virtuoso global August 2019 What Is Virtuoso Travel Week?

What Is Virtuoso Travel Week?

Virtuoso Travel Week’s legendary four-minute appointments.
Virtuoso Travel Week’s legendary four-minute appointments.
Photo by Robert Stanzione
Virtuoso travel advisors are heading to one of the world’s biggest luxury travel conferences to shop for your next getaway.

Las Vegas has its sure bets: Bustling casinos around the clock, marquee restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, and, every August, thousands of Virtuoso travel advisors and representatives from Virtuoso hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and more taking over the Bellagio, Aria Resort & Casino, and Vdara for Virtuoso Travel Week. The annual event – now in its 31st year – is one of the world’s largest (and greatest) luxury travel conferences.  
 
“Virtuoso Travel Week is the family reunion of the luxury travel industry,” says travel advisor Brooke Lavery. “It’s a weeklong, multigenerational trip to Vegas with 6,000 people who share the enthusiasm for making our clients’ lives better.”
 
Travel advisors spend the week meeting and socializing with representatives from more than 2,200 hotels, resorts, tour operators, and more – all in the name of scoping out which new, popular, and one-of-a-kind travel experiences are best for each of their clients. Think of it like The Fashion Week of Travel: Advisors sit front row on the runway, shopping for travelers. As a result, they know exactly which ship to book for that Mediterranean cruise you want to take next summer, or which Bali hotel fits best with your vacation style.
 
“My time at Virtuoso Travel Week builds my knowledge and professional relationships with suppliers from all over the world,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Arlene Thompson-Brantley. “I meet new travel colleagues and greet old ones, cementing the foundation for partnerships that directly benefit my clients and their travel companions.”    

The Destination Showcase Dinner, one of 800-plus events that take place within Virtuoso Travel Week.
The Destination Showcase Dinner, one of 800-plus events that take place within Virtuoso Travel Week.
Photo by Robert Stanzione
One of the biggest factors that sets Virtuoso travel advisors apart from the crowd is their connections – advisors know hotel owners, tour providers, and on-the-ground contacts around the world who can help them turn an ordinary vacation into an extraordinary one. When you check into a hotel room and your favorite bottle of wine is on the table … an advisor helped make that happen. If you’ve always dreamed of sipping tea with a member of the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace … an advisor likely knows someone in London who can make that a reality. These are the types of connections that get made at Virtuoso Travel Week.
 
How exactly do advisors meet thousands of industry connections in one week? Via some very efficient speed-dating sessions. The main event at Virtuoso Travel Week is the four-minute appointments, aka the “tracks.” Travel advisors sit at individual tables and chat with a different hotel, tour, or cruise representative every four minutes. That networking then continues beyond the conference room, at lunches and dinners, awards ceremonies, cocktail parties, and more. (In fact, there are more than 850 events within the event!)
 
Virtuoso’s company ethos is based on human connection, and that’s one of the biggest benefits of working with a Virtuoso travel advisor – that curated, personal collaboration is something an automated travel booking site will never be able to provide. Spending a week in Las Vegas with a very extended family of global travel professionals results in another year of exciting vacation opportunities for travelers.
 
“The desire to help and support your friends is basic human nature,” Lavery says. “Virtuoso Travel Week is six days out of the year where those friendships are made and nurtured – a time when we bank up relationship currency which gets spent throughout the year to directly impact our clients. We’re able to clear waitlists, get priority upgrades, plan birthday surprises, solve problems –all because of this special week.”

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