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Four Hundred by Design Caters
to the Needs of Luxury Travel Advisors in the
Changing Landscape of Booking Travel  

New York, NY (May X, 2022) Four Hundred by Design (FHxD) is a platform for luxury travel advisors to gain access to more meaningful benefits and premium inventory. Launched in October 2021, the company was created in response to the dynamic needs of advisors as they responded to the record demand for travel in a post-pandemic world. Founded by Tony Abrams, founder of luxury travel agency, Four Hundred, like many agency owners, he felt the pressure to look for solutions to the changing landscape of travel, as the needs of advisors and suppliers evolved. 

As an agency owner Abrams recognized the struggles of negotiating, tracking, and chasing commission payouts, while trying to run an agency, especially during the pandemic. At the same time, responding to the increase in demand for inventory at the villa and suite level, not found in the GDS proved to be time-consuming. 

 

Abram shares “As humans, we resist change, and the travel industry has been slow to respond to the need for increased earnings and time-consuming chasing of commissions, but

Four Hundred has never been one to accept the status quo. Most large agencies have

someone dedicated just to managing these relationships. What about the smaller agencies,

or the independent advisor who doesn't have time or access?

That's where Four Hundred by Design comes in.”

Alongside Four Hundred’s CEO Tony Shepherd, an industry veteran who prior to joining the agency led Virtuoso’s expansion to Europe, they set out to address these pain points and not only provided value back to agency owners and their advisors, but also to suppliers. The dynamic duo recruited industry veterans Karen Goldberg, former Managing Director of Hotels & Resorts at Virtuoso, and Robert Eastman, formerly of Villas of Distinction to deliver a service that’s a win-win for everyone involved. Today FHxD is a travel advisor community benefit program designed to earn advisors and independent contractors faster and higher payouts with ease while connecting them with almost 300 of the world’s most exclusive accommodations and iconic properties including hotels, resorts, villas, and private residences. 
 
FHxD operates as an interagent, booking accommodations on behalf of advisors at higher earnings with faster payouts. The member remains the advisor on record, keeping all communication with their client while receiving travel planning support from the dedicated FHxD booking team. 


Agency owner and luxury travel advisor Robyn Potter shares, “I used FHxD, originally intrigued by the increased earnings and quick payout. While that's a plus as an agency owner, it was the seamless service by their planning team that most impressed me. Finding inventory for

my client was proving challenging, but within 24 hours of my request, their team had my

client booked. As travel advisors, we're busier than ever, and as a small team,

the FHxD resources are a big help”.

Meanwhile, agency owners find FHxD’s faster payout commitment directly to their IATA is a great benefit. FHxD is designed to pay out earnings 10 days after check out, fronting advisors their cut weeks before hotels payout, and without the time-consuming task of chasing payouts, which the industry to date has been unwilling or able to offer. By paying the agency’s IATA directly, there's full transparency into which of their advisors are taking advantage of these perks. FHxD also shares end-of-year production reports, which agency owners can share with their suppliers to report accurate production.


“When FHxD launched, we heard from agency owners and advisors who welcomed our faster payout, and higher earnings. For owners, they valued our preferred supplier program developed by Karen Goldberg. Thanks to her deep relationships with luxury hotels,

she curated a premium portfolio of properties and inventory they could trust,”

says Tony Shepherd, CEO of FHxD.  

FHxD Insider Benefits

EARN MORE ​

FHxD provides increased earnings on every booking

EARN FASTER

FHxD pays earnings 7-10 days after client checkout

WORLD-CLASS PROPERTY COLLECTION

From icons to hidden gems, every property has been hand-selected

SEAMLESS BOOKING EXPERIENCE

Our FHxD booking team is trained to deliver an unrivaled level of service

INSIDER INFORMATION

Receive insider tips and inspiration with every confirmed booking

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International hotels and villas also struggled during the pandemic as agency retail locations closed and advisors moved to remote working, making it a challenge for sales teams to reach the independent advisor or the top producing agency outside their Roadshow circuits. With FHxD and its curated community of FHxD Insiders made up of luxury advisors, hotels can put heads in beds, but more importantly, put them in their premium inventory of suites and villas. 
 
In their latest 2022 Trends & Outlook Report, FHxD reports almost 500 independent contractors and agency owners have signed up to use their portal. Most advisors are unaffiliated with any consortia and are primarily based in the U.S. The report goes on to share that FHxD bookings produce an average daily rate of $1,660 with 50% of bookings being suite inventory.  

"We just went through a pandemic. We can't go back to the way things were. It's time for change and it's time for our industry to find ways to mutually benefit from the travel surge ahead of us. We want to see everyone succeed. From the hotels booking more business in their premium inventory to the advisors earning more and faster, to one less thing for an agency owner to manage. Then at the end of the day, a happy client is matched with the right property. This was all by design. This is Four Hundred by Design,” shares Abrams.

FHxD Insiders get inspirational and valuable industry insights including Seasonal Look Books and Insider Tips on properties and experiences by location, FHxD’s Insider Newsletters, and Industry Webinars. Advisors can sign up to gain access at www.fourhundredbydesign.com and begin exploring the world of Four Hundred by Design.

About Four Hundred by Design:

Four Hundred by Design (FHxD) is a platform developed to be an extension to travel agencies, and designed to support luxury travel advisors as they respond to the resurgence of travel, which today demands unparalleled access and advisor solutions. The FHxD platform connects travel advisors and independent contractors from agencies serving high net worth clients, with almost 300 of the world’s most exclusive accommodations and iconic properties including hotels, resorts, villas, and private residences. Insider advisors gain access to a suite of FHxD benefits developed by luxury travel industry veterans Tony Abrams, Tony Shepherd, and Karen Goldberg, and Robert Eastman, With valuable industry insights, a global network of trusted supplier contacts in over 40 countries, along with higher and more timely revenue structures, Insider advisors are equipped to meet the volume and complexity of their client’s needs. 

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Media Contact:

Alexandra Avila

alexandra@reyacommunications.com