In Atlanta, USA on February 9th, Virtuoso will be showcasing assets and resources it provides travel advisors within its industry-leading network.
The Virtuoso Difference, a day-long program, is aimed at educating prospects on the many resources, programs and the overall buying muscle it provides its affiliated travel advisors, ensuring that those who belong to this $21.2 billion-a-year network have an advantage over their competitors.
The program, taking place at the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead Atlanta, is open to both established travel advisors and those looking to join the profession.
“We constantly hear, ‘I would love to have a career in travel; I just don’t know where to start,'” says Susan Spain, director of Global Member Partnerships for Virtuoso. “We created The Virtuoso Difference to encourage people to follow their passion and to demystify the process of becoming an advisor. Whether you’ve been in the industry for 20 years and want to change your business mix, you’re searching for your next career move, or you’re entering the workforce, we have the best resources, training and partners in the industry to help you be successful. If you have strong enthusiasm for exploring the world, and a desire to serve others, then this could be the right career for you. Come join us for the day and find out!”
Virtuoso says that its travel agency members are growing and looking for promising new talent. With 67 percent of agencies planning to hire advisors over the next year, the employment outlook is far better than the U.S. average. According to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Jobs Forecast, only 36 percent of overall employers planned to hire full-time permanent employees.
Consumer demand for professional travel advisors is creating a pressing need to educate potential entrants about the value of the profession and the massive opportunity that awaits them. Half of agencies surveyed by Virtuoso last year sell more than $10 million annually and 82% predict sales growth in the coming year. This creates ample employment for existing advisors and those who are seeking a new career, as most agencies need to grow to meet anticipated client demand.
In addition to the abundance of opportunity, there is also potential for lucrative compensation. 62% of agencies report their top sellers earn at least $75,000 a year, while 36 percent report their star advisors make $100,000 or more. And Virtuoso says advisor compensation has been consistently growing over the past five years.
Possibly the greatest career perk is the ability to actually travel. More than 80 percent of Virtuoso agencies offer both business and personal travel opportunities to their advisors, as well as training for continued professional development.
Another benefit of the travel advising field: the path to entry does not require a tremendous investment, extensive resume or formal education. New advisors enjoy a relatively fast ramp-up period and the majority (53%) of new advisors take only three years to reach an earning level parallel to established staff.
Travel advising offers exceptional career longevity, with 84 percent of Virtuoso’s advisors having been in the profession for more than 10 years and 24 percent enjoying a career spanning over 20 years. Agencies have not only survived the onslaught of online travel agencies, they have thrived. This longevity makes the profession a compelling option for individuals seeking a more stable industry and career.
The Virtuoso Difference is $125 per person, or $99 for students and recent college graduates. For more information, please visit www.virtuoso.com/thedifferenceatlanta.