Yes, luxury costs more. The art of the upsell

Yes, luxury costs more. The art of the upsell

Yes, luxury costs more. The art of the upsell

Recently I was disappointed when we lost a sizeable sale because the client wanted a trip-of-a-lifetime African safari, while her travelling companion wanted the same trip – but for a rock-bottom price. We recommended a truly wonderful itinerary but the companion won, booking online with a local African company (ouch! Could be very iffy and dangerous). I hope they have a good time, but suspect there may be issues. Sometimes you can’t win them all.

Why do some people have such a skewed view of costs when it comes to travel? The same people who would never dream of wearing the cheapest clothes or shopping in bargain basement stores sometimes feel that spending money on travel is a scam, a rip-off, and that they’re suckers if they pay top dollar.

Here are a couple of tips to convince them that yes, luxury costs more. And they will not regret it.

1) Ask them to tell you exactly how much – in total, including meals, shopping, etc. – their last holiday cost. Chances are they won’t know. But it’s guaranteed they’ll remember if they had a good time.

2) Capitalize on the human emotion of ‘you deserve it’. Have they been working hard? Coping with stress? Stretched for time in 20 directions? Then they deserve the luxury of being met at that airport, the soothing attention at that lovely spa, the breathtaking view from the hotel balcony.

3) Paint a picture of how spending more on a holiday will provide countless memorable moments. Recently while at the Abercrombie & Kent advisory board meeting in Tanzania, I started to pour my own cup of tea and was interrupted by a gentle and very kind waiter. “Let me do that for you,” he said. “But I can pour my own tea!” I said to him with a smile. “Yes, but it is our job to look after you.” How wonderful to hear those words!

4) Ask your client to fantasize out loud about how they want this vacation to be. If you hear words like “spoiled”, “relaxed” and “carefree” you can be ready to start up-selling.

5) Remind them that things cost more because (I know, here comes the cliché) you do get what you pay for. According to, the cheapest new car in the Canadian market is a Nissan Micra. Are your clients driving one – and if not, why not? Hopefully that will get them thinking that when it comes to planning a vacation, value-for-money truly does apply – and those extra dollars spent will be forgotten long before the wonderful memories are.


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