Luxury specialist tour operator Lightfoot Travel has expanded its Dubai office, after witnessing a rapid acceleration of business in the GCC in 2017, with demand increasing particularly for more adventurous and experiential itineraries as well as a number of new destinations.
The latest appointment to its expanding team is Camille d’Harambure in the position of travel designer. D'Harambure worked at Abercrombie & Kent in Abu Dhabi for three years, looking after high net worth clients, both Emiratis and expatriates.
The company's founder & managing director, Simon Cameron, has relocated to Dubai to head the growing regional office. Cameron has roots in the GCC himself, having worked in a risk management consultancy throughout the region prior to establishing Lightfoot Travel in 2009.
“Having successfully set up Lightfoot Travel in Singapore and Hong Kong, we saw a gap in the market for a boutique travel company in Dubai. Like Singapore and Hong Kong, Dubai is a leading commercial hub and home to a large number of multinational companies and affluent HNW individuals, so it seemed a natural progression,” Cameron said.
Lightfoot Travel’s growth in bookings mirrors the GCC’s increasing appetite for luxury travel experiences internationally and to specificdestinations such as Africa where experiential travel is up by 50%. Ecuador and The Galapagos as well as China have also seen a marked increase in bookings. A further new interest in alternative European escapes has realised a rise for Croatia specifically where demand is up 350%. Whilst traditional travel agencies are suffering with the advent of online booking options, there is a fast-growing demand for tailor-made services not available when booking online.
Lightfoot Travel is based in Downtown Dubai, and can either arrange appointments in their office or meet clients at a location of their choice. The company hosts regular events for their top clients and their partners’ clients. The team are always on the lookout for new and exciting experiences, with travel recommendations personally tried and tested by the team.
Within the GCC region, the Lightfoot Travel team have seen a further rise in multi-generational and family holidays, twin-centre honeymoons and girls-only trips. According to Lightfoot, the most popular destinations for 2017/18 include Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Tokyo, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, China, Colombia, South America, the Arctic Circle and Iran.