New luxury operator aims to bring ‘oomph’ to the market

A new luxury tour operator has officially launched.

Bal Sohal, chief executive of privately-owned property group SevenCapital, and Angelee Rathor, co-owner of SevenTravel, created the company during the Pandemic. It has a brand and team that is now on sale.

SevenEvents is a business that organizes high-profile global events.

The SevenTravel team includes head of product Michael Fleetwood, who was formerly of Abercrombie & Kent and Cox & Kings, and ex-Quintessentially marketing boss Nabila Richardson.

The company is part of the Hays Travel Independence Group. It will be sold via travel agents and direct to customers.

The aim was to create once-in-a-lifetime and tailored experiences, typically for 10 days or more, with a focus on responsible, sustainable travel.

Seven Travel can help clients rent private islands in the Indian Ocean, go behind the scenes in a national park, or experience a tea ceremony in a private Machiya in Kyoto.

It works with Ecollective to measure its environmental impact and plans to have reduced its carbon footprint by 90% by the year 2035.

The Positive Future Fund, which works with a collection of global charities to support and empower local communities and conservancies, will receive £50 for every client that books with Seven Travel.

Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency and the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism are two initiatives the company has joined.

Some people thought I was crazy for launching a travel company during the Pandemic, but it has been well-received.

Many companies closed their doors as a result of the Pandemic. We don't have that mindset so we've been working the whole time, being innovative and coming up with new ideas.

I think starting a new travel company is an opportunity because there were bigger players with loyal customers five years ago.

People have changed the way they do things. Two years ago, how you buy a new jumper might be different to how you do it today. We are thinking about ethical things before we buy something.

I have found people who are very similar to me to help start the team. It is a brave move to join a start-up, so I have made it clear that we will be wearing many hats and making sure that we have a company that launches with a bit of oomph to the market.

Richardson said that they want to create experiences that will wow their clients, something that they won't find in a guidebook, and that you can't really book yourself.

The team on the product side will be working with our partners and network around the world to find specialists in all of the destinations that we will take our clients to so that we can cherry pick and find those amazing experiences that will really get you under the skin of the destination.

A global calendar inspired travellers with suggested experiences and when and where to travel on Seven Travel's website.

In March, the sales team will be grown further and later the company will open an office in the US.