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It’s Good To Be Choosy: How We Select and Package Travel for Our Customers

January 29, 2013
A bit of an art, a bit of a science — that sums up our approach to selecting the most intriguing travel packages for non-profits to use as auction fundraisers.

The “art” part comes from our experienced insights into what donors want to buy. We ask ourselves, do the packages appeal to a wide enough audience, yet exude cool “gotta-go-there panache? Have we heard about them in travel circles or popular media? At the same time, we ask ourselves will it appeal to enough audiences and can we make it fit auction budgets.

For example, as cool as a trip to Iceland may be (brrr, very cool) it might be still too “off the beaten path” to get enough takers to make it worthwhile. We compare new ideas to “hot sellers” — trips to clamored-for top destinations such as our shopping spree trip to New York City and our Napa Valley Wine Tour.

Have we ever miscalculated? Chosen a package that just didn’t draw the way we thought it would? Yes, and we learned from the experiences. For example, our trip to Thailand, which not only included a tour around the country but also an elephant ride, river rafting, and cultural show, didn’t draw the appeal at auctions that we were hoping for.

When considering a new trip, we also ask ourselves — Is it special enough? For example, as long as tickets to coveted sports and entertainment events are still very hard to come by, we will use our connections to make them available.

Speaking of “our connections,” here is where the “science” part of the job comes in. At Mitch-Stuart, we have spent the better part of the last 20 years developing, honing and nurturing a wide and diverse breadth of relationships in the luxury travel world. These trusted relationships are part of what separates our business from some of the more formulaic companies offering packaged travel today.

When someone returns from a Mitch-Stuart trip, their feedback is important to us. We also try to glean good information from them on their experience to help determine whether to keep that trip — and then to build more like it. It is relationships with both our suppliers and our recipients that help us stay “choosy” when choosing travel packages.
Any travel packages you’d like to see us choose?