Carrier reports record-breaking trade sales for 2023

Bookings from agent partners were at an all-time high for Carrier in 2023, with five independent agents generating more than £1 million each in sales.

The luxury operator said expanding strategic agent partnerships and growth in both high value and complex touring bookings were responsible for it achieving £47 million in overall sales last year. 

“Strategic partnerships with agents were a huge triumph in 2023, recording a growth of 35% in gross sales,” said head of sales Rick Milne.

"These partnerships are extremely important to Carrier, we put the utmost care and attention into them, and these agents are seen as an extension of our own business. Every area of the business knows who these agents are, and in most cases, have personal relationships with the team which have developed at every level. 

"Many of these agents have had successful historic partnerships with Carrier, but I think everyone would confirm that we have taken things to the next level since the pandemic."

Milne said Carrier had placing “significant effort” into adding value to its relationships with strategic partners.

The operator hosted more than 70 fam trips last year to destinations including Richard Branson’s Necker Island and Singapore, and launched a webinar series for selected agent partners to learn more about the operator’s touring destinations. 

Carrier has also invested in its aftersales team “with a view to elevate [its] service levels”, and offers agents access to business coaches during quarterly meetings. 

Later this month, the operator will unveil a new website to the trade, with preferred partners receiving access to a dedicated agent portal featuring marketing assets, sales stats and a content library.

The brand is also set to launch its first Retreat – an invite-only event designed to “foster meaningful connections within the Carrier community”.

"While many operators will talk about incentives and offers, especially in the premium luxury space, we're working with agents that know how important it is to deliver for luxury clients; they simply won't be swayed by a voucher or possibility of winning a holiday in a prize draw as their clients are too important to them,” Milne said. 

“Instead, they value our full support and that our teams are more flexible and knowledgeable, something which we continue to build on year after year. 

“We truly believe we have a solid model for successful partnerships here at Carrier, and we'll be targeting a handful more agencies at this level and investing further in those relationships. Our aim is to build valuable long-term partnerships with aspiring luxury agents, as we have done with so many of our existing strategic partners."   

Carrier reported significant growth in high-value holidays, with bookings worth more than £75,000 now making up almost 20% of the operator’s overall revenue, compared to 4% in 2019. 

Carrier said such trips were typically multi-generational or special occasion bookings, ranging from private island buy-outs in the British Virgin Islands to once-in-a-lifetime trips such as gorilla trekking in Rwanda. 

Manging director Natasha Towey said: "Growing these 'high-stake' bookings has not just happened by chance, it has been a strategic focus of the business and we've firmly established our place at the top of the market when it comes to facilitating such bookings and the results have been incredible.

“For Carrier it's not about flooding agents with offers and discounts to create a volume of low quality, price driven leads, it's been about supporting and equipping them with the tools they need to attract UHNW individuals and convert these higher value enquiries in the first place."

Carrier highlighted complex touring trips as a key part of its strategic growth plans following the introduction of a specialist touring team comprising three product managers.

Touring bookings now represent more than 30% of the operator’s business mix, with bookings in the sector growing by 35%. 

“Our teams are focused on knowledge and service, and have the capacity to really elevate quotes,” Towey added. 

“They have the time, skills and connections to deliver a very high level of concierge on these trips and our 'Beyond the booking' initiative supports agents in adding special touches to ensure the bookings are exceptional pre, during and after travel.”

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