Maurice Bonham-Carter, owner, president & CEO
What is your key strategy these days and why?
Supporting luxury travel advisors by adding value such as innovative marketing promotions that drive business, having the most current product knowledge and providing immediate responses and solutions to challenges in the marketplace such as natural disasters.
What are your newest destinations or products in the marketplace? What’s the reasoning for them?
“New” destinations are the revitalized and reopened resorts in the Caribbean. A plethora of old favorites have been totally upgraded with exciting new designs and luxury facilities in Anguilla (CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and Belmond Cap Juluca), St Barths (Le Barthelemy and Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France), and Puerto Rico (St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve) to name just a few.
What is your most exotic, unusual new offering?
We love Sri Lanka! Bringing a cultural add-on only 50 minutes away from the Maldives, an Island Destinations’ highly sought-after destination.
What’s your “tried-and-true” mainstay offering that clients continue to love? Why do they love it?
Turks and Caicos has it all — increasing luxury offerings from suites to stunning beachfront villas, easily accessible with an abundance of air lift, powder white-sand beaches, gourmet food and service with heart.
Are you modifying your offerings to accommodate the desire many consumers have to “live like a local” and to have “authentic” experiences?
We continue to add private homes and villas that are personally vetted to meet luxury service standards. Our concierge team arranges tours providing intimate experiences such as school visits, fishing trips, meetings with artisans and authentic cooking with local residents and chefs.
Have you seen the age of your customers change at all in the past year or so? How about their mindset?
Our customer base continually evolves and we always see new and younger travelers recognizing the value of travel advisors. The mindset is that travel is a necessity, not a luxury — and they want it as often as possible! They are well-traveled. While value is expected, they are not necessarily looking for the least expensive trip; experience is more important.
Are there any key challenges for your business in the foreseeable future? Are world economics or dynamics having any affect?
We face ongoing obstacles — economic, political and natural disasters, whether domestic or international. The key is to be well informed, nimble, flexible and forward-thinking. We offer a diversified worldwide product to ensure that we can meet travelers’ expectations.
What is your focus on the U.S. travel agent for 2018/19? What are you doing to compete for this important distribution channel?
We do not work with the consumer directly. Our focus is 100 percent on the travel advisor distribution channel — this has not changed in 35 years and we passionately believe in its value. It’s been the secret to our success.