Each month we chat to a different luxury travel expert, this month it is the turn of Hao Tang owner luxury travel service Besvisor.
Please tell us a little bit more about yourself and Besvisor?
I originally began my career at Ralph Lauren climbing the corporate latter, like many others. However, I found myself spending many hours researching and arranging “the next adventure” and once I was able to afford staying in luxury properties and flying in business/first, there was no turning back! My passion for travel continue to grow and evolve from there. I had no plans to go into the luxury consulting industry, but after many pushes from friends, I decided to give it the “college try”. I started out with zero clients and prospects. The most fortunate thing was that I didn’t need Besvisor for income purpose so I was (and still) able to stay true to my mission, which is to always put the clients’ need first. Even if that means less commission in my pockets.
My business mentality is always to play the macro game well at the expense of immediate gains. This concept didn’t just serve my clients well but for me, too. Luxury clients are often some of the brightest/sharpest people on the planet, which is why they’re able to afford $2k/night hotels and $10k air fares. They notice when you’re fighting on their behalf and have their interest in mind. Through it, I was able to develop trust and close relationships with clients. Many feel like friends and have invited me to meet if I’m ever visiting their home city. Some have even invited me to join on their trips, LOL!
How did the idea for Besvisor come about?
I couldn’t decide between Best Advisor or Bespoke Advisor so BESVISOR was born out of my indecision.
Describe a typical day for you – if such a thing exists!
Due to having clients across the globe in various time zones, upon awakening, I typically reach for my phone, right away and start going through emails. Reason is if I can reply to emails that have been flowing in over the night early enough, I may still be able to catch some hotel management who hasn’t’ left the office for the day yet. This will prevent another day passing by before getting an answer to questions that have been asked. Ultimately this enables me to deliver quicker feedback to clients and be very responsive, which is a huge value for many of my clients. Don’t we all love instant gratification? LOL!
But mostly, I spend a lot of time exchanging emails with clients and luxury hotel management/teams, doing research when needed and checking up on clients who may be traveling to ensure all is going wonderfully. I also try to get on Instagram often to get inspired by travel photos and also post my own.
Many of my clients follow me on Instagram to see places that I may have visited to get travel inspirations. I will often receive emails from clients, instructing me to book them or note in their profile that they would like to visit a destination that I’ve just posted on my Instagram page.
What can a Besvisor client expect from your service? Who is your typical client?
Clients should expect transparency and their interest to be a high priority for us. As a Virtuoso, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Rosewood, Starwood, Shangri-La and many other luxury vendors’ directly partner, our clients will receive valuable amenities such as: upgrades, breakfasts, hotel credit, early check in, late check outs and VIP status, etc…
As a luxury traveler myself, I understand what clients are looking for and have the relationships at many luxury properties to ensure they have a wonderful visit. And if/when (as it’s just part of travel) things go wrong, I’m immediately on the phone with the General Manager or my air team to help resolve the issues at hand.
The typical client is one who is seeking out the best experience. They are looking for exclusive and unique destinations/properties. They value their time and leverage me as an expert and one stop shop to create a memorable experience for them. Aman Resorts is a favourite among clients of Besvisor.
Where is your most favourite place in the whole world and why?
While I certainly love the Maldives and beaches in the Philippines (Amanpulo!) Japan continues to be a favourite place to return to. Everything about Japan resonates with me. The best food, the clean cities, the well mannered culture and not to mention some of the best backdrops. The service standard in Japan is in a league of its own. The city of Tokyo is of such contrast. One of the most densely populated cities in the world yet you can turn onto any alleyway and feel in complete peace and calmness. The food is just beyond amazing! No wonder it has more Michelin stars than even Paris. But its street food also delivers plenty of Umami.
Is there anywhere you haven’t yet visited and would love to do so and why?
I would love to visit Africa. Would love to get to experience the wilderness and go on unforgettable safari excursions. Visit Cape Town to see some dramatic scenes. Then jet off to one of the islands, such as the Seychelles to visit the fabulous North Island or the newly opened Four Seasons on Desroches Island to cap off the trip!
I’ve already confirmed a to visit Marrakech this Summer so would just need to add a few extra stops south of it!
What does luxury mean to you?
Luxury means exclusive surroundings and venue. But most importantly, luxury is about service. pro-active and intuitive service. Which is why we are such fans of Aman Resorts and Four Seasons among the chain brands. And resorts like North Island is in a league of its own as well. Resorts with high staff to guest ratios and long tenured staff population often delivers very well and consistently in this regard. Trust and time saving is also a luxury, often the most valuable one for clients.
How do you see the luxury travel sector evolving over the next 5 – 10 years?
I think we will see properties and brands on the ultra luxury end of the spectrum introduce “all inclusive” experiences and change the way people view all inclusive concepts. This wont’ be your run of the mill all inclusive options in Mexico or Dominican Republic. Think properties like North Island, The Brando and Ani Villas…offering over the top all inclusive experiences starting between $5k – $8k per night. In addition, river, yacht and exploration cruises in a intimate setting (less than 200 people on ship) will continue to gain popularity as well.
What is the single best piece of advice you have ever been given and why?
“Micro speed and macro patience” – Gary Vaynerchuk.
As a millennial, it’s hard to not focus on instant gratification. But by working in rapid pace yet only focusing on the macro results of my business, it has enabled me to always do what’s best for my clients and I believe that will ultimately set Besvsior apart and for success in the long run.