BUYER POWER: CHARLOTTE TRAVEL
LE Miami is nothing without our collective: a creative collaborative of rebellious brands and buyers that meet in Miami each year to exchange ideas and business cards. As we count down to our next show, we’ll be introducing you to a few of the international buyers who will be winging their way to the Magic City as part of the 2016 collective, finding out what makes them tick when it comes to travel and what they’re looking to discover at LE Miami this year. First up: Charlotte Harris from Charlotte Travel in Hong Kong…
What do you do and how did you get here?
I am the Product & Marketing Manager at Charlotte Travel in Hong Kong. My mother has been in travel all her life so I’d like to think I was born into the industry – I did my first hotel inspection at the age of 3 months old (I was in a pram and of course I remember all of it!) and decided to join the family business after realising my corporate desk job just didn’t suit my personality.
LE Miami’s tagline is Rebels With Cause. What makes you a rebel and what would you describe as your (professional) cause?
Mum taught me never to take no for an answer. There’s not much that I won’t do to get what my clients want. And that all boils down to having great relationships with our travel partners. I admit sometimes I don’t make their jobs easy but at the end of the day when my clients have been surprised with how we’ve been able to exceed their high expectations, that feeling of satisfaction is better than anything in the world.
What makes the people who work for your company different?
Charlotte Travel operates on a very personal basis. We are a family business after all and want our clients to feel as though they are part of our family. Technology will never be able to override the relationships we have built with our clients. No matter how far the internet goes, people will still appreciate the personal touch more. Our clients come to us because they know that when they google ‘Hotel in Miami’ they’ll get over 200 million hits (no joke – try it). How does one sift through all that information? People have no time for that any more. By getting in touch with one of Charlotte Travel’s Advisors, we get to know what kind of traveller you are, sift through the information for you and tell you what you want.
What are you looking for when booking travel for your company?
Passion for uniqueness. We work with partners who love what they do and will go all out to make our clients feel like their happiness is all that matters by doing things out of the box and differently to anyone else. I make sure that we work with partners who will put in more effort to make it personal.
What travel brands do you love?
Beautiful Destinations. Jeremy Jauncey inspires people every day to step out of their comfort zone and travel to all corners of the world. I want to go to all the places on the Beautiful Destinations Instagram page. 😀 If ever one day they repost one of my photos, I’ll know I can die happy.
What are you hoping to discover at LE Miami 2016?
I met so many people and properties at LE 2015 but one meeting that really stood out for me was The Click Clack hotel. It’s so refreshing to meet young and energetic entrepreneurs taking on the travel industry with such creativity and enthusiasm. I was so impressed by their guest experience concept that I was going around telling buyers they had to fit in a meeting with them! Colombia may not be a first choice destination for Hong Kongers and the chances of me meeting those guys would’ve been close to nil, but they really managed to wow me. Those wow moments are what keeps me going and helps me inspire my clients on a daily basis. I hope for more similar wow moments at LE 2016. 🙂