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Added 19 February, 2013

High-end travelers increasingly look for expert trip-planning advice, but not from travel agents

Overwhelmed by options, luxury travellers are increasingly entrusting experts to decide and plan every component of their holidays. More than simply travel agents, these experts are micromanaging every aspect of travelers' itineraries. Six-year-old luxury travel operator Black Tomato, which specialises in piecing together unique tailor-made experiences for its customers, is having a record year by meeting even minor needs like compiling a selection of songs on an iTunes playlist for the traveller to listen to while away to providing a film for the traveller to watch once back home and faced with the post-holiday blues. The coming year will see more travel services evolving not only to help discerning customers discover appropriate holidays, but also to help plan, finalise and offer those experiences in the most interesting and exclusive of ways. New York-based Excursionist is a members-only travel website selling exclusive vacation experiences curated by local professionals and site members. Excursionist offers vacations to worldwide destinations that involve local individuals, including artists, scientists, chefs and activists. The handpicked travel guides accompany the tourist on their vacation, providing information and local knowledge, so creating a unique, educational experience. Excursionist also works to provide its members with special access to tourism-related sites such as archaeological digs and other places that are often closed to the public.
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