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Three years of meetings? That’s just the start of the big numbers at Virtuoso Travel Week

LAS VEGAS — Virtuoso is fielding more inquiries than ever from travel agents looking to join its network. At its annual Virtuoso Travel Week event here in Las Vegas this week, the luxury retail travel group reported an 11% increase in the number of advisor inquiries for affiliation, inquiries that in turn were shared with agency members who were looking to add more advisors to their rosters.

Attendance at the Las Vegas event was also up, by 9%. A record-breaking 5,257 travel professionals from 98 countries have gathered at Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa where they will conduct more than 320,000 one-to-one meetings, totaling more than 1.5 million minutes or the equivalent of 2.9 years.

During the event Virtuoso noted several updates on its network as well as its programs and initiatives:

Virtuoso Travel Week continues through August 11.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of luxury travel’s premier network. During the event’s Opening Ceremony, Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch recalled his philosophy that led to the creation of Virtuoso: a belief that travel agencies and suppliers need each other to be successful and that Virtuoso’s function is to facilitate by creating tools and services that support each side. Virtuoso’s role is also about fostering human connections, he said.

“Thirty years ago I brought together Allied Travel and Percival Tours to create a vibrant, resilient global travel network focused not solely on transactions, but on catalyzing rich human experiences,” said Upchurch.

Drawing upon the message shared by the event’s keynote speaker, ‘Grit to Great’ author and head of one of the leading advertising agencies in America Linda Kaplan Thaler, Upchurch spoke about the scenario that is helping propel success for its travel agency members: the desire for authentic human connections in a world plagued with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA).

“In an exponentially changing environment, we don’t offer a rulebook. We believe in principles, not protocols. And we have four guiding principles we believe will anchor our future: ensure success for our agency members, make it personal for both our partners and their clients, pioneer and innovate, and tell the advisor story again and again.”

All eyes were on the newest member of Air Canada’s fleet, the Airbus A220-300, at the aircraft’s official debut at Air Canada’s headquarters.

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