IF ONE THING CAN BE SAID about the readers of Global Traveler, it is that they are a passionate bunch — passionate about travel, passionate about the industry, passionate about the publication. That enthusiasm was on full display in October 2016 when members of the Global Traveler Globility Board convened at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills for a day of meetings and presentations focused on one of their favorite topics — premium travel.
In 2012 Global Traveler introduced its Globility Board, a group of well-traveled, vetted subscribers formed to serve as a conduit for information for both ourselves and for our clients — the travel industry providers these readers utilize on a regular basis. Our third Globility Board meeting brought our in-the-know members to the City of Angels, where United Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Global Traveler were able to showcase various products and receive the valuable feedback of the group.
Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills proved the perfect host venue for the meetings, which kicked off with a welcome dinner at the hotel’s Le Jardin French outdoor patio and alfresco The Aviary, designed to host intimate dinners and receptions. With a combination of Hollywood glamour, European elegance and French sophistication, the property is known for executing first-rate events and meetings. The nine on-site meeting rooms offer natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows, 14-foot-high ceilings and soundproof walls — all characteristics greatly appreciated by our group as we set up for a jam-packed day in the Santa Monica Room. For lunch we made great use of the upper pool lounge space, soaking up the midday California sunshine. Our group also enjoyed the endless comforts of the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills’ guestrooms and took time to savor other on-site amenities, including the state-of-the-art fitness center and Estérel Restaurant.
Maria Walter, managing director, product and brand strategy, United Airlines, took the Globility Board through the vision and entire process — from conception to implementation — of the airline’s new and improved business-class concept, Polaris, which subsequently debuted Dec. 1, 2016. Many of our Globility Board members are devoted to United Airlines, making the excitement in the room for the new product palpable.
The 12 product concepts behind Polaris — sleep, productivity, wellness, epicurean, modern luxury, entertainment, connectivity, added service, private access, global connections, rich comforts and traditional service — resonated with the assembled group. Questions abounded about service standards, when Polaris would reach United’s p.s. service, other product details and the process; but in the end it was clear the room was full of world travelers eager for their first flight on United Polaris.
Next up, a team from Saudi Arabian Airlines, led by Jessica Arias, account executive, greeted the group with dates and tea, a sneak preview of the tasty delights served on board the flagship carrier. The Saudia team took a different approach, first showing videos of the airline’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and first-class cabin before asking our Globility Board members a series of questions to deduce their rationale in planning and booking travel.
Questions included: Have you flown the Dreamliner? Most answered with a resounding “Yes!” with feedback ranging from, “I flew a discount carrier just to experience the aircraft,” to “I noticed absolutely nothing different when flying the Dreamliner.” They asked: Who books your travel? How do you decide which airline to fly? What travel websites do you regularly visit? Do you use mobile boarding passes? What airlines do a good job at marketing themselves? What do you look for in an airline ad? Do alliances hold value? The question and answer session sparked a lively discussion among the group and even included photographs from GT publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher’s personal trip to Saudi Arabia. The presentation heightened the awareness of the airline and its premium offerings among our group of intrepid travelers and led many to state they would consider the airline as a transit option for a future trip.
Finally, we at Global Traveler took advantage of the benefits of having our readers in one room, asking them for feedback as we offered a first look at the 2017 magazine redesign we launched last month. As we usher in 2017, those of us at Global Traveler join our Globility Board members on flights and trips around the world, putting into practice our definition of “globility”: the openness to learning and understanding cultural differences.
JOIN THE GLOBILITY BOARD
We are always looking for new candidates interested in joining the Globility Board. To become a member of the Globility Board, reach out to Francis X. Gallagher at [email protected]. Interested parties will need to complete an application and vetting process.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
The holidays are right around the corner and it's time to start thinking about gifts for your wine-loving friends. If you or someone you know is planning an upcoming trip to a wine region, check out Argaux. The all-women-operated and -owned online wine shop and educational platform offers a series of tasting sets to celebrate and introduce some of the best wine destinations. The Gaux-To Tasting Sets are perfect for travelers to experience the wine before they travel — or without having to travel.
The Red Sea Development Company recently finalized its utilities deal with a consortium led by ACWA Power for The Red Sea Project, setting the development as the largest tourism project in the world set to be powered solely by renewable energy.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offers the chance to get up to $5,000 off per person on a 2022 sailing if booked by Nov. 30 as part of a Black Friday deal. This offer is valid on bookings made through Nov. 30 on cruises in 2022. Additionally, this deal can be combined with any publicly available promotion and standard River Heritage Club membership savings or benefits.
Peru-based hotel brand Inkaterra was named the first-ever “climate-positive” hotel brand in the world by GreenInitiative. Climate-positive can be defined as “any activity that furthers the achievement of net zero carbon emissions, providing an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” Endorsed by the United Nations, GreenInitiative announced Inkaterra Hotels’ achievement upon measuring the company’s carbon footprint and offset.
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
Premiere luxury resort L’Auberge de Sedona debuts the Home for the Holidays experience to go with the resort’s holiday celebrations. Guests are invited to join in the festivities this year amid Arizona’s beautiful natural features like Oak Creek and Red Rocks.