‘If the trade want to consider personalisation for their clients they do have to appreciate and accept that customisation comes at a higher price point; value – rather than price – needs to be the focus. ‘There is definitely a growing awareness across the sector of just how lucrative special interest groups and personalisation can be, but there is still a big focus and dependence on volume products in many quarters.’ She says the term ‘luxury’ is being used more and more frequently in New Zealand but cautions that the word means different things to different people. ‘Luxury to me is not luxury to my neighbour and there are many ways a product or an offering can be luxurious. ‘For Fine Art Tours, personalisation is a big part, but it also comes down to the details. If a product or service is sloppy or lacks thoughtful execution, in my opinion, it can never be considered luxurious.’ Wilkinson says 90% of her clients are international visitors. ‘Many New Zealanders do not realise what a distinct culture we have here, and not just indigenous culture. We may be a new country, but we’re growing up fast and our thriving creative communities are testament to this. ‘Not only do we have impressive public galleries in the main centres, we also have incredible private art collections and a string patronage of the arts across all levels of society.’ She adds that the experiences offered by Fine Art Tours NZ include fine art, gourmet, heritage, premium shopping and gardens (living art).
The art of personalisation
The inbound and domestic travel trade is growing more aware of how lucrative special interest groups and personalisation can be, according to a niche operator who works across both the leisure and business events sector in New Zealand. Jacqui Wilkinson, director sales and marketing Fine Art Tours NZ, says personalisation is key to certain segments.