a tassel;
from Middle French (pennache): flamboyantly or stylish confident manner."
---Oxford English Dictionary

This is the meaning of PANACHE, and this is the message we want to promote!

We seek to project our company's name, and subtleties of its meaning, to the luxury traveler!

The luxury traveler travels with Panache -- therefore he/she has panache!

We aim to convey the myriad benefits the luxury client will receive by traveling with Panache!

A Panache client will have an experience evoked by these phrases:

  • Top-of-the-line, top-drawer care-free leisure.
  • Worry-free and problem-free, all-details-handled without hassle.
  • Personally tailored, friendly expert guidance, seamless operations, attention to details.
  • Pampered and "spoiled", luxurious and permeated with stylish confidence.
  • Irreplaceable memories, not astronomically priced.

Therefore, we have addressed the Five F's a customer wants:

Function. Our service meets their concrete needs and desires.

Finances. Our prices are somewhat under market-rate.

Freedom. We make purchase very convenient, thereby freeing the client's time and mind.

Feelings. We provide a service that makes the clients feel pleased with themselves for their acumen in selecting such a superior product.

Future. The service creates great satisfaction. The client's only longing is for another Journey!

The brochures are sleekly elegant. The logo printed on business cards and stationery is sophisticated and unusual: acid green and black dramatically create attention and the elegance of the Romanesque Panache script is eye-catching. Our sales representatives and Panache hosts are experienced, knowledgeable, cosmopolitan, polished and poised. Our website reinforces these images and messages.

How our image and services will be promoted:

During the first year, Panache Travel Group will continue a relationship begun with the Guild of Ballet West, a professional, nonprofit ballet company located in Salt Lake City, in affiliation with the San Francisco Ballet Company, with a membership of 354. Two journeys will be offered as the grand prize for their annual fund-raising extravaganza given by the Guild in April 28, 2001. This will create buzz and publicity for Panache Journeys, build interest for others to join the prize-winners to travel together, and give back to the community in which PTG is based.

An East-coast based promotion will be participation in the fund-raising auction of educational, public television station WLIW, Channel 21, based on Long Island, New York. The auction will take place June 1-3, 2001. One journey will be auctioned. We will create a 30-second spot with WLIW's production team. The spot will be aired ten times; print acknowledgement will be made in a Newsday newspaper ad; we'll receive promotion on WLIW's auction website and link access to our website; and we have an on-air guest auctioneer opportunity and live interview about Panache Journeys. WLIW has a viewership in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut of more than 1.9 million households weekly and we will be publicized before this vast audience.

PTG will continue calling on travel agencies, in person and by telephone, especially in areas identified as having high levels of income. A select, edited list has been prepared for us by a high-profiled, much-loved and respected, travel professional in New York City. Her stamp-of-approval, gained at the Las Vegas Luxury Travel Expo held in December 2000, has opened many doors. PTG will collaborate with up-scale travel agencies in joint promotions. For example, we will co-sponsor a select mailing in Pittsburgh to high-net-worth individuals who have been identified as interested in luxury travel.

PTG will co-host a kick-off cocktail party with an important agency as they launch their new website. One hundred top local CEO's, clients of this agency, will be invited.

PTG is working with a Virginia agency and an important museum curator and lecturer to customize an itinerary emphasizing architectural aspects of European cities for interested museum members. PTG may develop an affiliation with the Great Books Program of the University of Chicago, initially in Westchester County, New York. Members have expressed an interest in having PTG tailor travel itineraries highlighting points of specific literary interest. An offer has been made to link our website with that of the Great Books program as well.

PTG will participate in national and regional trade shows. The next one on the calendar is the 2001 Alliance of Westchester Travel Agencies (AWTA) to be held in Tarrytown, New York, April 2, 2001. It draws more than 400 owners, corporate managers and travel agents from Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, Connecticut and other surrounding areas.

Two nationally important trade shows held annually are the Luxury Travel Expo (LTE) in Las Vegas and the Incentive Travel Marketing Expo (ITME) in Chicago. Both are worthwhile. We will attend and exhibit.

Our website will be a very important avenue for reaching prospective clients not reached in other ways. Casually speaking, "It's a way to put more feet on the street!" It is also an ideal location to introduce tie-in products and services. For example, if we were to believe that a particular Tumi piece of luggage was ideal, we might seek an affiliation with them and create a link on our website. Additionally, if we created a reading list, we might profitably seek a tie-in with one of the on-line book sellers such as

Another marketing program contemplated is the publication of a chatty newsletter, perhaps distributed quarterly. Its purpose would be to increase customer contact and serve as a vehicle for exemplifying our dedicated, personal attention. We could also highlight new Journeys, interesting travel tidbits, etc., etc. through this means.

Personal selling will also occur utilizing the extended networks of everyone affiliated with Panache Travel Group.

5.5 Strategic Alliances

Strategic alliances for promotions will be developed with travel agents, corporations, civic groups and non-profit organizations. Some of these alliances have been established by Panache Journeys and will continue and be expanded by Panache Travel Group.