Laura Del Rosso
Laura Del Rosso

The first clue that Travel Repertoire isn't a typical travel agency is its website , which greets visitors to the home page with beautiful classical music. R.D. Gavel, the home-based agent who operates Travel Repertoire, designed the website to set the tone for her luxury travel services.

Clients who dig deeper into the website and its sister site, www.whimsicalworldtravel.com, come across this description of the agency: “Remember, no online booking engine or destination representative is going to lie awake at night worrying about your vacation, or thinking about you while you're traveling. We do; and in this world, we think that's pretty special!” Gavel started Travel Repertoire, based in Harvard, Mass., 10 years ago and two years ago joined the North Carolina-based Travel Experts host agency as an affiliate. As a member of Virtuoso, Travel Experts affiliates specialize in high-end travel. For Gavel, the website is the first step in qualifying clients.

“Right off the bat, I make it as clear as possible that I'm not about budget trips. I'm not selling cheap Caribbean vacations, and my website tells people that.”

While Gavel specializes in luxury travel, she has an unusual niche for a luxury travel agent: Disney.

“I chose Disney destinations because they represented millions of potential clients each year and were close enough that I could visit often,” she said. Soon after she started selling Disney vacations, Gavel realized that the majority of Disney specialist agents focused on moderate or budget travel and that she could carve out a specialty in high-end Disney vacations.

After a few years of success in the niche, she wrote a booklet, Key to the Club, an overview of luxury Disney vacations. She also gives it to her clients as a resource.

Gavel has long loved Disney and its parks, so when she started her agency it was an ideal fit.

“I realized two things. One is that a fantastic sales person can sell anything on earth and most of us sell best what we ourselves love.”

And the second?

“If you have a passion for something, you tend to do a better job selling it.”

Gavel's Disney itineraries are time-intensive and full of details. Gavel, who estimates she spends more time selling a Disney vacation than a 10-day Europe FIT, charges clients fees for the itineraries, based on the number of people in the traveling party.

Through twice-yearly trips to Orlando and regular research on blogs and newsletters from Disney's huge fan base, she keeps on top of Disney news, including the latest park additions, the best suites at top Disney hotels, dining and concierge services at Disney properties. She has 50 different PDFs that she sends to clients before their trip, covering various aspects of their Disney vacations.

She believes research and preparation are key to a successful vacation.

“I'm a great believer in the importance of the anticipation of a trip,” Gavel said. “If you do it right, the anticipation can last for months, the memories for a lifetime, even if the trip was only a few days.”

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