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It was as always fun to participate in another edition of this prestigious travel event. It remains without doubt one of if not the leading luxury travel event – apart from the over 300 4 min interviews with Travel Advisors it is an intense few days of networking and also importantly bumping into old colleagues and friends – this 2014 version was no exception running into Philippe Frey & Lucia Bo from Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, Malcom Thompson my 1st boss in Hyatt way back in 1984 now GM Peninsula Tokyo, Frederico Echaiz GM Maroma in Riviera Maya, Alan Love from Rosewood, Tomas Perez from Brasil, Stacy Small and David Lowy – just to name a few!! Here is a little info on Virtuoso and I recommend if you are in the Luxury travel business put this event on your agenda It is an event like no other. It’s not a trade show; it’s a relationship-building event well known for its concise four-minute appointments. All key tour operators, airlines, cruise companies and DMCs — the whole spectrum of the luxury travel industry — are here. Travel Week is one of the few places where one finds all the most senior management in the luxury space with a great number of these being hoteliers, including presidents of hotel companies, general managers of the finest hotels in the world or CMOs and senior sales and marketing executives — and, this year, 45 owners of luxury independent hotels. Press from all over the world are here along with industry analysts to hear the positive news that business to the hotel industry is growing — with bookings up 24.3% over last year. This means luxury travelers are traveling, and the luxury industry is addressing that trend.
OVERVIEW OF VIRTUOSO:
Virtuoso® is one of the industry’s leading luxury travel network. This by-invitation-only organization comprises 335 agencies with more than 7,200 elite travel specialists in 20 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, as well as over 1,700 of the world’s best travel providers and premier destinations. The network’s member agencies generate over $12.5 billion annually in travel sales, making the group one of the most powerful in the luxury travel segment. Their relationships with the finest travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. Virtuoso’s history dates to the 1950s, when the tour company Allied Travel formed to help travel agencies with foreign, international, and group trips. In 1986, Allied Travel merged with Percival Tours to form Allied Percival International (API), joining the best travel advisors in the country. In 2000, API was rebranded Virtuoso, and has since become one of the leading travel networks in the world.
OVERVIEW OF PROGRAM:
Virtuoso Travel Week is the ultimate annual global travel community event. Exclusive to the Virtuoso network, Virtuoso Travel Week focuses on the evolving marketplace conversation between Virtuoso advisors, their clients, and preferred suppliers, with advisors making a “buying trip” on behalf of their clientele. Virtuoso Travel Week features hundreds of thousands of hours of personal networking between Member Agency and Preferred Supplier attendees, extensive professional development opportunities and a celebration of Virtuoso, one of the world’s top luxury travel network. – See more at: http://www.hotelsmag.com/Industry/Blogs/Details/52162#sthash.xyaZeKWB.dpuf