Can you believe it's pratically the end of Jan 2023, and here I am posting only my very first blog of the year. I've been so busy onboarding new clientele & families, that of course is my priority to take care of my clients both repeat and new before considering updating the blog & website, and my social media is in need of much updating, well at least the IG. Anyways let's begin the blog year shall we.
I have a few very interesting things in the works already this year. I have solidified a professional relationship with a private charter yacht company in Italy this month, where I have gained access to the entire fleet alottment and my agency pricing, the details are coming soon, and with them will come a brand new page of the website featuring the stunning yachts and details! I'm really excited for this and please if you are thinking of a private small motor yacht in the Italian Amalfi Coast and Island region, contact me immediately to discuss. As it may be another week or so before I can get everything on the site. I'll be sure to write up a blog feature when I'm ready to launch this service.
Today I'm here to talk about the ELITE Level of the VIP Club!
Now this has been up on my website since late November, and I've been accepting early enrollment through December of last year. However it really didn't launch until 1/1/23. I've decided to make ELITE very exclusive, so not everyone can get into it right away, you may have to go on a waitlist to get in & I'm also going to decide if you get in or not. ELITE is going to open 2 slots per month. Once those slots are gone it's closed for that month, and will reopen the 1st (weekday) of each month. For Jan 2023 the memberships went easily in the first half of the month.
So what is the ELITE Level of the VIP Club. Well the ELITE Level is a paid membership tier of the VIP Club. Membership is good for 1 year exactly from the date of enrollment. I created ELITE for you the clientele, not for me. I always wanted to do something for my clients to help reduce my curation costs, yet overall not hurt my bottom line at the same time. I mean seriously I could've never created this and just keep my costs like they are, and honestly that would've benefited me. However I wanted to create something that a high end/luxury/semi luxury client appericates my value, but yet at the same time show I appericate thier loyalty as traveling clients. & so in comes my created VIP Club, the base tier which cost clients nothing & yet still rewards them. The ELITE Level which will cost clients to get in, but then eliminates all future travel curation costs for the entire year of membership, and it goes beyond that, it eliminates travel planning for travel within & travel booked within the membership year. So a client could be in ELITE in March 2023, travel in the summer of 2023, and then return home and after two months reach out to me to plan a summer vacation for 2024, and as long as I have those arrangements finalized with the client within membership that trips counts towards ELITE benefits and rewards.
Now that big question you all are curious about....how much is ELITE?
ELITE is going to cost an adult couple $1000.00 a year.
ELITE is going to cost a couple with all children living at home $1000.00 a year.
ELITE is going to cost an adult individual solo traveler $599.00 a year.
There is a joint option to ELITE so if an adult child (not living at home), or an adult parent traveling with their adult children, can joint into an ELITE Account at an additional $399.00.
Joint account means that all rewards are jointly combined in one account, and can be redeemed by anyone tied to the account membership.
There are many benefits to ELITE in addition to simply eliminating curation charges for a year. Another benefit to both the VIP Club and the ELITE Level are the rewards, earned in mileage per $1,000 in spend. Both levels earn 1,000 miles for $1000 in spend. Whereas the base tier earns those at either $2.50 per 1,000 miles or $5.00 per 1,000 miles depending on if service arrangements are at 4 or 5 star level. In the ELITE Level 1,000 miles are worth $7.50 each no matter the class of service and can acculmate fast, when your spending 20k-30k per itinerary. Now in the base tier you take those miles and use them to reduce my curation charges, my ticketing charges, and other elements of planning. However in ELITE there are no curation charges, so the usage of miles can be focused towards a reduction in air ticketing charges, or just letting those miles accumlate and reduce the cost of renewing your ELITE membership in a year. So when it comes time to renew your ELITE membership for your family, maybe you can get ELITE for $600, $700, $800 & off you go on another year of global travel with me curating your luxury experiences and journeys, and not needing to think, "How much is this going to cost me for you to take care of everything?" The answer: "You're in ELITE!"
Of course to make ELITE even a little better I've added a lot of simple ways to earn more miles and some perks. ELITE Level members get bonus miles for enrollment, renewals, for referrels, for verified reviews on Google and Virtuoso, for tagging my IG or FB Pro Page, for joining my private exclusive FB group. In my FB private client group I monthly offer bonus miles for guessing polls and quiz answers correctly. While the base tier can also earn miles these ways, they are earning them at a 100% lower redemption rate than ELITE are.
An example of an ELITE Client:
I had a client family already travel as ELITE, this was a family of 7, in which ELITE costs was a benefit to them for the single trip curation alone, along with bonus miles and a private transfer bonus credit. This client was a pre launch enrollment and because of that, I was offering an extra 3 months in ELITE for pre launch enrollment. So this client will be ELITE through March of 2024. Upon the families return back home, I credited their ELITE account with approx 33,000 miles, which is valued at around $250. They can use this $250.00 towards air ticketing charges over the next 12 months or save it and continue to add to their miles and knock out ELITE in April of 2024 for another year for $750.00 or less. Consider that, for around $100 per person, they could renew ELITE in April 2024, and have another year of ELITE with unlimited travel planning & curation. See the benefit, they don't even need to travel again this year if they don't want to, and ELITE is still a huge benefit for them to renew in April 2024.
ELITE is not for everyone, I know it, and limiting ELITE membership means even after the first year of ELITE wraps in Jan 2024, at the most 24 clients will exist in ELITE, a very small percentage of my overall clientele. If that happens I'll be very pleased with ELITE 1st year success. Though I'm not trying to entice every client to join ELITE. A luxury 5 star client could easily not be in ELITE, earn at the base tier of the VIP Club, stay in 5 star hotels, and would earn miles at same rate of $1000=1,000 miles, but redemption rate would be 50% lower than if that client was in ELITE, and that luxury non ELITE client is paying my curation charges per trip/itinerary. Now of course it may just benefit that client to remain non ELITE anyways. I can absolutely see a client couple, party of 2, who travel semi luxury/luxury paying perhaps $300-$500 in curation charges for 1 trip per year, and to them ELITE is not of interest regardless of miles rate and perks, they rather save the money. That's ok by me, your still part of the VIP Club, and I still love you!
I do not talk about ELITE with a client in the initial planning stage, unless I get sense they are perfectly fit for ELITE or upon looking at their trip curation costs I see it's going to benefit instantly, it's a no brainer to invite them into ELITE. If a client knows about ELITE through seeing my site, or talking to an ELITE client friend, then I'll be happy to discuss it and determine if they are right for it, otherwise I'm not bringing up ELITE invites to many new clients at this point.
At the same time I wanted to finally discuss ELITE in a public realm so anyone who comes across the blog is aware it exist and may be a good option for them to enquire about it with me.
Until next time, Ciao tutti!
Derek Schemonitz, Owner of Mr. Travel Agent, LLC