Imagine staying at a hotel in Santorini that allows you the luxury of bathing outdoors while you enjoy a perfectly chilled bottle of Pinot Noir and a breathtaking 360 view of the Aegean Sea.
Now picture yourself flying business class to Bali. You get all the legroom you want, the comfiest seats that the aviation industry can offer, uninterrupted Wi-Fi service, and access to some of the finest treats that were ever created.
When you finally land, a limousine pulls over and whisks you to an exclusive property where you get welcomed by an offer to experience the most relaxing massage performed right at the beach during sunset.
Sounds like a dream, right? Not when you own a luxury travel agency.
Meet Isabella Garofanelli. With roots from The Bahamas, Garofanelli is the founder and CEO of Your Luxe Travel, an end-to-end agency that specializes on bespoke luxury adventures, and Your Luxe Lifestyle, a digital resource for anything and everything high-end. For the last six years, she’s been helping people get access to unique and fascinating destinations all over the world—making it easier for them to create wonderful memories through detailed itineraries that are built around each traveler’s expectations, interests, and personal preferences.
“My travel business was founded on the premise of providing luxury as defined by you,” she shares. “Each of us have a different idea of what luxury means. For some, it means exclusive accommodations, world-class services, and food prepared by personal chefs. For others, it could mean having the luxury of interacting with wildlife and creating a deeper connection with people and culture.”
A true travel enthusiast and jet-setter, Garofanelli started her businesses after leaving her full time job at a multinational media company. Armed with a passion to find her place in the luxury lifestyle and travel space and a natural flair for creating mutually-beneficial connections, she started a journey that would take her to hundreds of hotels, restaurants, spas, museums and shows all over the world.
The effects of Covid-19
Young as they are, Garofanelli’s businesses quickly soared thanks to her smart branding and efficient marketing efforts. However, like all everyone else in the travel sector, they too were heavily impacted by the emergence of the coronavirus.
“What most people fail to understand is how profoundly this crisis affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the industry. It’s not just the airlines or the hotels. There are restaurant, spa, and museum staff, performers, porters, tour guides and others whose means of providing for themselves and their families have been taken away by this pandemic. And it’s because of them that I keep doing what I do.”
Using her platforms to boost the global travel ecosystem
While stuck at home, Garofanelli continues to promote travel destinations through her Instagram account. Using images from past travels, she features establishments, views, and experiences in an effort to prime other travel enthusiasts so that they are ready to return to their nomadic adventures once the crisis ends. In addition, she’s also helping individuals who aspire to become travel content creators realize their dreams by sharing with them lessons she and her team has learned over the years.
“Since everyone’s pretty much stuck at home, I figured one of the best ways for me to help the industry right now is by helping create future champions—people who can boost the travel economy either as content creators, entrepreneurs or digital nomads. Through my Brand Building Factory program, I educate people how to make a living while enjoying some of the best experiences that the world has to offer.”
Speaking about the role she took upon herself to play, she adds how the decision came naturally to her upon realizing the harrowing effects of the standstill caused by Covid-19, “I am blessed with both the experience and the platform to share my learnings. This crisis has been hard on everyone. And at this point, what we need to do is to look for ways to support each other in the best way we can. And I realize that this is the best way for me to help—by shaping individuals who can boost the industry once everyone’s allowed to go on holidays again.”