Carrier credits trade for 140% increase in bookings since 2019

Luxury tour operator Carrier has reported an 140% increase in bookings worth more than £100,000 since 2019.

The operator said so far this year, high value six-figure bookings represented almost 20% of total sales and tended to be multi-generational or special occasion bookings, with an average of eight passengers and a longer duration of around 17 days. Many have been property buy-outs or deemed “once in a lifetime” trips.

Rick Milne, carrier’s head of sales, said: “The majority of these bookings come through our agent partners because having a trusted advisor is key. Facilitating some of these complex bookings isn’t something all tour operators can fulfil.

“These bookings require a great deal of trust, exceptional connections, and strong supplier relationships, these are all traits that Carrier are renowned for.

“They haven’t happened by chance either, acquiring these high value bookings has been a strategic focus of the business. Our aim is to help agents grow their business, not with offers and volume that attract low quality leads, but with better quality enquiries and bookings at a much higher value.”

Early in 2022, Carrier confirmed its biggest-ever booking of £1million for a week-long buy-out of the Virgin Limited Edition’s Necker Island, with a mixture of business class flights and private jet travel for 40 passengers.

A multi-generational Lapland booking equating to almost a £250,000 was confirmed in April this year. It included a tailored itinerary with a private charter, a private visit to see Santa and baking with elves. On request, Carrier also facilitated an elf being present in every transfer.

Other notable bookings include a family gorilla trekking trip to Rwanda worth more than £280,000. The original enquiry process began in 2021 but the youngest child was too young to gorilla trek, so it delayed. An adventurous itinerary curated by Carrier’s Luxury Travel Designer, Katie Paterson, was confirmed in January 2023. Following Paterson’s educational to Rwanda in 2022, she added in an extra property, Cleo Hotel in Lake Kivu, to the itinerary.

The operator has had two large Necker Island bookings, and due to this recently held a fam trip to the property in partnership with Virgin Limited Edition. The group visited the property and sister isle Moskito Island, Virgin Limited Edition’s senior sales manager, Rachel Healey, and escorted by Carrier’s luxury travel designer, Alison Benson.

Milne said: “The BVI’s trip was offered to strategic partners who give Carrier considerable Caribbean business and who have a client base that regularly book high value trips or multi-generational travel. It’s important to us to equip not just our own staff, but our agent partners with the knowledge and know-how to secure these high value bookings. Our educational programme allows agents to enjoy these trips just as their clients would, so they can go back with the confidence and enthusiasm to get the bookings over the line.”

Further educations are planned for  Singapore, Langkawi, a Maldives and Dubai twin centre, and Tanzania.

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