Sekou Saunders felt that something was missing when it came to organized group trips in the travel industry. He decided to take the chance to make his mark when it came to the niche or group trips and disrupt the industry. From that idea, The Destination Club began.
The entrepreneurial spirit has always been a part of Saunders’s life. “Growing up I learned a lot from my father,” he said. “He was an entrepreneur and people loved working with him. Even when it was time to negotiate he believed in not trying to get over on anyone and both parties walking away from the deal feeling good. I worked in sales in New York which gives you thick skin and you learn not to let No’s affect your attitude. And working as an experiential marketing tour manager has helped me work on my skills in organizing events and making sure everyone leaves our event space feeling good. I’m able to take away bits and pieces from all my experiences that make me successful today. It’s funny because a lot of the things I use today I learned at jobs or positions I didn’t like at the moment.”
How The Destination Club Disrupts
Saunders believes that when you look at most group travel companies, their itineraries are focused on either culture of the destination or the party scene. The Destination Club works because they can give their clients both worlds when they travel—laying out a complete experience that is fun and a trip that can spark memorable memories and experiences, especially making its mark within Black travelers.
For Saunders, his business is so successful because he focused on what he enjoyed about traveling. “If you enjoy it, there has to be a niche that also will work, and that way, you’re working every day doing something you love and are passionate about,” he said.
Once he figures the destination for each of his trips, Saunders tries to provide his clients with good content. He does this knowing consumers love to see the range of where they’re going before they choose to sign up for The Destination Club trips. However, sometimes things don’t go to plan, especially after dealing with a pandemic. Saunders tells future travel group entrepreneurs that being prepared is essential. “Always have backups for your trip schedules,” he said. “From transportation to the events in case the weather gets bad. People will appreciate you being ready for anything and will want to travel with you again.”
Looking Ahead in Travel
Within the next five to ten years, Saunders saw his company moving into an entirely different space. While the company is still on the smaller side, he sees his staff getting bigger and taking travel to another level. He sees his company doing more significant events based on trips that include Island music festivals.
Saunders wants his company to become a brand that people think of nationwide when they want to travel. “We plan on growing our company to the point where if you don’t travel with us, it won’t be because you never heard of The Destination Club,” he said.
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