Virtuoso is making a number of enhancements to bring the latest innovations to its growing global network.
The announcements took place during Virtuoso’s 31st annual Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, which had record attendance with 6,515 travel professionals from 107 countries at the Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa.
Virtuoso noted that the network now has more than 1,000 agency locations and more than 20,000 advisors in 50 countries, accounting for over $26.4 billion in annual sales.
The travel network forecasts sales will grow by 10.9 percent in 2019. Additionally, hotel sales are up 15.3 percent. Air sales increased by 13.8 percent, and cruise sales are up 11.5 percent.
Insurance, car and specialty sales also increased at 10.3 percent and on-site ground operator sales are up 10.2 percent. Tour sales grew by 3.2 percent.
While every sector showed an increase, cruise showed impressive global numbers. In Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S., cruise sales grew 9 percent.
Canada and Australia also showed impressive growth at 21 percent and 32 percent respectively, but Asia and EMEA showed the strongest growth, each increasing by more than 100 percent.
In order to respond to member needs and its growing global presence, Virtuoso highlighted the ways in which its innovative strategies are delivering to its advisors.
As Virtuoso continues to expand globally, it has created regional Member Advisory Boards, which report to a Global Member Advisory Board. This gives more members the opportunity for involvement and allows Virtuoso to tailor itself to the distinct needs of regions around the world.
The organization also highlighted its face-to-face events, such as Virtuoso Forum, Virtuoso Symposium and Virtuoso Travel Week on Tour.
Virtuoso Forum is one of the network’s most popular events and gives agency owners and managers a chance to make the most of their membership through professional development and networking.
The network also highlighted its growing Virtuoso Communities efforts, noting that the strategy is flourishing. There are now six communities: Adventure, Voyages, Wellness, Family, Culinary and Ultraluxe.
This year saw the first Virtuoso Community Day on March 30 in New Orleans for culinary and family travel. The next Virtuoso Community Day will focus on adventure travel and take place in May 2020.
Virtuoso will also offer the first Virtuoso Celebration Travel, covering everything from destination weddings and honeymoons to birthdays, anniversaries and other milestone events in 2020.
In addition, the first Virtuoso Community Cruise will take place May 28-31, 2020 onboard Seabourn from San Francisco to Vancouver.
Virtuoso is also building on its professional development, adding new Virtuoso Travel Academy courses, enhancing its popular web15 trainings and adding a weekly podcast, “Thanks for Asking with Helen Nodland,” among other additions.
New advisor tools and programs will also be available. The first class of Virtuoso Wanderlist specialists has just graduated. Virtuoso’s online hotel booking tool now includes more than 1,100 hotels. Enhancements have also been made to the Virtuoso MyMarketing and Virtuoso Voyages platforms.
On the technology front, the Virtuoso Incubator has graduated two new companies to preferred partner status: Approach Guides and Zoom And Go, and next year’s program will focus on products that assist with two key member challenges: commission tracking and CRM.
The network is also introducing Innovation Days and will recognize advisors through Innovation Awards.
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