The Best Travel Agent In The World Is…Free? – Forbes

Royal families, CEOs, celebrities and hedge fund moguls all rely on Black Edge Concierge to perfect their travels. Founder Nacer Tazi has been planning trips for family and friends since his days studying hospitality management at Switzerland's Glion Institute of Higher Education.

Black Edge Concierge Founder Nacer Tazi & COO Ghita Tazi pictured at Faena Hotel Miami Beach

Nacer Tazi grew up in Morocco, helping his hotelier parents at work since he was six years old. I would welcome VIP guests at the door, dressed in traditional Moroccan clothes and help the waiters carry small salad plates, he recalls with a smile. By nine, he was giving full property tours of the riad and imperial palace.

Travel and hospitality are in Tazi's blood and he's been planning trips for family and friends since his days studying hospitality management at Switzerland's Glion Institute of Higher Education. After management training with brands like Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt and Viceroy, Tazi founded Black Edge Concierge in 2016 and a year ago, his sister Ghita Tazi left her corporate job to join her brother.

Nacer Tazi with VistaJet

It took me a full year of non-stop traveling to establish all of the connections for Black Edge, Tazi explains. He's personally tried every place he recommends. Each time he's in a new city, he'll visit all of the top hotels in town for a meal, spa service or an overnight stay to understand each property's strengths and weaknesses. Over the past decade, he's lived in five different countries and speaks English, Arabic, French and Spanish fluently.

Four Seasons George V Paris

The luxury travel management business is all about the smallest details, Tazi says. We exceed the client's expectations and create unforgettable memories that will last forever. Since we've started, we haven't had a single client stop booking with us.

Other exclusive travel agents, likeFischer Travel, charge rates of up to $100,000 just to get your foot in the door as a new client. Tazi upends this business model by giving away the same attentive, 24/7 luxury lifestyle concierge services these travel agents pride themselves on for free.

Giraffe Manor Hotel Kenya

There is no Virtuoso agency offering a complete full concierge service while you're traveling like us without charging, he says. Others charge per year or per task. Typically, agents will tack on fees for their time and depending on how challenging client requests are to execute.

Our clients don't pay anything extra, Tazi says But they get so many extra amenities, including VIP perks from Virtuoso. Everything is manageable. Tazi organizes bookings and clients make payments directly to the hotel, restaurant or supplier.

Orient Express Venice-Simplon Luxury Train

Recently, on my first visit to Dubai, Tazi gave me a taste of what it's like to be one of his VIP clients for a few days. I had booked a superior king room a theJumeirah Zabeel Saray, an opulent Ottoman palace on Palm Island. Upon arrival, I was greeted with a bouquet of flowers from the Black Edge Concierge team and upgraded six room categories to an imperial suite with a lavish platter of Turkish sweets and champagne as a welcome amenity. I can only imagine what kind of perks clients get when they book the imperial suite to begin with.

Founder Nacer Tazi

Throughout my stay, Tazi was always available via WhatsApp to answer any questions, from where to buy the best dates for gift-giving (Bateel) to a last-minute request to find atraditional henna artistto visit me for an appointment at my hotel. He was even able to get me a great deal on front row seats toLa Perle by Dragone, which Tazi recommended as Dubai's most spectacular show.

Royal Mansour

Unfortunately for most travelers, if you are booking standard rooms or junior suites, Tazi simply doesn't have time for you. The commissions he would make from hotels on lower-priced rooms wouldn't be worth the effort. We make the most of our money in villa rentals, private jet charters, yacht charters and hotels, he explains. Usually it's around 7-10% commission and it's not much when you have people who take just standard rooms. We do not focus on small travelers. We focus on high net worth travelers who travel at least once a month, usually staying 10-12 days a month in suites.

La Mamounia

For these high spending frequent travelers though, Tazi can move mountains. He can even get clients into the Oscars, Grammys, any fashion show and events that aren't open to the public. This kind of access is something that money can't buy. We'll get you a ticket and deliver it to you anywhere in the world, he says. People appreciate these kind of gestures and continue booking more and more. This kind of repeat, high volume business, plus word-of-mouth has helped Tazi grow Black Edge Concierge to 200 members globally.

Around 60% of our members are American and the rest are a mix between European and Middle Eastern travelers, he says. We have royal families, government delegations, entertainers, fashion models, CEOs and private equity people in New York. We work a lot with delegations from Africa when they go to the Middle East. We have contacts in every single luxury hotel in the world.

Black Edge Concierge arranges luxury yacht charters

Nothing is out of reach when money is no object, whether you're looking to plan a million-dollar honeymoon in the Maldives, want a tailor-made multi-generational African safari or need to book a last-minute yacht on New Year's Eve in St. Barts.

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The Best Travel Agent In The World Is...Free? - Forbes

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