After more than 20 years’ experience organising travel for celebrities, sports stars and other well-known faces, Danny Akhtar has set up on his own.
The new chapter in his life comes after a career of working for business and leisure travel agencies, from ebookers and Travelmood to American Express and Carlson Wagonlit Travel, offering top-end travel to clients.
Danny, who describes himself as a VIP travel designer, has founded Par Excellence Lifestyle as a luxury travel agency and event management firm, operating under Travel Leaders UK, a franchise company owned by US giant Travel Leaders Group.
Its London office opened in May as the European headquarters of the Travel Leaders Group, which is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy across the continent.
Throughout his career Danny has served high-net-worth individuals and bosses of blue‑chip companies. “I have developed relationships with the world’s foremost suppliers,” he says. “I felt now was the right time to start working for myself. Former clients kept asking me for travel advice and some of my top clients are chief executives.
“Travel Leaders UK gives travel professionals the platform to start and grow business, while the Travel Leaders Group’s global buying power means its agencies have access to some of the best fares and rates in the marketplace.”
Danny already knows he has made the right move. Now he is looking to recruit at least one member of staff. “I have only been working for about two months but I am so busy already. I have a good following of clients who want to work with me in the future.”
But this does mean being on call 24 hours a day and, with some clients booking from other parts of the globe, he admits the hours can be long. “As soon as I get a message from clients I do the booking,” adds Danny. “Last night I was up working until 1am.”
But having his own travel business is a dream come true. “Richard Branson was my inspiration and it was one of my dreams when I was young to work in travel,” he says.
He clearly has the backing of Travel Leaders UK. Barry Whittaker, its executive director of business development and acquisition, says: “Danny has not only arranged travel for some of the world’s most iconic celebrities and celebrated sports stars, he also has the rich knowledge that comes with working with leading corporate brands.”
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