Viva Virtuoso Travel Week

Las Vegas hosts so many conferences and conventions during the year, but for the past 26 years, in mid-August when the temperatures exceed 100 degrees F, the world of luxury travel gathers at the Bellagio.

There are more than 4,400 people from 92 countries with travel advisors from 20 countries — and this year, 1,560 of the travel agents are new to Virtuoso Travel Week.

And it is an event like no other. It’s not a trade show; it’s a relationship-building event well known for its concise four-minute appointments. All key tour operators, airlines, cruise companies and DMCs — the whole spectrum of the luxury travel industry — are here. Travel Week is one of the few places where one finds all the most senior management in the luxury space with a great number of these being hoteliers, including presidents of hotel companies, general managers of the finest hotels in the world or CMOs and senior sales and marketing executives — and, this year, 45 owners of luxury independent hotels.

Press from all over the world are here along with industry analysts to hear the positive news that business to the hotel industry is growing — with bookings up 24.3% over last year. This means luxury travelers are traveling, and the luxury industry is addressing that trend.

As the line between tour operators and DMCs continues to blur, Virtuoso this week announced it will now treat both important segments as one in the future.

Going forward, the 341 agencies in more than 600 locations will become even more important because these are the advisors who have identified the luxury traveler who wants a curated travel experience. Plus, as this network begins to grow in Europe and Asia — with both of these sectors recently invited by Virtuoso to join — it is going to become a global organization.