It can be a challenge for Virtuoso travel advisors to explain Virtuoso Travel Week (VTW) to their clients. "If you've never seen it firsthand, it's hard to conceptualize," says Spokane, Washington-based advisor Maggie Condon-Campos.
Let's try, though: Virtuoso Week is an annual event, nearing its 30th anniversary. It's held in Las Vegas, mainly at the Bellagio, although in recent years, events have expanded to Vdara Resort and Spa and will be expanding to neighboring Aria as well. This year, more than 4,800 total attendees are expected.
At the event’s core are interactions between travel advisors and travel providers (hotels, cruise lines, tour companies, and more). During these four-minute appointments – think of them as speed-dating for the luxury travel industry – providers share what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s perfect for the advisors’ clients.
By the end of the week, an advisor will have met with as many as 2,000 different travel providers, collecting ideas for travel experiences to share with their clients.
"A lot of the travel bookings we do during the year come from the relationships we make at Virtuoso Travel Week," says Jupiter, Florida-based advisor Stacy Hart.
Virtuoso Week’s goal is to foster connections and knowledge, which advisors can use to work with you to craft a better trip.
Events preceding VTW’s core networking focus on professional-development opportunities for travel advisors. This year, offerings include:
And that's just a small sampling. These educational sessions, before Virtuoso Week’s official opening session on Sunday afternoon, train advisors to maximize themselves, their clients, and their connections to different types of travel.
Keith Waldon, who heads Departure Lounge, an Austin, Texas, Virtuoso travel agency, is one of many in the Virtuoso network who post messages like this on social media before attending VTW:
In a week, the Departure Lounge travel-advisor team heads to Las Vegas to attend Virtuoso Travel Week, which is the equivalent of Paris Fashion Week, but geared toward luxury travel. This year, more than 4,700 top luxury-travel executives will be attending, and we personally will be meeting with thousands of them in one-on-one appointments. We will meet with senior executives from top hotels, resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies, safari camps, ranches, private islands, etc.
We'd like to know if there are any particular destinations, travel brands, or properties/ships that you’d like us to investigate for you during our week in Vegas. We'd be happy to find out the latest update or new options for anywhere that interests you or any experience that you’re dreaming of trying. Just let us know sometime this week ahead, and we'll get back to you after Virtuoso Travel Week ends on August 14.
Some call Virtuoso Week "the Super Bowl of luxury travel" – David Hansen, Virtuoso’s senior vice president of meetings and events, calls it a "supernova" event – but regardless of how you define it, the aim of everyone involved is to make sure that your travel experiences, whenever and wherever they occur, are exactly what you want.
If you’re interested in working with a Virtuoso travel advisor and tapping into this network of relationships and knowledge, click below to connect.