The Joy of Travel with Emma Mackley
An independent Luxury Travel consultant for almost 3 years, Emma Mackley is based in Cheshire, UK. Approaching 40, Emma is married to Fire Fighter husband Tim and Mum of 2 young children, Holly and George and she received Best New Travel Agent Award and Best Homeworking Travel Agent Award in recognition for the volume of business she put through the luxury tour operators. As Sovereign is launching a new travel column, Vitamin See, Emma graciously agreed to share the story behind her success and passion for travel.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
After having my second child, I really struggled with managing childcare around strict office hours and a husband working shifts. My Father then became ill and eventually passed away which made me re-assess my priorities. I said to myself ” if I don’t follow my dreams of setting up my own business now, I will never do it.” I worked for a luxury tour operator managing a portfolio of high net worth clients in the latter years and then part-time for a hotel sales and marketing company. I really enjoyed my role as Sales and Marketing Manager, seeing a different side of the travel industry and building on my contacts but the role involved quite a bit of ad-hoc travelling around the country which wasn’t conducive to family life – another nudge to take the plunge and set up my own business Emma Mackley Private Travel
What does your travel agency do?
As an independent bespoke travel agency , I have the chance to be congruent with my strong values for genuine relationships and personal service. I truly understand the importance of attention to detail, getting it right first time and having the best people on the ground to assist with any unforeseen events.
My client base has grown organically and referrals are definitely the greatest compliment to receive. Most enquiries come via word of mouth from clients who are happy to recommend my service to friends, family and colleagues to assist with their travel needs with the greatest level of care and discretion. Having visited some of the most beautiful places in the world, I love sharing my knowledge and passion to help my clients create their own travel experiences.
At present I am building a small group of associates, arranging luxury holidays for a portfolio of discerning clients looking for advice, great service and assistance with booking their luxury holidays.
What makes you different in the travel industry? What problems do you hope to solve?
My experience in the travel industry gives my clients an unfair advantage. I make bookings through trusted, luxury and fully bonded tour operators. I decided to use my name in the business name as my clients are buying into me and at the same time, I leverage my experience .
Finding availability at the top hotels, resorts, safari lodges or villas for peak dates, it is a tall order, especially for clients with busy lives who are often only able to book at short notice. From time to time, unforeseen circumstances occur but I am always available to resolve any issues before they become a problem.
What is the best thing about your job?
Whether is finding an infinity pool in Tahiti for my clients, planning a romantic escape, cultural city break, fun family getaway, adventurous trip of a lifetime or a wellness retreat, I’ll know (or I’ll find out) just where to send my clients for a travel experience they won’t forget. I take the time to get to know them personally so I can exceed their expectations and take care of the finer details from restaurant, spa and kids club reservations to organising the best private guides to ensure they get the most out of every trip.
Because I am independent, my only commitment is my client, and I can be available anytime, I am free to meet anywhere and handle each enquiry and booking with the utmost care and discretion.
I have amassed unrivalled contacts within the travel industry and work with only the best, most trusted ATOL bonded travel partners, ensuring every last detail is taken care of when travelling with Emma Mackley Private Travel. Matching the perfect holiday to my client’s requirements and receiving messages and photos whilst they are away thanking me for my help and telling me what a fabulous time they are having! I always try to call my clients when they return from a trip to get their feedback which is mostly positive but any constructive comments are filed for future reference.
Many of my clients lead very busy working and family lives so holidays are a necessity rather than a luxury and I love helping them enjoy quality time together.
And the most challenging?
Piecing together multi-centre or round the world itineraries is always a challenge in terms of matching up flight and accommodation availability but I love researching lesser known destinations and seeing a big trip come together.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business so far?
I am genuinely passionate about my travel business. Seeing the business grow in terms of new clients, returning clients and of course turnover year on year is very satisfying .Nothing beats receiving great feedback and often flowers from happy clients – During pick weeks I wonder if I should open a florist at my house!