During this time, Via Mondo is growing their reach, setting up the office for future travel and continuing to develop relationships with vendors and suppliers to bring you better travel experience once you are ready to travel. WanderLuxe Destinations reached out in early April with well wishes during these uncertain times, which prompted this interview.
A couple of years ago I met Max, Director of Sales, at a café in Syracuse to talk about WanderLuxe Destination properties. Then last year, Max invited me and a few other travel advisors to inspect Tuscany properties in their portfolio. A relationship between WanderLuxe and Via Mondo solidified to bring you, the traveler, better service, extra amenities and personalized attention. It is important every travel agency to create, develop and maintain these relationships to bring you a vacation that is like no other. In this travel issue, Tara D’Agostino discusses WanderLuxe, the mission and the integrity they bring to the industry. Here is our virtual interview.
How did you get started in the travel industry? I started in the travel industry as a travel advisor. My family and I had always done extensive travel, and I slowly started organizing trips for my friends who wanted to follow in our footsteps. My father’s first cousin, Wendy Wegner and former owner of Wegner Associates (a boutique representation company based in NYC), convinced me to begin planning travel as a career. I started my tenure with Travelong of Summit in Summit, NJ, and was hooked!
What brought you to start WanderLuxe? After I had been planning travel for awhile, Wendy Wegner asked me to join her company. Initially, I was hesitant, as I loved what I did as a travel advisor so much. I decided to join her on several Wegner Associates familiarization trips and watched her very closely. I became very taken with her side of the business, and decided to tepidly try representation while still managing my travel advisory business. After 6 months, I decided to come over to representation full time, and the rest is history! I actually acquired Wegner Associates on March 29, 2019, and rebranded the company to WanderLuxe Destinations on July 1, 2019.
How does WanderLuxe set itself apart from your competitors? Here at WanderLuxe Destinations, we have a very strong ethos of team-building, family, passion for the industry and collaboration. First and foremost, when you become a client of WanderLuxe, we are a team, and you become a part of my extended family…in every way! Since we spend so much time on the road together, there is a wonderful synergy between all of our clients…right down to sharing food at dinner :). We are all passionate about our businesses, and that passion shows in our vigor and relentless work ethics as well in sharing ideas amongst all of our clients. We also look at this industry not as a competition but as a collaboration. We like to work with other representation companies and have strong relationships, as we want to see everyone in this industry thrive!
What should travelers know about you and the products? When we are interviewing with different clients, we very much want to make sure the product is something we whole-heartedly believe in, as well as the potential client understands what we do and how we do it. We do not take on clients just for the sake of growing the Collection…we take on clients because we want to provide our travel advisor partners with what we believe in. Many of our hotels and DMC’s in our Collection are family-owned, and if they are not, they have a very strong sense of identity and who they are. We are not providing something that is standard, but we are providing products that will give the travel advisor’s clients experiences and moments.
How would you describe Wanderluxe in 3 words? Passionate. Diligent. Sincere.
Why should a traveler and an advisor use WanderLuxe? We are extremely service-oriented and driven. Since I was on the advisor side first, I understand the role of the advisor as well as the challenges. We are quick to respond, and we have such good relationships with our clients that we are very helpful in not only being there when all is right in the world, but when there are challenges as well.
Where do you see Wanderlux in 5 to 10 years? WanderLuxe will always stay boutique, as it is so important to me that we always maintain the same level of service as well as relationships. My goal and heart for this company is that it will just be looked at fondly by every person that comes into contact with us, and that when someone says WanderLuxe Destinations…it brings a smile to their face!
When Via Mondo selects a vendor and supplier to use, it looks for integrity, value and support. Via Mondo’s reputation relies on strong bonds with companies like WanderLuxe Destinations. Travelers expect exceptional customer service and places Via Mondo at higher standard, in turn Via Mondo requires suppliers and vendors to those same standards. I knew WanderLuxe was a company with integrity the first time I met Max two years ago, and after the interview with Tara, I’m 150% sure WanderLuxe Destinations is the right company for Via Mondo travelers. It is through these relationships that sets us apart from online services and cookie cutter travel agencies.
WanderLuxe Destinations is a boutique hospitality representation firm with over 30 years of experience in the North American market. By leveraging their experience working with exceptional properties and partners all over the world, they achieve measurable results. Boasting a robust network of deeply-rooted and long-nurtured relationships within the travel and hospitality industry, WanderLuxe Destination’s relationships are their lifeblood. The company understands the need to be fluid and ever-changing in the fast-paced travel industry, pushing them to reimagine the needs to their clients. For more information on WanderLuxe Destinations, please contact Rosemary at Via Mondo Travel & Wellness.
Travel well. Travel often. Travel with Via Mondo.