Heather Del Vecchio, Lucy Vieira and Maria Theodosatos are travel professionals who know a thing or two about the business of holidays.
Between the three of them, the consulting team at Spencer Travel Eastside carries more than 125 years of travel advisory experience.
Not only that, the business was recently named Travel Agency of the Year – Under 30 Employees at The Travel Awards 2019.
When asked about the secret of their success, it’s apparent that it’s more a recipe than a tightly-held trick of the trade.
“We are passionate travellers ourselves,” Del Vecchio said.
“We understand our clients’ needs intimately. We know many of them intimately because we’ve been working with them for years. We’re great listeners and we ask lots of questions, which helps us connect quickly with new clients, too.”
That level of client understanding is something Theodosatos also acknowledges.
“Not only do we know each other very well, but also each other’s clients. This ensures consistent, seamless service even when one of us is away from the office,” she explained.
“We know who needs mobility assistance from an airline; we know who likes hotel rooms on lower floors; window or aisle seats, inside cabin or balcony preferences – you name it.”
Those traits combined with years of experience and industry know-how are a potent mix. Genuine service is another element in Spencer Travel Eastside’s offering.
“We go above and beyond every single day,” Vieira said.
“I had clients in Nice the day the awful terrorism attack took place. As soon as I knew about the event, I contacted my clients to confirm they were safe and sound, and made arrangements right through the night to help them leave Nice.
“We are always on call,” Theodosatos added. “My clients all have my mobile number, and I’m there for them at any time.”
But it’s not just in times of crisis that the Spencer Travel Eastside team step up.
“I have a regular cruise client who I know just loves cherries jubilee for dessert,” Theodosatos said.
“I always let the cruise line know, so he gets to enjoy his favourite sweet treat out at sea. I love knowing that it brings a great big smile to his face.”
According to Del Vecchio, it’s that service that keeps clients coming back.
“We offer genuine, personal service that doesn’t end once you’ve paid for trip and collected your tickets,” she said.
“We know our stuff. We are accredited travel professionals with decades of experience, expertise and supplier relationships that add value to our clients’ arrangements every time they book.”
So, what are their top travel predictions for 2020 and beyond?
The Spencer Eastside team sees more clients upgrading their cruise experience from mid-range cruise lines to luxury lines, and Japan coming into focus for the cruise set.
“A number of new luxury ocean ships are scheduled to launch in the next couple of years,” Vieira said.
“Ships like Seabourn Venture (2021), Silversea Moon (2020), Seven Seas Splendor (2020), and Crystal Endeavour (2020) will generate a lot of interest in the luxury cruise market.”
And destinations? The team points to places poles apart, suggesting that Antarctica and Iceland will be more popular than ever with all the new explorer ships entering the market.
More broadly, the team at Spencer Travel Eastside also expect to see more and more families travelling in multi-generational groups – a trend that’s gained popularity in recent years.