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August 2, 2022updated 03 Aug 2022 12:48pm

Ask an Adviser: Henrietta Loyd on planning travel post-Covid

By James Burns

Each week, Spear’s sits down with an adviser in the world of wealth and luxury to talk about an issue affecting HNW individuals. This week, Henrietta Loyd, veteran traveller and co-owner of Cazenove+Loyd, tells us everything HNWs need to know about travel in 2022

As the travel industry finally gets back on its feet after two years of inactivity, many HNWs are chomping at the bit to explore new parts of the world once again. Fortunately for any would-be traveller, many travel-services firms are eager to help HNWs plan their perfect trip.

Cazenove+Loyd has spent three decades tailoring trips for HNWs. Spear’s caught up with the firm’s founder, Henrietta Loyd, to find out how the company’s process has changed, where sustainable tourism is heading, and the top destinations for HNWs in 2022.

Could you tell us about your journey into the travel industry and how Cazenove+Loyd started?

As a child, I had great uncles who emigrated to what was then Rhodesia after the Second World War. And they all said, you must see the ‘Big Falls’ in your lifetime. So, age 20, having done a bit of work, I thought ‘off I go!’ I went and I lived in Africa for three years, and ran tented Safari camps in Botswana in the early ’80s.

In those days, there was a very, very minor travel industry, it was mainly hunting safaris. I guess that shaped my life and also what I wanted to do – it was a fantastic grounding. That’s how the whole thing got started, with an in-depth love of Africa, the Bush safaris, and wildlife conservation. I think going on safari and seeing animals in their true habitat is the most amazing experience.

Henrietta Loyd
Henrietta Loyd started curating small group trips ten years ago

Many of your holiday-goers talk about the ‘life-changing experiences’ they’ve had on tour. What do you think makes your trips so special?

I think it’s because we dig deep. We don’t just sell a holiday off a website or set itineraries. Of course, every business rightly says their holiday is tailor-made. But, if you’re giving a bespoke service to the top end of the market, it’s not about price, it’s about the content that goes into the itinerary.

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And the key ingredient we feel to any holiday is the guide. It’s like the concierge of a hotel, or the GM. So we have always and continue to invest an enormous amount of time into our guides.

And often, the excursions can be intimate experiences. Do you find yourself keeping in contact with clients for a long time afterwards?

About 10 years ago, we started developing small group trips, which Christopher (my business partner) and I tend to lead. We’re going to try and evolve that into a bigger part of the business.

When you spend 10-12 days with people, and you are the glue [of those trips], you get to know people very well. I never started Cazenove+Loyd thinking I was going to take group trips, but it’s been a very interesting and a really fun part of the business with a lot of repeat clients.

On tour, you’re all sharing an experience. It’s like if you go on holiday with family or friends, it’s all about this shared experience. And then you come back and there’s stuff to talk about. And then they say, ‘oh, well, I’d love to go to Brazil, or I’d like to go to Raja Ampat, or wherever they want to go’. So it then develops into another trip.

Is there a place for a solo traveller as part of Cazenove+Loyd?

These group trips are fantastic for the single traveller. And that’s what we’ve seen. We get a lot of single travellers who want to go to these places. Quite often they’re married but the other half doesn’t want to do that particular place. So, small group trips that are well planned and executed are very attractive to a solo traveller, because they can go with people and feel part of a team.

In the future, how would you like to see the travel industry change?

We started to advocate ‘slower travel’ pre-Covid, trying to slow everything down a bit. I find it very odd, when people say they’ve ‘done’ somewhere. You can’t ever ‘do’ anywhere, it just doesn’t work like that. So, we advise people to go for longer, if they’ve got time, maybe go for two-and-a-half weeks, and maybe go to two or three places, not 10, because of the carbon emissions.

Responsible travel and also climate change is an area that we started looking into pre-Covid, and that’s something which I think will become much more of the norm, generally. So, you [would] do maybe one really bumper trip a year, and then maybe a smaller [trip] to Europe for four or five days. That’s something that we’re advocating as the most responsible way of going about it.

We also work with various companies on carbon offsetting, so that would [be part of] any trip we do to those parts of the world. But, I think it’s down to the individual – we can’t preach. We can discuss it, but we can’t preach to a client about what they should or shouldn’t do.

Kayakers in Polar
Expeditions to the polar region have become very popular in recent years. Image: Aurora Expeditions

As we make our way towards 2023, where do you think the most exciting places to travel will be?

Well, we’ve just launched polar [trips] because we think there’s a big market out there for that. We’re seeing very good pickup on that. A lot of places are still opening up; there’s been much stricter Covid restrictions, as you know, in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia.

So it’s hard to say, actually, at this stage, because I think that it’s going to be another year before things settle down. But people are so thrilled to be travelling again. And the demand is pretty intense, which is great. Across the board, we’re seeing good interest in all of our regions.

Since COVID, with the world opening up, we’ve noticed a lot of people asking, ‘what trips are you doing next year?’ I took three in six months to Jordan, Cuba, and Nepal, and they sold out really quickly. I think it was the feeling of gosh, [it’s] post-Covid, off we go!

Images: Will Warr & Nick Horowitz

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