Keeping VIP clients safe and avoiding incidents such as the
robbery recently experienced by Kim Kardashian in her Paris accommodations is a
matter of knowing hotel properties and personnel very well, agents with
celebrity clients said.
Celebrity agents also actively communicate with those
properties to ensure that their travelers enjoy a hassle-free stay.
There are two types of VIP clients, according to Kimberly
Wilson Wetty, co-president of Virtuoso member agency Valerie Wilson Travel.
Kimberly Wilson Wetty
"They either want to be seen and the risks can be
higher," she said, "but more often than not, clients are looking for
For Jay Johnson, president of Virtuoso member agency
Coastline Travel Advisors, preparation is key to keeping VIP clients safe and
happy during their travels.
"We do our due diligence before they go," he said.
That includes everything from acquiring copies of passports
and visas to urging clients to purchase travel insurance to getting in touch
with the hotel ahead of time so the management knows who will be staying there,
even if the booking is under a pseudonym.
"We always advise the hotel ahead of time who it is and
whatnot," Johnson said.
"And ... if they have a security team, like a personal
security team, we always put them in contact with the property's [security],
just so that they communicate ahead of time.
"We make the connection. We tell them, 'This is who's
on the ground here,'" he said.
Wetty said she also encourages communication between a
client's security staff and travel partners, and she has also hired security in
the past when needed.
Working closely with hotels is also a priority.
"You need to have a strong relationship with the hotel
in order to make sure things are seamless and discreet," Wetty said.
Martin Gould, vice president of leisure travel at the Travel
Business, a Tzell Travel Group affiliate, said the hotels where he sends
clients make their guests' safety a priority.
"The hotels that we use or we recommend or our clients
have been regulars at are of the highest level in the hotel industry, so there's
a peace of mind about safety with dealing with these hotels that are the best
in the world," he said. "We know that there's security at the front
of the hotel and the inside of the hotel, security roaming around checking on
things. We just know it."
Agents with VIP clients said their business did not take a
hit in the weeks following the Kardashian robbery. Johnson said he has not
heard any concerns expressed by his clients.
Similarly, Gould said he hasn't even heard mention of the incident
as a concern from a client or a client's assistant.
"They always have a peace of mind that the hotels we
pick for them or they pick for themselves provide the highest level of
security," he said.
"We've never, ever, in the 32 years I've been doing
business, had an incident where anything like this Kardashian thing has