‘Agents are often surprised to see that we have a lot of high-end properties.’ — Nico Zenner, Travel Bound
Travel Bound meets demand for high-end product in Europe
By Kenneth Kiesnoski
Travel Bound is expanding its upscale product in
Europe, marrying luxury
add-ons such as private
transfers and exclusive sightseeing
ular transfers, said Zenner. He added that
selling VIP transfers was “a good way for
agents to set themselves apart from competitors.”
The tour operator, which has traditionally pursued the middle market, has grown
its inventory of luxury hotels, including the
Hotel de Crillon and Four Seasons George
V in Paris; the Bayerischer Hof and Kem-pinski Vier Jahreseiten in Munich; and the
and some Vacation.com agency partners,
we don’t underestimate the power of customers increasingly walking in and asking
to stay at the higher-end hotels,” he said.
“It’s a trend we keep
a close eye on, and every year we’re adding
more high-end properties as well as more
room types within individual hotels.”
In addition to the
luxury hotels, Travel
Bound offers private
transfers, car rentals,
air, rail, sightseeing
and air-hotel vacation
Elements of an upscale Paris stay from Travel
Bound may include a sightseeing tour to a Loire
Valley chateau such as Chenonceau.
Hotel Metropole and the Hermitage in
“Agents are often surprised to see that we
have a lot of high-end properties,” said Nico
Zenner, vice president, sales and marketing
for Travel Bound, which sells exclusively
through travel agencies.
Luxury travel accounts for no more than
15% of company sales, according to Zenner,
but he said it’s a segment that is likely to be
more important going forward.
“With our Virtuoso, American Express
Posh in Paris
A recent upscale
itinerary to Paris arranged by Travel Bound included private
airport transfers, luxury accommodations
with breakfast and all-day sightseeing.
Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, I was greeted at baggage claim by a
Travel Bound representative, who collected
luggage and delivered it to a chauffeur waiting in the arrivals area.
The comfortable transfer by luxury sedan into central Paris and the centrally
located, five-star Hotel Regina near the Tuileries took place to the accompaniment of
The VIP transfer, which has been available for about a year, is not widely advertised because it is more expensive than reg-
A VIP sedan transfer from Charles de
Gaulle Airport to a Paris hotel is $385; a
regular sedan transfer is $126.50.
For all the exclusivity of a sedan or limo
transfer, Travel Bound reminds clients,
high-end or not, to keep practicality in
mind. “We recommend that travel agents
look at not just the number of people
but the amount of luggage,” said Zenner.
“Americans tend to travel with a lot of baggage. Sometimes they need to settle for a
Private transfers are available from
Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports.
After a night at the Regina (see Room
Key), a top-selling Paris hotel for Travel
Bound, it was time for an all-day tour of
chateaus, or castles, of the Loire Valley with
Cityrama, a sightseeing company with
headquarters next to the hotel on the Place
des Pyramides. The 12-hour motorcoach
tour took in castles at Chambord, Chenonceau and Cheverny.
“The Loire Valley chateau tour is pretty
unique and at the higher end of such sightseeing opportunities,” said Zenner.
T W PHO TO B Y KENNE TH KIESNOSKI
“We recommend clients book sightseeing
tours through us because some of the hottest attractions around Europe do sell out,”
he added. “The tours are a mix of one-of-a-kind, high-end opportunities and middle-of-the-road, inexpensive, hop-on, hop-off
Travel Bound does not sell much air or
rail. “Air is not what we specialize in,” Zenner said. “Any type of land arrangement
or added service is what we excel in.”
Agents can search for hotel offerings
at Book TravelBound.com by price range,
from $50 to $1,000 or more per night, or
by six categories of hotels from “tourist” to
“We are constantly adding new hotels;
we don’t keep a running list of them,” said
Zenner. “But there must be a good dozen
[high-end] hotels in Paris alone.”
For more information, visit www.book
travelbound.com or call (800) 808-9541.
The Hotel Regina is a top seller in Paris for Travel Bound.
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ADDRESS: 2 Place des Pyramides, 75001
PHONE: (011) 33-14 260-3110
FAX: (011) 33-14 015-9516
RATES: About $473 to $3,983 per night
FACILITIES: Restaurant, bar, business
center, meetings/banquet rooms
AMENITIES: WiFi Internet; flat-screen,
satellite TV with Internet; minibar; in-
REVIEW: The upscale yet intimate Hotel
Regina is a Parisian classic, ideally locat-
ed at the confluence of Rue de Rivoli, Rue
des Pyramides, Palais Royal and Tuileries
Gardens, one block from the Tuileries
Metro station. Rooms, outfitted in tradi-
tional decor, offer 21st century amenities.
Hotel staff are professional, courteous
and approachable. — K.K.