Billed as a modern version of the traditional travel agency service, The World of Envy (TWE) takes travel planning to new levels by delivering insider access to an exclusive selection of stunning accommodations, as well as a range of other services, around the globe.
Talking exclusively with Superyachts.com, TWE co-founder Thérèse Gleisner spoke about the ways in which the company has carved a niche for itself in the ultra-competitive travel industry .
TH: Can you tell us a little about TWE and the services you provide?
SY: We specialise in travel planning with focus on accommodation. Simply described, we act as an agent for the client, rather than the hotel (which is more the usual order of things) and take care of the selection of accommodation solutions based on the customers needs for a specific trip.
We chose the name The World of Envy to signal that we offer something different from traditional travel agencies – not just that we offer villas and yachts in addition to hotels, but that we are also offer a feeling and a lifestyle. Our service requires us to metaphorically step into our client’s world, and get to know them in order to be able to provide the very best travel planning possible.
We believe that a holiday should be personal and a memory for life – no matter if it is a short city break or two weeks in the Caribbean. Every single customer is unique and has different wishes, demands and expectations that we make it our business to satisfy.
What would you say is TWE'S Unique Selling Point?
The most significant difference between us and our competition, is that we see every client as unique and we provide them with a custom-planned holiday We have deliberately chosen to target a niche in the market that consists of hard-to-please customers who both make demands on perfection and are prepared to leave their holiday planning to someone who does it better. It is a niche that is not particularly price-sensitive – but is geared/aimed toward a discerning clientele who want to be sure that they get the very best solution and who trusts us to get them the best price possible.
We plan on being the absolutely best at recommending accommodation solutions that fulfil each client’s requirements – no matter if that is a hotel, a villa or a yacht! This is also the reason why we in general don’t work with pre-packaged holidays – we take the word 'personal' in our title very seriously and don’t want to risk the client’s personal requirements and wishes not being fulfilled.
How do you choose the properties that you offer?
Our selection of properties features only the highest star count. But as we all know – stars and style don’t always go hand in hand! We look for the unique, the different and the exceptional – those rare cases where luxury and good taste are actually successfully wed!
Together with our associate consultants we verify all of our selected hotels, villas and yachts on a regular basis. Only the very best can be a part of our network and featured on our website. We cater to all and every taste and the network contains everything from hip urban hotels, to lavish palaces and resorts in far off places.
Our aim is to have personally visited the majority of the places we recommend; however we understand that this is not possible as the world is very big and the selection huge.
Therefore we make use of personal reviews, verifications and insider recommendations from our extensive network of associates, industry professionals as well as from our trusted clientele.
How would you describe the average TWE client?
Our clients are best described as sophisticated and discerning travellers who appreciate design, good food and drink, culture, shopping and pampering themselves – simply the best that life can offer. They are frequent visitors to the world’s metropolises and the most exclusive destinations around the globe.
Our clients are the same customers that due to lack of time and for convenience use the services of an assistant, a nanny or a personal trainer. It is the kind of customer who makes the deliberate decision to leave the travel planning to someone with more experience and knowledge. Our typical client is often a family – parents in their 30-50s with two kids and maybe a nanny – or it is a more modern client from the older generation who keep themselves updated about new destinations.
How much does it cost to book a vacation with TWE?
There are no simple answers to that question – it depends on the destination, time of year, number in the party, the clients’ demands and wishes. Most of our customers spend between €15 000 - €50 000 on a longer family holiday.
What does the future hold for TWE?
Our aim is to grow at a slow pace by building an extensive and strong client base that come to us for all their travelling requirements whether being for business or pleasure. As we’ve pointed out we are not looking for volume but quality and the right type of bookings for our service. We will be the best at what we do and provide the level of service our clients expect.
We plan to grow through collaborations and partnerships. But it is essential that we never stray from the core of our business – the personal service and focus on fulfilling every client’s specific requirements and wishes. Our personal contact with the client is very important and if we grow too quickly we will most likely lose the ability to provide our clients with this level of service.
What is your own personal favourite vacation destination?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the reason for the trip/vacation, time of year, etc. If I had to choose I would have to say the Alpes. Renting a luxury catered chalet in Verbier with a couple of friends is the ultimate vacation for me.
I am also very fond of Asia and city hotels and here I would say that the hotel that has made the biggest impression on me is Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok – there is something special with this hotel that is difficult to define.