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Virtuoso’s 2017 Incubator lineup includes Travelweek’s Explor VR

NEW YORK — Explor VR has been handpicked by Virtuoso to take part in the luxury retail organization’s Virtuoso Incubator tech start-up program, one of five companies chosen for the 2017 lineup. Explor VR is Travelweek’s virtual reality platform that launched nation-wide last fall, with free Explor VR headsets going out to travel agencies across Canada.

Virtuoso Incubator is aimed at fostering technology that improves the travel advising process and overall client experience. It’s the industry’s first formal program focused on nurturing new technology solutions specifically for travel advisors. Incubator companies receive real-world input from Virtuoso advisors who test the product and suggest improvements so it will better serve the needs of travel agencies, consultants and clients.

Each company receives a dedicated panel composed of Virtuoso advisors. More than 60 of them are volunteering in this capacity, with a member of Virtuoso’s Technology Committee acting as each panel’s liaison to the Incubator program. The Technology Committee also assists with vetting applicants and approving the companies that are offered Virtuoso preferred partner status.

“Virtuoso Incubator was founded to fill a void in the travel advising industry,” said David Kolner, Senior VP, Global Member Partnerships at Virtuoso. “Our objective was to seek out business solutions for our travel agency members and create a real-life use case scenario for companies that were developing the technology we needed. The value to these tech companies is tremendous because we’re giving them access to their future customers, who are also providing feedback in real time. What we’re getting in return is the opportunity to create customized technology options for agencies ranging from just a couple of people to hundreds.”

This year’s five Virtuoso Incubator participants are:

Virtuoso Incubator also has a new partnership with Phocuswright, the global travel market research company. Phocuswright is referring innovative travel technology startups to the program, and sharing its research into the sector with Virtuoso as well as attendees at its exclusive network events.

For more information see virtuoso.com/incubator.

Escaping the Canadian winter for a first-hand look at all of Puerto Vallarta’s newest hotels, our group drove straight from the airport to a taco tour – a good start to any trip in my book.

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