The subtleties of working with a premium product from PAC GROUP
Several years ago, PAC GROUP headed for the premium segment. The business was approached with the thoroughness and seriousness typical of a tour operator: the FIT product department, the PAC Premium brand was created, the Travel Architects and Lobster Club awards, as well as the High Service Academy were founded. Ekaterina Ruchkina, Development Director (FIT, VIP and MICE) of PAC GROUP, spoke about how these projects today help agencies to cope with difficult times.
Become # 1 in the premium segment
There has always been a premium product in the PAC GROUP range. Basically, we were approached with requests for tours to Italy, France, Monaco, Benelux and other European destinations. But Europe was not enough for us.
Since 2015, we have begun to systematically develop the premium segment. We approached this task as responsibly as we previously approached Italy, alpine skiing and cruises, where they established themselves as a market leader. Once upon a time it was PAC GROUP who first put many travel agents on skis, taught them how to sell cruises and introduced them to Italy. Now it’s time to become # 1 in the premium segment. And for this we have everything you need. Today we create premium travel experiences to Asia, Africa, America and Australia.
FIT – the PAC GROUP department – employs more than 50 travel experts and business aviation specialists, each of whom has colossal experience. And I can say with confidence – this is a strong professional team of people who are in love with their work, who know how to create real tourist masterpieces for clients.
Just imagine the level of competence, for example, of our specialist in Seychelles Elena Firsova, which has been working in this direction for 15 years and has been on the islands more than 10 times, knows everyone and everything there. Such experience cannot be found in any booking system or on the Internet – you can only live, absorb and be able to masterfully apply it. And such experts, as I said, we have more than 50!
Weekend? No – we don’t know!
We are in touch with agencies 24/7 to resolve issues of any complexity. And situations can be different, as different as the clients – someone needs to widen the doorways in the villa or install handrails in the pool, and someone needs to surprise their soulmate with an incredible show in an open-air cinema. The year 2020 showed how the team is able to work smoothly and efficiently in non-standard situations – we changed programs on the fly due to the rapidly changing epidemiological situation, actively used private aviation to deliver tourists to the right corners of the planet, found alternatives …
So, despite the pandemic and the closure of borders, our tourists travel, ski, relax on the islands, live in lodges, conquer Kilimanjaro, fly by helicopter – in a word, they continue to get vivid impressions.
I cannot but mention the huge partner base – we work directly with a large number of premium accommodation facilities, we are familiar with their owners, managers and general managers. After all, sometimes it is possible to solve the problem set by the client only thanks to personal contacts.
Only the strongest will survive
The coronavirus situation has once again shown that a premium product can be a real salvation for agencies. That is why last spring we launched the training project “Academy of High Service”, began to acquaint our partners with premium brands, the history of their creation and the modern philosophy of recreation. This knowledge helps our agencies to find their “hotel half” for each premium client. And a satisfied VIP client is a returning tourist who, over and over again, will entrust his vacation to a trusted agency. Is it worth talking about the importance of this factor today?
The Golden Collection is another premium PAC GROUP project that improves the life of travel agencies. In it we have united the best hotels, world brands, boutique hotels, castle hotels. By booking them, you can be sure of impeccable quality, and at the same time get an additional 1% to the agent’s discount on the hotel. Finding hotels on our website is very simple – just select the “Golden Collection” filter.
Travel Architects – Reboot
After a short break, we have renewed our Travel Architects Award, which brings together agents who are skilled at working with a premium product. This season, the fight for valuable prizes will take place in traditional nominations:
“Star Architect” for leaders in the number of booked nights in hotels of the 5 * and 5 * + categories.
“Luxury Travel Architect” for those who know how to work with VIP-tourists and will book a tour with the highest budget per person with PAC GROUP.
“Architect of Vivid Impressions” for the authors of the most interesting and unusual individual tours. An expert jury will determine the 10 best routes, of which 3 winners will be determined during an online voting.
The winners of the nominations will go on unique travels, because those who work with VIP tourists themselves must relax as VIP tourists.
The best of the best at the end of the season will become members of the closed Lobster Club PAC GROUP and will receive access to special privileges. Let’s sum up the results in the winter of 2022, so there is time to join the Travel Architects project and compete for premium prizes and unique travel experiences.
Exclusive at your fingertips
When we say that agencies that work with VIP clients should rest in the same conditions, this is not only a tribute and gratitude to partners, but also a concern for their skill. It is impossible to sell a complex product without knowing the psychology of the client and without experiencing everything that you offer him.
That is why we introduce agencies to the premium product not only at training projects, online and offline business meetings, workshops and exhibitions, business breakfasts and live broadcasts. We introduce the premium product in person, face to face, within CELEBRITY TOUR from PAC GROUP, where celebrities are our best agencies. We organize trips for them to famous resorts and the best hotels for a true immersion in a premium product. During such trips, you can feel the comfort and level of service, feel the nuances and understand the philosophy of each hotel. This means that we offer our dearest tourists exactly what they like.