Bdaily Festive Focus 2020: Luxtripper CEO Nena Chaletzos believes staying safe is "the greatest gift we can give each other"
In the third installment of our December festive focus series, Bdaily spoke to Nena Chaletzos, founder and CEO of luxury travel business Luxtripper, on being optimistic for the year ahead and concentrating on the positives to come out of 2020.
How has 2020 changed the way that you live, work, and think?
“The travel industry has been on a knife edge for the longest period of time in decades.
“As a business we’ve had to change our mindset completely to think much shorter term, adapting our plans almost daily, a very different mentality for a growth business like ours which is usually focused on the medium to long term.
“Customer sentiment towards travel has also changed significantly and will continue to do so – it’s no longer relevant to use longer-term data, we need to know what our clients are thinking today.
“In all areas of our business we have become increasingly agile as we adapt our offering and services to suit the needs of the evolving traveller.
“As an employer, it’s less about the physical actions and more about how we’re able to connect emotionally with our people.
“We’re more plugged in than ever to everyone’s well-being, and particularly their mental health as long months working from home and with the personal impact of this virus affecting everyone in different ways.
“Without the support found in a physical office, we have taken steps to make time for everyone to talk, support and be there for each other – we have an hour in the diary every single day across the business just for that, and it’s changes like this that have redefined our culture and that we’ll be taking forward with us.”
What has been your single biggest challenge and how have you overcome it?
“The travel industry has seen unprecedented disruption over the last few months, with constant stops and starts here in the UK, as well as rapidly changing restrictions abroad.
“Our single biggest challenge has been building confidence among our customers about travelling again, creating trust and reassurance that will be required for a long time to come.
“As a result, we’ve focused our efforts on creating products and services that are all about safety and peace of mind for our customers.
“We’ve redeployed our teams around the business to be able to spend more time with customers and be more responsive to their needs and concerns.
“We’ve also developed the Luxtripper Covid-19 Protection Promise, which protects every holiday if our customers are unable to travel due to a positive Covid-19 diagnosis.
“We’re already seeing the benefits of working responsively to give customers the experience that they want in the way that they need it to be delivered.”
What has been the biggest unexpected positive to come out of this year?
“I’m feeling a huge amount of gratitude as we approach the end of this year.
“As a business leader, I’m incredibly proud of each member of the Luxtripper family and their unwavering commitment to our business, our customers and each other.
“For our industry, the undoubted positive has been that our planet has had time to breathe.
“This crisis has made people much more conscious of the impact that we all have on our world and those we share it with.
“We are seeing good news coming from all corners of the globe about the impact this hiatus has had on the natural world – the oceans, the rainforests, the animal kingdom and the air around us have all benefitted, and it is up to us to keep the preservation of our planet a priority as we move forward.
“On a personal level, I’m appreciating the small things more than ever – the sunshine when it appears, getting rid of the noise and savouring the gift of more time to speak to family and friends.
“While news of a vaccine and the restarting of travel is what we’ve been waiting for, there are many important lessons that we will be taking forward into 2021.”
What does your ideal Christmas look like?
“We’ve seen a significant increase in bookings as we come out of this second lockdown with customer confidence boosted with news of quarantine rule changes and vaccines being delivered.
“I’m looking forward to the clarity for our industry that will come with these, as well as being able to see and spend time with my family safely this year.”
How do you think people and businesses can support each other during 2020’s festive season?
“We’ve seen amazing examples of collaboration during this crisis, and I am confident that this will continue as we come out the other side.
“Businesses are no longer existing and operating alone – how we’ve connected with each other, shared our experiences and used each other’s services to evolve is one the great things to have come out of this year.
“I’m grateful for those I’ve met and will continue to seek out new connections and form lasting partnerships this season.
“But, as always, the greatest gift we can give each other is to stay safe and follow the guidelines so that we can move on from this crisis as quickly as possible.”
What does 2021 look like for you and your business?
“We’re optimistic. 2020 has been incredibly tough, uncertain and, at times, heart-breaking for our industry.
“But the travel sector is resilient and the news of a possible vaccine and more destinations entering our travel corridor list is a very promising start.
“We’re seeing pent up demand for travel among our customers, and increasing requests for multi-destination, experiential travel, as people want to make their holidays in 2021 really count.
“In response, Luxtripper is investing in growth, with more destinations, more experiences and more ways to inspire our customers to travel and see the world.”
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