Linda Mitchell works as a corporate sales counselor at an on-site
American Express office in Cambridge, Mass. But such is her
devotion to Bermuda that she has developed a substantial clientele
for travel to that island.
"Corporate clients ask for recommendations both for business
meetings and leisure," she says. "I have so much enthusiasm about
the island from personal experience and the people who know of that
enthusiasm come to me for Bermuda bookings. And many of them become
repeat travelers to Bermuda."
Not only do those corporate clients come to Mitchell for Bermuda
bookings, they have also sent their children to her for honeymoon
Mitchell tends to focus on smaller island properties, saying,
"The larger resorts are great for a certain kind of trip, but my
clients tend to want something different and I think the smaller
hotels and cottage colonies represent the true warmth of Bermuda
Mitchell is a big believer in seeing a destination firsthand and
has visited Bermuda frequently. On recent visits, she has tried to
visit as many properties as possible. As a result, she says,
"although I have a favorite, I have gotten a good feeling for how
other properties might be right for specific clients. It helps in
the qualifying process."
While acknowledging that Bermuda can be an expensive place for
dining, Mitchell says some meal plans make it much more affordable.
For instance, The Bermuda Collection of a half dozen small hotels
has a popular dine-around program which, she says, "enables clients
to sample all these places, which are among the best on the island.
And if a client wants to opt out of a plan for an evening, they can
While Mitchell says her clients are not usually watching every
penny, she does tell them to use buses and ferries "for the
experience." She is also very high on the island's taxis, saying,
"The drivers are the true diplomats of the island. They're great
for guided tours or for just telling you about the island as you
ride to and from your destination."
Aside from visiting the island itself, Mitchell attends as many
Bermuda seminars as she can and reads trade and travel magazines
extensively "to keep up to date."
Julie Caldo started her Allendale, N.J., agency, Concierge
Travel & Cruise Consultants in the summer of 1998 -- not an
auspicious time to start an agency. But Caldo says she and her
partner Dennise Tracey are doing well because they provide the kind
of services and attention to detail their affluent clientele
That clientele parallels the most significant market for Bermuda
and Caldo promotes to them aggressively. Bermuda was the Page One
story in the winter edition of "The Concierge," her agency's
newsletter, and packages are promoted on her Web site, which was
designed by a professional.
Like Mitchell, Caldo works with many of Bermuda's smaller
properties and, she notes, "each property is booked in a different
way. For instance, The Reefs does not work with wholesalers while
Ariel Sands does. Of course we like to work with wholesalers
because of the airline commission cap situation."
The agent says Bermuda has become appealing to a broader
cross-section of clients because the island has fine-tuned its
product to emphasize active vacations like scuba diving and
While the agency's newsletter is the main promotional vehicle
for now, says Caldo, "we will be branching out into television."