Virtuoso Travel Week proves expert vacation advice is more essential than ever
Virtuoso Travel Week 2021, the annual August takeover of Las Vegas by the world’s most knowledgeable and influential travel advisors and suppliers, provided the latest data, news, trends and inspiration from the age of the world. pandemic. “Disruption accelerates trends and humans are motivated when you take something away from them. People are enjoying travel more than ever, and they are living more life. They want a return to life, ”said CEO and founder of Virtuoso, Matthew Upchurch. “What travelers used to think of as their ‘to-do list’ has now become their ‘to-do list’.
Upchurch became emotional amid what he described as the “collective effervescence” of bringing together 3,301 industry leaders in person (masked) and virtually worldwide from 102 countries for the colorful conference at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino and Aria. “Imagine What Can Be” was the theme of Virtuoso Travel Week and Upchurch himself took the subject seriously… by being one of the first to purchase a future space flight aboard Virgin Galactic. “I have already completed the required astronaut training,” he revealed.
“For the curious, the world is reopening,” echoed Mark Conroy, Managing Director of Silversea Cruises. The opening, literally, was on the mind of Brett Armitage, Commercial Director of One & Only Resorts, which is unveiling new luxury properties in Dubai, Rwanda, Greece, Montenegro and the Maldives.
The reopening was also on the mind of Tania Swasbrook, vice president of Travelworld International, who told a press panel: “I was in Portugal the day it reopened. Lisbon locked again while I was there, but I adjusted and was still happy to be there. My clients don’t cancel their trips either.
People are increasingly comfortable with unpredictability, according to Misty Belles, director of global public relations for Virtuoso. “They were more hesitant a year ago to plan their trip because they knew changes were inevitable. Now they just accept the fact and are ready to go back and explore.
The conference site itself was proof of Belles’ point of view. Keith Salwoski, executive director of public relations for the Venetian Resort Las Vegas, said: “A lot of people are postponing birthdays, weddings and birthdays during the pandemic, but now Vegas is on fire with people who are here to have a good time. moment. This is what we are seeing.
Las Vegas has always been a go-to option for a last minute weekend getaway. Virtuoso Travel advisers have admitted that sometimes people book trips in shorter windows – like waiting until Wednesday to plan a weekend getaway – and learn to be flexible when deviations develop. These are two specific situations in which Virtuoso’s global network of 20,000 expert travel advisors at 1,200 locations in 50 countries is vital for tourists who need advice, access, advocacy, responsibility, value and time savings from 2,200 preferred supplier partners.
In short, Virtuoso is a free service for those who believe that traveling is an essential part of a fulfilling life.
CBS News travel reporter Peter Greenberg invented travel coverage – the world’s largest industry – and came to Virtuoso Travel Week after reporting from Greece, Turkey, Tanzania, Vienna and the Canary Islands. “I haven’t been on a plane or a cruise ship in the past three months that hasn’t been totally full,” he told me. “Travel is part of our cultural DNA. It’s not that we want to travel – we have to travel. People will do whatever they can to do it. It is not a question of whether people are going to travel, or when or even where they are going to travel, it is how. As soon as they understand how they left.
Sixty-nine percent travel closer to home, but 67 percent are willing to take an international flight – especially to countries that require proof of vaccination to enter – according to data revealed by Belles. Virtuoso’s goal is to take these travel experiences to the next level of luxury and excitement.
“Through relationships, Virtuoso creates a higher and more personalized experience for travelers. There are no subscription or membership fees, but the VIP treatment and savings they get from Virtuoso have tangible value, ”she explained. Virtuoso “imagines what can be” and realizes it.