Meet our Luxury Travel Designer of the Year finalist, Sonia Armitage

By Jade Hindley

Our Hidden Retreats expert Sonia Armitage has recently become a finalist in the prestigious TTG Awards. We are incredibly proud of her knowledge and talent for luxury travel, she has played a pivotal role in our business and our customers lives since she joined. Read our interview below to get to know a little about Sonia and how she became a finalist.


What is your experience in the industry so far?

I started out at Lunn Poly in 1998 and worked my way up to become the shop manager within a few months. I continued to grow and excel in my role until I had my children and then decided to try the homeworking side of the travel industry. I had a career break and took the plunge back into the travel industry in December 2016, I’ve never looked back since.


Where is your favourite destination?

My passion lies in the Maldives, I visit every year. This is my absolute favourite destination to sell and has become easier and easier to promote to customers the more my knowledge grows. Last year I took a week to explore six islands on my own holiday so that I could accurately recommend and sell this amazing destination. There are so many different elements to the Maldives, all of which suit different types of travellers. I’ve established myself as an expert in this field and can confidently take on any questions or queries a client could have. After visiting a new island last year, I was able to make a specific recommendation for one of my clients which helped me secure a big booking. The customer experienced a hand-crafted itinerary, tips and guides on what to do and where to explore and I felt safe and confident in my recommendations having experienced it first-hand.  


Are you using social media to help grow your business?

Social media plays a pivotal role in my business and lead generation. Since setting up my own page I’ve grown a network of existing and new clients. I promote new content, offers and blogs on the site regularly as well as branded videos from Hidden Retreats and our key suppliers. I have generated many new enquiries from social media where I share inspiring images of hidden gems from around the world.


Do you have a lot of repeat customers?

My customer retention levels have always remained consistently high, all my clients rebook. The service that I offer is unrivalled from the very start of the journey until the end. I am available around the clock, evenings or weekends for any queries, questions, changes and additions. Without fail I ensure I find the best product suited to that client. I build strong relationships with these clients, they can call me on my personal mobile and know that I will know their preference and tailor their holiday on a level to suit them that nobody else could match.


What does being a luxury travel designer mean to you?

Luxury travel is the element of magic that you simply can’t buy off the shelf. It’s the added touches, attention to detail and recommendations based on genuine experiences that set my services apart. No booking is too difficult, no request too farfetched, motivation and drive pushes me to make each booking the very best that it can be. Around the clock, 24/7 service from start to finish and even after the customer has returned. Being a Luxury Travel Designer is being the person trusted with making magical, unforgettable moments and experiences happen without a hitch and that’s what I love.