Over the past week or so, I've watched the currency markets with great interest, especially as the Canadian dollar reached par with the U.S. greenback. I'm also quite familiar with LL's audience profile, especially that 63% of its buyers exceed HHI of $150,000, 80% are managerial professionals who take at least 3 liesure trips a year. In my mind, these Americans who use LL to buy luxury vacations don't seem to be in a group that's particularly hard-pressed for travel funds. As such, it also seems to me that what amount to relatively small fluctuations in monetary values, would likely not have significant impacts on their travel expectations or spending habits.Similarly, I find it a bit hard to see why LL's overall marketing strategies would now necessarily change in a noticeable way. Of course, these are my opinions and may prove to be way off base. Either way, it'll be very interesting to see what does happen over the next few months.
I read the recent LL News Release with interest. Thanx for providing a link to it.I agree that the new LL CEO Drew Marich will have a lot of influence on LL's future direction in the travel world, especially given his background at eBay. At the same time, I note that the News Releasejust issued byLL is very carefully worded to describe the specific travel market share it will continue to target. Key words and phrases that stand out and seem to be very precisely telling include the following (and I quote, with italics and underlining added for emphasis): "want to reach an affluent demographic""focused on the luxury segmentand is the worlds leading luxurytravel website""site features exclusive package deals""for luxury travelers, high-end hotels and advertisers ""thousands of extraordinary hotels and resorts, cruises, tours and villas throughout the world""with nearly one thousand luxury properties globally that meet the highest standards of excellence" Nary a word about the depressed value of the American dollar vis a vis the Euro or the British Pound. Nor any mention about a change in direction towards capturing the "value" market in the whole Press Release. Hardly an indication that LL intends to or sees a need to market to the "not-so-affluent" segment of the travelling population in the USA or elsewhere.
Message Edited by curtiejoe on 10-06-2007 09:08 AM
Message Edited by curtiejoe on 10-06-2007 09:17 AM
I think Travel2fun hit the nail on the head by staying that those who truly have unlimited funds to travel are not spending their time surfing the web for discounts. Ibelieve that thecatagory of people that LL wants to attract (based on their profile listing of $150K+, 70% from the USA, travels 3times a year, looking for more upscale vacations, etc)are and will continue to be affected by the decline of the US Dollar. Itis almost impossible for me to consider a vacation outside of the USA right now because of the dollar (unless it's to Mexico). In fact, I've already booked my Mexican vacation (once again at Villa Del Sol) for March of next year... because the Peso to the Dollar is still acceptable. And that's why I'm trying to find a place in the Napa/Sonoma valley for next summer's vacation.
Having said that, I don't think that LL should radically change their offerings just to accommodate the US travellers... but perhaps adding a few more and varied offerings in USA... and then it would be win/win for everyone... Those of us from the USA can afford it... and for our friends outside of the USA, it would be a bargain!
Weve enjoyed reading and reflecting on the posting in this thread..mountie, affordable may not end up as a category in the near future, but I did look at Value Destinations, you mentioned in another posting. The copy is very carefully crafted, in such fashion, we believe, so as not to discount or cheapen the LL experience. However, curtiejoe, the writer does emphasize the use of up-to-date exchange rates and currency indexes and goes on to speak about the placement of the highest value on the U.S. dollar.
It would appear LL is well aware of the importance of their U.S. consumer and the tribulations being experienced with currency conversions in many other countries....and rather than compromise the image of luxury (while at the same time, not wanting to diminish this consumer segment), focus on value.
In this category, it appears, LL is embarking on a journey to identify destinations where the U.S. consumer (and everyone from any other part of the world) will get more for their money, rather than offer a "cheaper" product. Hey, thats the way we buy our potato chips (crisps), breakfast cereal and automobiles..pay the same price, but get an extra two ounces of crunch or take the sun roof and sirius satellite radio at no additional cost.
So there you are, mountie and curtiejoe..both of you are right. BTW, CMDVILACLI, LL will find destinations that will not limit you to "peso" vacations (although, LL does offer some nice destinations in Mexico).
mountie, in reading the postings in this thread, I am wondering if the destinations for under $1,000 is one the the major changes to which you allude? Are you actually aware of other plannedchanges within theLL? If there are major changes coming, do you know when they willhappen? Thank you in advance!
Message Edited by jsattapr2 on 12-28-2007 03:53 PM
As always, I enjoy reading your posts. They areconsistently interesting and thought-provoking. Often humorous and a bit "tongue-in-cheek" I suspect. In this last one below, I would point out that there really is no right or wrongwhen it comes to a discussion of travel topics. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and to express them freely, while not slandering or belittleling anyone else. After all, the LL Community is an open forum for the free expression of ideas and experiences on matters related to travel. Very nice and diplomaticof you tovote favourably forboth sides of the discussion. Thanks.
Message Edited by curtiejoe on 12-23-2007 06:18 AM
Taking some time to review some of the older community threads, we found it interesting to considerseveral of the observations make here about a year and a half back.
It appears the management team at LL has not been sitting on their "behinds" waiting for things to get better. In fact, some of the issues discussed in postings in this threadhave been addressed....such as seeking out properties in destinations offering better currency exchange rates (at least for US residents) andadding onadditional perks in many auctionofferings(breakfasts are always appreciated, a dinner or two with somewine is appreciated, a couple of guided tours here and there is appreciated....and of course, those "hidden" taxes and service fees, which can sometimesproduce unwanted reactions at checkouts,are being includedin more and more packages).
Of course, the LL staffcannot be responsible for us generated our own disposable income to afford these luxury trips.....we still have to shoulder those creative responsibilities.
Let the Ice Age be a lesson.....think about all of those dinosaurs who saved for a rainy day during the Mesozoic ear and now their bones are on display in museums.....lesson learned, enjoy it while you are alive!
It looks like Luxury Linkandits properties are simply not responding to today's market. I have looked through many of the auctions over the past couple of weeks and a huge percentage of them closed with no bid. List prices for many of the packagesare wildly inflated and even the minimum bid is well above current market rates. We travel quite a bit but will likely use other sources than Luxury Link for future plans.