This week, Nick Wrightman, Managing Director of The Discerning Collection, discusses his outlook for his company, including the travel trends he expects to see in 2017…
Q) 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 one spot.
Q) What are your travel trend predictions 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 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.
Q) 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.
Q) Outside of Turkey, what destinations do you think will prove popular in 2017?
Montenegro, Croatia and the Greek Islands. Mallorca will also be very popular. We will 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. I am also planning to reintroduce Oman which I believe will be a growth area and a viable alternative to the main UAE product.
Q) Has the recent drop in the pound and Brexit had any noticeable effect on your business?
Not that we’ve noticed… 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.
Q) And how is the global economic climate impacting the luxury travel market?
For the Discerning Collection there seems to be no visible change. Many of our guests are becoming even more selective and we have acted accordingly with the addition of more luxury product. Luxury sailing, more upmarket villas and a chalet skiing product are all currently being added to our portfolio.’
Q) How has the market for luxury villa accommodation grown in recent years?
This has been our biggest growth area in recent years. With Turkey and Greece seeing growth figures of approximately 20%.
Q) 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, it’s 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.