We sit down with Mark Duguid, Managing Director of Carrier, who explains why it’s important to look beyond destination when planning a truly luxurious getaway – and why it’s all about curating experiences, instead.
More than ever, our precious leisure time needs to be planned to perfection. Before the pandemic, this was already a focus; from the simplest of details such as reducing wasted time in airports, to more enjoyable, more enriching and more purposeful experiences. Our commitment is to uncompromising excellence, exclusivity and privileged access, and incredible innovative experiences, turning a trip from ordinary to extraordinary.
Over the years, luxury travellers have moved away from owning and spending on assets to investing in luxury, one-of-a-kind, life-enhancing experiences. With this needs to come exemplary service and having a host who they can connect with face-to-face to provide insider knowledge and facilitate exclusive access to deliver a true sense of place. My view is that affluent travellers should really be looking to outsource their decisions in order to free them up to live in the moment. We have evolved to reflect this shift by going beyond simply offering a five-star hotel and first-class flights. Travel for me is much more about emotion, fulfilment, reward and ultimately happiness, plus I believe in a need to deliver experiences and memories that very few others can. The pandemic has exposed the value of human connection in travel, and with it hopefully being in the rear-view mirror, we need to ‘look beyond’ and think about how we make people feel, rather than what we help people do.
This story first appeared in The Experientialist Issue, available in print and digital.
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Increasingly, I’m seeing our guests wanting to be immersed in rich local cultures, where life lessons can be absorbed and utilised back home. They’re also demanding more sustainability, they want places to stay and experiences that care about and protect the environment around them, to support local communities and to provide organic, locally grown food. I’m proud that Carrier can help clients to engage in measurable action and contribute positively to the destination they visit, whether it’s teaching school children new songs or games, or diving to clear the ocean bed and help to preserve coral reefs.
For us, being insiders is far more than just knowing what’s what and who’s who. Being an insider is actually being part of the community we work with and in. Carrier has collaborated with pioneering new style lodges where clients can immerse themselves in conservation efforts in Seychelles or gain first-hand insight into tribal traditions at a private game reserve ‘dubbed’ the Necker Island of the bush, or meet three of only seven living Master Trackers in the world. With our connections, we’re able to facilitate everything from half-a-million pound buyouts of private islands for special celebrations to private-jet bear safaris around Canada, accompanied by a bear biologist, staying on a US military research vessel that has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind luxury floating wildlife lodge. With friends in high places, we help travellers enjoy a world of privileged access.
When travel came to a pause, we launched a Blue Skies Ahead campaign, which offers a thorough overview of the bespoke services that Carrier provides during this uncertain time, helping to ease any travel concerns. The campaign is based around three key principles – Collaborations, Curations and Care – showcasing how dedicated, creative and well connected our experts truly are and demonstrating the benefits of working with us insiders.
Being an insider doesn’t always have to centre around big-dream, big-ticket holidays. We often invite our clients to places that very few have the honour of seeing and experiencing, sometimes even in the most familiar of destinations to them… It could be an invitation to a private lunch at the home of acclaimed chef Reuben Riffel, or the chance to heliski and explore a ski resort as you’ve never seen it before; we can even arrange behind-the-scenes visits to a favourite Broadway musical for dinner with the world-class cast.
As told to Uwern Jong
Photography courtesy of Carrier, Tagomago and via Unsplash
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