Interview

Gabriela Markova: Vacations with an adventurous streak

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June 1, 2020

GM Selection is a consulting and sales representation company founded in 2018 with the aim to create an elite portfolio of products to be promoted to select agencies, private concierges and family offices across Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.

Describe your business in 5 words

Consulting, sales representation = connecting people, which is what I love!

Describe your typical working day

I travel a lot but when home, my day in the office starts at 8am. It’s a mix of marketing and strategic sales activities, admin, planned calls with clients and a lot of communication and promotion of our products to the travel world.

I have a break from 5-8pm which I spend with my daughter, then back in the office from 8-10pm to finish the rest of the day and be there for my clients and travel agents from the Americas.

Perry's Lookdown Campground, Blackheath, Australia

The luxury market is changing. How are you adapting how you work? What trends do you see in luxury travel?

The older you get, the more you realise that the ultimate luxury is time. People want to spend their precious free time wisely and tend to put less emphasis on marble bathrooms and Michelin-starred restaurants, and more on exploring, discovering and cultural ventures.

Offering people experiences they were not even aware of, adventures they will be able to share with family and friends upon their return and reminisce on for the rest of their lives – this is the aim of GM Selection.

We mean to create an elite portfolio of luxurious, yet experiential products from all over the world, combining relaxing holidays with an adventurous streak.

Ribeirão Claro, Brazil

What does luxury mean to you?

Service. People. I observe with gratitude how more and more emphasis is being put on investment in colleagues and encouragement of teamwork.

You can have the most luxurious product on earth, but it won’t be successful if the service doesn’t match the product’s quality.

Our company is called GM Selection for a reason, we don’t compromise on the quality of products and services we represent.

We strive to always offer the best rates and conditions, although our most valuable asset and the main reason people book with us is the deep product knowledge and uncompromising quality of service in all our destinations and venues.

What has working in the luxury market taught you?

That sometimes saying ‘no’ is not a bad thing. I used to live by ‘The customer is king’, but I realised that sometimes saying ‘no’ is a win-win situation for both parties.

Clients appreciate honesty, reliable feedback and fair game and if you are unable to provide some service for whatever reason, or something is against your working philosophy, it’s ok to explain and politely decline.

Not only will you retain your customer, it will also gain you respect.

The Maldives

What excites you about the travel industry?

This comes back to the first question. People. With all the negative news lately, I love the fact that all nationalities, no matter the origin, religion or orientation get together at events to celebrate the freedom that travelling provides.

I love meeting new people and connecting with existing travel industry friends. And the fact that we all do this for a living, that we get to work together, and that I can contribute by introducing them to new, exciting destinations and experiences makes me feel very grateful.  

What do you value most when you travel?

Comfort. Travel in business class is my guilty pleasure.

And authenticity. I’m trying to avoid tourist attractions and I always welcome recommendations for cool, trendy places frequented by locals.

Yapak, Malay, Aklan, Philippines

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