Latest News & Travel Trends for 2017
The Discerning Collection is a privately owned, specialist tour operator offering an exclusive, hand-picked selection of hotels, villas, riads and gulets across Europe. The company officially launched back in 2011 with founder & CEO Nick Wrightman wanting to build the UK’s most successful boutique tour operation. Nick has lived and breathed travel his entire life, starting out as a graduate trainee at Thomson Holidays before setting up the renowned Tapestry Holidays.
On what sets The Discerning Collection apart, Nick comments,
“We pride ourselves on our professional, friendly service and although all specialist travel companies wax lyrical about this, we truly believe that we offer an exceptional, dedicated personal approach to booking our clients holidays. We care greatly about our guests and receive a large amount of business via word-of-mouth which we hope is a solid reflection on service levels provided. We have the flexibility to offer regional departures, book specific hotel rooms and we know our product inside out, with all properties having been visited by our staff. As well as being ATOL protected, we’re very proud to have gone one step further to offer our guests a ‘Trust Account’ which gives even more protection when booking their holiday”.
What have been The Discerning Collection’s best performing destinations and hotels for 2016?
Despite the negative publicity, Turkey has been by far Discerning Collection’s best destination with the Likya Residence and Spa in Kalkan retaining its number 1 spot.
What are your travel trend predications for 2017 and are there any new openings/new launches you’re particularly excited about?
Despite the negative press, Turkey has a lot to offer tourists and I believe it will still be our best-selling destination for 2017. In terms of what’s new, I am really excited to be launching our new Luxury Yacht Portfolio for 2017. The yachts will be based in Corfu and the fleet currently consists of the 57’ Jeannous, the 65’ Argentous as well as the super-sleek catamaran, Aurous. We will also be launching our new Montenegro programme for 2017 and will feature the Forza Mare, Aman Sveti Stefan and Hotel Budva among others. Montenegro is steeped in history and combined with Croatia we will be able to offer guests beautiful twin centre stays.
We are also hoping to roll out a skiing product in December 2017 which will effectively be our very first genuine winter product. It’s something our clients have been requesting for a number of years so it will be great to be able to deliver on this.
Has the recent drop in the pound and Brexit had any noticeable effect on your business?
Not that we’ve notice…yet. Our clients seem to be very resilient and their travel plans don’t seem to be greatly affected by the current uncertainty and market fluctuations.
Tell us a little about who is The Discerning Collection Traveller is. What’s important to them when booking their travel and what is it about your service that keeps them loyal?
The Discerning Collection client is typically ABC1, with high disposable income and interested in travelling to less commercial resorts worldwide. Typically, they are looking for high quality but good value holidays where the emphasis is on great service. At The Discerning Collection we care as much about the detail as our client does and wherever possible recommend and book specific rooms for our guests. Our clients are from across the UK so we fly from all regional airports, on any available day of the week and are flexible in terms of the number of nights. Our reservations team often know our guests personally, over 70% of our customers are repeaters. This allows us to offer them a very personal and intuitive service.
Please can you share with us some of your top travel tips?
Although I may be stating the obvious I recommend always using daytime flights. These days flights are often delayed and it’s so much better to arrive in resort earlier rather than later. Also, before booking a holiday, always seek out reviews that are genuine. Our Feefo review platform elicits reviews only from our customers, its live and authentic. Finally, always use a specialist who knows the product inside out so you can guarantee an enjoyable stay, without any of the bad surprises.
What advice would you give to travellers who are hesitant about visiting Turkey?
Don’t hesitate. The resorts that we have chosen are far removed from the mainstream and are in smaller and more upmarket locations such as Kas and Kalkan. Despite all the negative publicity hundreds of thousands of visiting Britons had wonderful, trouble-free holidays in this beautiful country and as Turkey’s not in the Eurozone, your pounds go even further making your holiday even better value for money.
Notes to Editors
Discerning Collection’s destinations include Turkey (they are experts on some of the idyllic, lesser known resorts such as Kas and Kalkan), the Greek Islands of Crete, Kefalonia and Lemnos, Mallorca, Sardinia, Morocco, Croatia & Montenegro. With a collection of around 100 properties within Discerning Collection’s portfolio, the team cater to numerous markets including family travel, adult only getaways, luxury villa escapes, sailing trips, romantic honeymoons, Spa and wellness retreats and city breaks. As well as organising numerous conventional holidays for clients, they’re also able to pull together more complex tailor-made itineraries and bespoke tours to Turkey & Morocco with transfers and guides included.