IN THE EVER-CHANGING TRAVEL INDUSTRY, honeymoons remain a dependable market for agents. As Alex Kutin, owner of Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Indianapolis, puts it, "The honeymoon market is virtually recession-proof. People are always going to be getting married, and even if they have to spend a bit less, couples are still going to take that honeymoon." So, when your next lovebird clients come calling, what kind of honeymoon will you suggest?
Agents we spoke to say that the idea of "romantic seclusion" is hot with today's newlyweds—and resorts that offer very private accommodations in a serene setting are popping up all over the place, giving you as an agent plenty of possibilities to recommend.
"The trend lately is for unique properties that offer romantic seclusion," says Jennifer Doncsecz, president of VIP Vacations Inc. in Whitehall, PA, and an established expert on honeymoons. "You don't have to live the life of the rich and famous to have that private island feel, either." She points to Palm Island—a five-star resort in the Grenadines islands of the Caribbean, reachable via a 45-minute flight from Barbados—as a great pick (www.palmislandresorts.com).
"The resort has all-inclusive aspects, with the romance of a private island. The resort is the island," says Doncsecz. Your clients will stay in either their own beachfront cottage or one of the Palm View Rooms, which have king-size beds and private terraces. Contact Palm Island's reservation specialists at 800-858-4618 or [email protected].
"Another great option along these lines is Peter Island," Doncsecz adds. Also a five-star private-island resort, Peter Island (www.peterisland.com) is part of the British Virgin Islands and accessible via Tortola. "The resort offers a great honeymooner package," says Doncesz. "It includes a couple's massage and private sunset picnic, and although this resort is not all-inclusive, with the honeymoon package, all of your meals are included."
At Peter Island, book clients into a beachfront junior suite, or into one of the larger villa accommodations if they crave lots of space. Agent liaison for the property is Bryan Dye, director of sales and marketing. Contact him at [email protected], 770-476-5312.
For Active Newlyweds
Kutin, who says his agency is pursuing the honeymoon market aggressively these days, sees many couples who want the privacy but also want access to activities.
"Costa Rica is really popular right now. I believe that relates a lot to the fact that not only is it secluded, but there are lots of activities for the couple to experience together, like ziplining, jungle adventures in a off-road vehicle and snorkeling adventures," he says.