Panache Travel Group
The mission of Panache Travel Group is service and luxury for discerning travelers. An observation well-known in the travel and hospitality industry is that achieving a reputation for excellence relies on word of mouth. We want the Panache brand to be synonymous with service and luxury. When the conversation turns to travel, we want our clients to say, “I travel with Panache!”
For the current year, 2001, Panache Journeys has planned and described twelve escorted tours:
- French Portfolio (French Riviera/ Provence)
- Historic France (Paris/ Loire Valley/ Normandy)
- Cosmopolitan Europe (Amsterdam/ Paris/ London)
- Timeless Italy (Italian Riviera/ Tuscany)
- Italian Glory (Rome/ Florence/ Venice)
- Portuguese Discovery (Estoril Coast/ Lisbon/ Algarve)
- Escape to Morocco (Fez/ Casablanca/ Marrakesh)
- Alpine Luxury (Austria/ Germany)
- Heart of Europe (Germany/ Czech Republic/ Austria)
- Orient Express (Venice/ Paris/ London)
- Panache Explorer-Burma
- Panache Explorer-Iran
To handle the myriad details involved, we will rely on the technology afforded by Panache Services, the World Wide Web and the focused attention of our founders and staff who will make all plans and arrangements.
3.1 Service Description
Panache Journeys provides luxury escorted travel packages. Pre-trip services include assistance with arranging airfare, trip insurance, passports, as well as making suggestions regarding packing, etc. Carefully planned itineraries, superior accommodations, lodgings, food and entertainment opportunities are communicated before the trip. Contacts are lined-up, should medical, diplomatic or financial emergencies arise. To familiarize clients with the locales they’ll be visiting, a fine guidebook will be mailed to each client several weeks before the beginning of each Journey.
Well-known luxury hotels engaged for these journeys include, to name just a few: The Splendido, in Portofino; The Carlton, in Cannes; The Ritz in London; and The Gritti Palace in Venice. Arrangements for notable dining experiences of equal caliber have been made in Michelin two-and-three-star restaurants.
Local subject experts have been engaged to impart their invaluable knowledge and perspective to our clients. For example, the services of Professore Marco di Navo, native Venetian, author of Venice, retired professor of art history, University of Padova, and a former head of the Venetian Tour Guide association have been reserved to give everyone new eyes with which to see the glories of Venice.
Of equal importance to everything mentioned above are the Panache hosts who accompany each Journey. Each is excellent and is prepared to give the utmost personal attention to clients on the road. Each host has a broad background of knowledge, experience and the all-important quality of a sense of humor. Each host understands the luxury field is unique unto itself; each client is unique, and the care, feeding and transporting of this demanding clientele requires him to be ever-ready to serve.
The goal of everyone at Panache Journeys is not only to meet the travel needs of its clients: it is to anticipate them. We want our service to be exceptional, not simply friendly. Panache Services provides complementary travel services for Panache Journeys clients, as well as corporate and general leisure travelers. In addition, unescorted FITs, or Free and Independent Tours, are happily arranged for clients for whom a Panache Journey is not quite right.
3.2 Competitive Comparison
Panache Journeys has addressed these issues by positioning itself as a luxury travel company, offering exceptionally small groups (none larger than ten) and delivering an exceptionally high level of service. It understands that these aspects are highly valued, cannot be discounted, reduced or otherwise cheapened. Panache Journeys has not identified a direct competitor in this particular niche of the luxury travel market when aspects of service, group size, quality of accommodations and quantity of personal attention are included. Other luxury tour operators will be discussed under a separate topic in the market analysis and analyzed with a comparison of strengths and weaknesses.
3.3 Sales Literature
A handsome, full-color brochure describes the Panache Journeys, which includes prices and terms. They were printed by The Printing of Salt Lake City and will be mailed to potential customers upon request. Additional brochures will be used in direct mail campaigns and as sales promotional material. Panache Travel Group will maintain, and regularly add to, its database of previous customers/contacts/potential clients information. Notes, additions and revisions will be made on a continuous basis. The website of PTG at www.panachetravelgroup.com gives information about Panache, its hosts, journeys offered with dates, prices, terms and booking information. An e-mail address is given for a Panache Journeys representative to respond to inquiries from prospective travelers. The site is adequate for the 2001 season, but will be thoroughly redesigned and developed for the 2002 season. Money has been allocated in the 2002 marketing budget for this project by an expert, outside firm.
The key fulfillment and delivery will be provided by the acquisition of both Panache European Journeys and Barkley Roberts Travel. The core value of these companies is professional expertise, achieved through the combination of travel experience, hard work and educational background.
Panache European Journeys established relationships with providers of travel-related products and services. Extensive market research enabled them to identify and create working relationships with numerous service providers around the world. Panache European Journeys identified opportunities to capture markets with great growth potential. They continually sought and evaluated new sources. Panache European Journeys took advantage of trade shows, travel industry personnel and publications and other sources of industry-related information as it monitored the quality of its offering. They have a history of three successful years providing tours, virtually identical, to those which will be offered by Panache Travel Group.
Barkley Roberts Travel is a full service travel agency. It is a member of the Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC), International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN), Association of Travel Agencies (ASTA), along with many other groups and trade associations. It is also a member of www.vacation.com that is one of the largest consortium for obtaining additional commission and discounts prices on airline, hotel room, rental car and cruise line bookings. In addition, Barkley Roberts Travel has a large client base of both corporate and leisure clients, many of whom travelled with Panache European Journeys. Barkley Roberts Travel is staffed with two full-time certified travel professionals.
The bi-coastal offices staffed with the knowledgeable founders and personnel of PTG will facilitate attracting clients both to and within the luxury travel market though one-on-one meetings with potential clients, personal contact with sophisticated travel agencies which target up-scale consumers, and broad out-reach programs including travel conferences and media and special events.
Panache Travel Group will rely on the Computerized Reservation System (CRS) of Barkley Roberts Travel. Barkley Roberts Travel is currently under contract to WorldSpan, a leader in the CRS world. The CRS enables travel agents to identify what the customer is looking for and to make that information available quickly. It increases the speed and efficiency with which PTG can communicate with suppliers. In addition, the CRS simplifies customer data storage and retrieval. PTG will make use of the latest computer technology and the Internet for market research, communications, data storage and sales. PTG will also create working agreements with other travel agencies in the Salt Lake City and New York areas that will enhance its technological abilities and its financial profitability.
3.6 Future Services
Panache Travel Group will increase the geographical areas of the world in which it offers tours. In addition, as the luxury travel market expands, PTG may develop business in additional segments of the luxury travel market, i.e. tours with an architectural, music festival, golf or local festival emphasis. PTG is researching the market to identify potential opportunities for future sales. The long-term goal of PTG is to establish itself as an internationally recognized provider of top-of-the-line luxury travel. This goal does not prohibit PTG from participating in additional areas of the travel industry. It does, however, provide a corporate focus and a differentiated offering.