Julie Hunter, COO, Ultimate Driving Tours, reveals what luxury travellers are wanting from their travel experiences.
Julie Hunter, COO, Ultimate Driving Tours, reveals what luxury travellers are wanting from their travel experiences now.
— Julie Hunter, COO, Ultimate Driving Tours
MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, July 15, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — In her 10 years with Ultimate Driving Tours (UDT) – the world’s leading operator of luxury driving holidays – Julie Hunter has devoted much of her time attending to the requests of her guests. Julie understands exactly what each trip means to travellers she meets, and she listens to feedback, delving into the their expectations enabling her to forecast and plan compelling travel itineraries for the future.
While Julie has performed every role at UDT – from accounts to media buyer to sales and marketing to concierge, her main focus today is on the development of luxury driving tours rich with moments of discovery partnered with stunning hotels and dining experiences.
Julie shares what she has found to be the key trends defining luxury adventure traveller:
Experiential travel – immersion and adventure:
Experiential travel is signified by truly connecting with a destination rather than a passing visit with a rapid-fire check list of “must see” drop pins. It is a deep immersion in the destination’s culture, cuisine, history, people, and environment.
“First and foremost, travellers within the luxury adventure space seek access and exclusivity,” she says. “They want to explore the world in a way that is beyond what the everyday traveller has the opportunity to experience.”
“Our guests seek interaction and adventure. They are typically well travelled and have often ‘been there, done that’ in the major cities around the world. Instead, they seek something in between a guided hike to the top of Mount Everest and an all included cruise; they are looking for excitement paired with the finer things in life. They want adrenaline – derived by driving a supercar car worth almost a quarter-million, but they also want to finish their day in a beautiful property with a glass of Champagne in hand.”
“It’s not only about the cars,” says Hunter. “On an Ultimate Driving Tour, our guests stay in five star accommodation, dine in award-winning restaurants, and, through the extraordinary local contacts we have fostered over the years, enjoy the kind of money-can’t-buy experiences that will be remembered and cherished for the rest of their lives.” For example guests attending the Monaco Grand Prix tour can view the famous race aboard the superyacht and then have the opportunity to dine with an F1 driver, and drive a retired F1 car.
Lesser known destinations – offering more:
Alternative less crowded cities, smaller villages, and discreet locations, can frequently offer more value because they are not burdened with long queues or fatigued by a crush of visitors. Avoiding the surging crowds of the big tourism locations by visiting equally beautiful lesser known locations enables more unhurried plans and ultimately provides better value for money.
UDT guests want to be able to “stop and smell the lavender” in Provence, and go truffle-hunting in the quiet Tuscan hillside towns. UDT guests have usually seen all the sights in the world’s major cities; now they want to explore those “roads less travelled” and share those discoveries with kindred spirits.
Finding a place that is often completely overlooked by tourists and therefore still offers the experience of real life in these countries. Choosing the path less trodden – Olomouc instead of Prague, Bari instead of Rome, and Ninh Binh instead of Hanoi.
Friction in travel can be summed up as negative interruptions on the journey. When flying, these interruptions can include the various points where you present identity and travel documentation, the achingly slow TSA security process, or understaffed baggage handlers causing delays. While many interruptions on a trip are logical, they don’t need to be enveloped in friction. Friction can mean anxiety of the unknown.
Frictionless travel is taking a traveller from A to B with no stress, limited waiting, and the removal of anxiety-provoking surprises. Frictionless travel is a core feature of luxury travel. The memories of a lavish week away can quickly be eroded by terrible transfers, missing luggage and hour-long queues.
As Julie explains, “This is where we aim to deliver beyond a five-star experience. We learn the likes, dislikes, wants and needs of each guest without being intrusive then anticipate the delivery of this before guests might even know what they want or need. This is frictionless travel at its finest.”
Customisation – curated travel experiences:
“Another thing our guests adore is not having to make a decision. The guests we host are decision fatigued – in their everyday lives and businesses, their world is filled with constant decisions. So, to be able to switch off and enjoy being taken care of – knowing that the decisions made for you are the exact ones you’d make yourself – is the real luxury.”
In a post pandemic tourism we see travellers willing to spend more. As holiday budgets rise, so too does the expectation of a perfect holiday – nobody wants to pay over the odds for mediocrity. But because everybody’s version of perfect is different, customisation is essential.
“With such demand for personalisation, we are more determined to cater for every personality,” says Hunter. Whether it’s a corporate day in Europe or a self-drive tour in the USA, our tailor-made travel services are customised to the individual, and this is reflected in the overall satisfaction of the trip.”
UDT keeps group sizes compact allowing for customisation for each driver – often no more than 16 people. This gives guests the essential camaraderie of sharing their experiences with like minded travellers without losing the element of exclusivity.
Responding to these factors UDT released a new calendar of driving packages for 2024.
About Ultimate Driving Tours:
Ultimate Driving Tours was founded in 2008 by Anthony Moss with his launching the first ever Supercar Tours in Europe. In 2013, Julie Hunter joined the company taking on the role of Chief Operations Officer and Director. For more than one decade, Anthony and Julie have created, managed, and directed motoring events across the globe.
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