Picnics are among the affordable options for special activities to include on a romantic getaway
Some tips on upselling travel to celebrate romance. By Michelle Colman.
If there’s one travel genre that’s open to upgrading, it’s the romantic getaway. Couples wanting to celebrate romance and its special occasions, such as honeymoons and anniversaries, are looking for extraordinary experiences, activities out of the norm, and unique elements that make for long-held memories.
Experts believe that the romantic getaway presents countless opportunities for both the upsell and the cross-sell. The former is getting the customer to spend more on the existing purchase – with a room upgrade for example, or the full English breakfast instead of the Continental. The latter is about selling ancillary products and services, like a massage or a romantic excursion into the winelands.
Personalisation, they say, is key here. Building up in-depth personal profiles of the clients, their likes and preferences, is at the root of compiling a successful trip. Romantic getaways are the antithesis of ‘one-size-fits-all’ packaging. Ask questions, they advise, specifically those that focus on the experience your clients want. Leave the budget for last, to avoid becoming too fixed on this aspect.
Some tactics recommended to the trade are:
- Email the clients pre-arrival to find out if they will need anything during their visit – theatre tickets, dinner bookings, attraction entries. Even organise the delivery of flowers and gifts for a special occasion.
- If flying business class is out of the reach of the clients, a one-way upgrade may not be; give them the opportunity of travelling in luxury on one of the legs. It might even be worthwhile suggesting chartering a private aircraft for honeymooners – an idea put forward by Nik Lloyd-Roberts of Federal Airlines. This charter outfit will arrange all sorts of special touches on board, such as fine dining, favourite flowers and cashmere blankets.
- Even if the clients are not travelling business class, it may be possible to pre-book an airport lounge not affiliated to an airline.
- Upgraded transfers – a limousine, or even a helicopter or boat where possible – kick a romantic getaway off on the right ‘arriving in style’ note.
- Recommend small resorts, lodges and boutique hotels. Not only are they more intimate by hosting smaller numbers of guests, they fit the ‘personal’ accent of a romantic getaway. Says Nicky Coenen of boutique hotel group The Last Word: “Space and privacy are key for selling romantic getaways – intimate locations that allow the benefit of escaping together yet still be a part of the culture and excitement of a destination.” Smaller properties also tend to be more flexible when it comes to arranging special requests.
- When budget prevents the most exotic options, it may be possible to include a taste of them. For example, spending just a night or two of the getaway at a luxurious hotel, instead of the entire trip, upgrades the entire experience.
- Include at least one unforgettable, big-ticket activity, such as a hot-air balloon trip, a dolphin swim or paraglide. Other more affordable special activities that are within reach are picnics, breakfast in bed, sundowners in a picturesque spot and couples’ spa treatments.
- Arrange a particularly romantic dinner on the last night, to lessen the anti-climax of the getaway winding down to its end.