VIRTUOSOS OF LUXURY FLOCK TO LAS VEGAS

The ultimate annual global travel community event sets key trends for elite travellers

The elite of the luxury travel industry will be back in Las Vegas this August for the exclusive Virtuoso Travel Week, from 10-16 August.

With 1,000 agency locations in over 50 countries, the number of Virtuoso advisors has grown organically by over 126% over the past ve or six years, while the number of high net worth clients has grown 156%. Virtuoso clients spend US$128,000 per annum on travel, with, on average, 8.2 trips per year. Average air ticket spend is US$5,650 per ight, and average daily spend is US$1,735. Virtuoso clients spend, on average, three times more than an average client on hotels and tours, and four times more on cruises.

(…) IF YOU DON’T ASK WHAT WENT WELL AND WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ETC., THEN THAT’S NOT A RELATIONSHIP, THAT’S JUST A TRANSACTION.


SUSTAINABILITY AT HEART OF OFFERING

Virtuoso CEO Matthew Upchurch constantly underlines the importance of sustainability among his ranks: “We feel that travel advisors can play a role in elevating the conversation around sustainability,” stated Upchurch at last year’s meeting, adding, “We have awarded sustainability prizes for almost nine years now here at Virtuoso Travel Week, for hotels and for individual companies. Those of us who have been in this business for a long time have literally watched what some of these partners do that is just beyond amazing. We have been awarding that for a while. The outcome of the whitepaper that was published already last year was very simple: How can Virtuoso make sustainability a greater factor – not the only factor by any means… How can we make it a greater factor in consumer choice? It’s that simple.”

The single thing consumers tell Virtuoso, according to Upchurch, that differentiates, in their mind, a transactional travel agent from a truly trusted advisor is the conversation after the trip: “If you don’t have a conversation with me after the trip; if you don’t ask what went well and what would you change etc., then that’s not a relationship, that’s just a transaction’. That has been growing organically. It’s been a dream of mine for 10 years, and over the past year and a half we’ve invested a huge amount of our R&D. We are working on a platform that takes what has been happening organically and marries fun technology (kind of think of Netflix), with great purposeful discussions with consumers, to help extract meaningful conversations about what people want to do in the future, and make it a much more fun, seamless and scalable process.”

Of course, he was talking about the recently announced Virtuoso platform, Orchestrator. No doubt, we will hear a lot more about the platform at this year’s event. Watch this space.


Photo: Matthew Upchurch CEO, Virtuoso