The theme was “Travel Unites,” and that ethos was exemplified in the variety of religious symbols and cultural dress on display. While “Travel Unites” certainly means supporting the people in some of our favorite places when tragedy befalls them, it’s also about making personal connections with those you might on the surface have nothing in common with. Your experience could be exploring Jerusalem and sites holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims. It could be spending a day in a Maasai village and realizing that for all your differences, you and your hosts have the same basic needs and desires. Or it could be making a landing in Antarctica with a group of strangers you are now forever bonded to because you have done. For one week every August, what happens in Vegas goes worldwide. It’s Virtuoso Travel Week, when travel advisors and preferred partners from across the globe converge. This year, 5,693 from 103 countries gathered to learn and share the latest innovations in travel in order to make your next vacation the best yet.
Virtuoso Travel Week is unlike any other travel event out there. It is a powerful synergistic network and dynamic that provides for insights, shared intellectual property, collaboration and development of best industry practices and seen incredible things together.
Advisors strengthened relationships with preferred hoteliers, cruise lines and tour operators, ensuring our clients have wonderful experiences each and every time they go out into the world. While no one can visit every hotel and every country, the week allows advisors to build a knowledge base and take advantage of the vast resources of the Virtuoso network. A technology panel discussed how electronic itinerary builders have helped make complex itineraries easily accessible for travelers, and the hotel booking tool on the Virtuoso website that lets travelers select their advisor and make a reservation complete with Virtuoso-exclusive amenities in just a few clicks any time of day.
Advisors strive to stay on the cutting edge of an increasingly digital trip-planning process so our travelers can relax and unplug. A new focus is on wellness, family and immersion travel. It’s all about putting aside the stress of everyday life to connect more deeply with yourself and your fellow travelers without a lot of distractions.
Wellness travel doesn’t have to mean spending your vacation working out several times a day. It can be just be taking a break from the craziness of everyday life and giving your mind a rest. For example, Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., provides a bag to store all your technology safely away in and even makes up a little bed for your phone so it can have some much-needed down time.
Family travel puts an emphasis on designing itineraries to appeal to different age groups so that families have fun together without having to worry about the kids being bored or the adults’ interests being ignored. With the increasing popularity of multi-generational travel, it only makes sense to tailor trips to emphasize that bond. It is a rare thing to get an extended family all in one place, and that time is a precious commodity. These trips ensure that it is time well spent.
Immersion travel takes adventurers into the heart of nature, with lodges that bland into their settings and offer a chance to deeply explore another land and culture. Travelers really get a taste of what life is like in a particular destination, not just seeing the tourist attractions, but being stitched into the fabric of a place, if only for a little while.
Whether it is strengthening personal and professional relationships with partners in the industry or meeting new ones, discovering new destinations and experiences or learning about and applying new technologies, Virtuoso Travel Week packs a year’s worth of innovation into a week, allowing travelers to reap the benefits of working with a Virtuoso advisor.