Founding one of the world’s fastest growing travel websites, Luxury Escapes, Adam Schwab is an award winning entrepreneur with over 15 year’s experience in business and journalism. His passion for travel combined with knowledge of business allowed him to build one of Australia’s most profitable e-commerce companies in just five years without any external funding.
With offices already established in Australia, Singapore and India, Luxury Escapes plan to continue international growth by having a larger presence in the, U.S., U.K., and U.A.E.
Dynamic Business were happy to hear first hand from Adam on how he has created such as well-known brand in the travel & tourist industry. He discusses the small beginnings of Luxury Escapes and how it has grown over the years, as well as the business secrets to learn in terms of standing out from the competition and overcoming obstacles along the way. Don’t miss his 3 top tips for success summarised in our last question and answer below.
Where did your initial idea for Luxury Escapes come from?
Luxury Escapes has evolved over a number of years, we certainly were not an overnight success. We started by offering serviced apartments almost fifteen years ago but I wanted to create a business that could scale both nationally and internationally. Naturally, we transitioned into eCommerce and started selling experiences and travel packages.
We soon realised the travel business was a great win for customers as well as our hotel partners. Why? We were selling great value packages to outstanding properties and essentially, filling rooms that would have been empty. We now sell to customers in twenty countries around the world and offer packages to not only well-known destinations like Bali and Thailand but also to exciting new destinations like Slovenia, South Korea and Jordan.
How do you stand out from the competition as there are so many comparative holiday websites now?
We focus on a couple of really key things – and we’ve done this all along – from when we were just a team of three, to our current (much bigger) team of over two hundred people.
Firstly, we want to ensure we have the very best value packages. We do this by having a dedicated team who ensure our packages are the best ones available. Secondly, we ‘over-invest’ in customer experience. You can call a Luxury Escapes Australia-based agent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There aren’t many agents across the world who offer that kind of service.
How long has it taken you to establish Luxury Escapes as a well-known brand and how have you done so over the years? Has your approach changed much?
We’ve taken a really considered approach to build the business and focused on customer experience. As a result, although we’ve been around for almost nine years, as a brand it’s the last few years where we have really made our mark in the industry. A huge amount of our growth came from customers referring friends and family. Our customer satisfaction ranking is very high, so we’ve really benefitted from the natural virality of travel as well as our amazing members and of course, our excellent deals.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced and how did you overcome them?
We face lots of challenges every day, but the beauty of being a fast moving business with an amazing team is we always find a way to keep improving and growing. One of the most difficult challenges in the early days was hotels and brands hadn’t really heard of us, so winning trust was really critical. It’s a bit different now, as a business with millions of customers, a globally respected brand and almost half a billion dollars in revenue. It was very different back then when we had to prove to our partners we could deliver on what we promised.
What are the 3 key things that have been essential to Luxury Escapes’ success?
A laser like focus on customers, through value, service and innovation has driven Luxury Escapes’ success. However, we’ve still got a long way to go, and we think our customer experience in three years will be very different (and a lot better) than our current experience. We want to be selling all aspects of a holiday and doing it in a really personal way. As a team we are very focused on achieving this in the future.