Starting 2021 in style, luxury tour operator If Only have announced that they will now be offering the elevated services of a private ground handler in Barbados and Antigua. Shared with their sister brand, Elegant Resorts, this innovation will allow customers to enjoy a true VIP experience, with personalised service from the moment they touch down, courtesy of dedicated teams on both islands.
In the past, these teams exclusively serviced Elegant Resorts, but will now support If Only too. Available day and night, they will act as personal concierges throughout your customer’s stay, from greeting them at the airport and fast-tracking them through security, to organising surprises for birthdays or special occasions.
Their services are all the more important as agents and their clients attempt to navigate the travel landscape amidst ever-changing COVID-19 protocols. Clients will be met from the aircraft when they land, their baggage collected and fast-tracked through the necessities of security, then transferred by private luxury vehicle to their resort, minimising the length of time they spend at the airport, and allowing them to reach their duration quickly, and more importantly, safely. Moreover, with Barbados requiring visitors to take a secondary PCR test on arrival in destination, following their first negative result in the UK, the concierge team will support customers in making the process totally stress-free. COVID-19 tests can be pre-booked in the destination within 48 hours of arrival by the team, with a doctor visiting the guests in their room to administer the test, receiving results quickly. Subsequently, guest can minimise the time spent isolating, and enjoy their holiday to the full as swiftly as possible.
Gordon McCreadie, If Only General Manager, describes this as a ‘huge step’ for the business: “At If Only, we are all about the agent and customer experience, and want to ensure that each and every passenger feels like a VIP with enhanced luxury touches. As we move into 2021, we’ll be going above and beyond to elevate our luxury offering even further, and the introduction of this private ground handler in Barbados and Antigua does just that. Widely regarded as a premium destination with high-end resorts and minimal crowds, the Caribbean on the whole has been extremely popular throughout 2020 and into 2021, and I’m confident that adding this new service will further encourage customer confidence, thus helping our travel agent partners to secure those all-important bookings.
“I think having this personal service and contact in destination will also be a huge selling point for agents to promote. In the past year, more than ever, I think consumers have really understood the value of human contact. With rules and regulations changing rapidly for travel, it can be daunting for customers on holiday to know what to do, or who to contact, when something does change. While If Only already operates a 24-hour contact for out of hours emergencies, having a dedicated team on the ground will allow us to be even more reactive.
“What’s more, it will enable us to service higher-end bookings, and more complex requests. Do you have a customer who wants to hire out one of the island’s top restaurants for a birthday, plan a magical proposal on a secluded beach, or holiday in a luxury private villa? Our team can help! It really is a huge step forward in our luxury offering, and I cannot wait to see our agents and their customers take advantage of it throughout 2021.”