What is Travel Week?
It’s sort of hard to summarize Travel Week. I would say it is especially so for a first-time attendee, like me. I think it is often much too easy to be perfunctorily dismissive of trade shows, and industry gatherings, like Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas. I, for one, prior to attending for the first time just one month ago, was not. I was quietly dismissive of Brownell Travel Week veterans’ gentle warnings regarding the high level of mental and physical exhaustion I would experience during the week-long travel extravaganza. I now know those warnings were accurate and appropriate. I can now, however, also humbly state that I have emerged with a revitalized appreciation of the complexity, diversity and wonder that comprise the luxury travel industry today. Much as the digital age has compelled us to re-evaluate conventional notions of “efficient practices” in the world of technology, Virtuoso Travel Week drives the luxury travel industry to reassess and reinvent itself, every August, in Las Vegas.
The sheer volume of networking that occurs between travel advisors, like myself, and luxury Virtuoso suppliers from the world over is astounding. During the week-long marathon, I met with more than five hundred distinct travel industry suppliers, which ran the gamut from 5-star hotels to technology service providers targeting the purveyors of luxury travel. For me, the week was a reassuring reminder that there are few industries more diverse than travel.
As a travel addict and writer, diversity is my mantra and muse. Mingling and immersing in that milieu allows me an unparalleled opportunity to build connections that tangibly differentiate the services I am able to provide my clients. No one can be up to speed at any given moment with the current status of every aspect of travel services. The world is too large and the speed of change too great. When curating information as an advisor for clients, the travel advisor is only as good as her/his information. The information’s viability is in turn a direct function of the quality of the supplier network which allows us to access relevant, salient data. The most well-traveled travel consultant could never profess to be an expert in this diverse industry, based upon personal travel experience alone.
Another essential purpose for Virtuoso Travel Week is to generate excitement amongst luxury travel advisors. Virtuoso accomplishes this task by engendering a clubby atmosphere of fun and discovery. Whether it be in creating wonderment in the mind of a travel advisor for a new destination, or facilitating communications and networking amongst industry professionals, Virtuoso recognizes that by improving the experience for professional advisors, it raises the bar for the travel industry as a whole. In a world where diversity of information could spell the death knell for the luxury travel advisor due to rapid growth in direct internet bookings by the consumer, Virtuoso successfully reasserts the validity of the well-connected travel consultant. Diversity of data and access to same require that someone is curating, inspecting and evaluating that information; the Virtuoso Travel Advisor performs that function with enthusiasm, resources and style!
If you’re interested in booking your next trip with the help of a well-educated (and now well-rested) travel consultant, I’d love to help you. This is a particularly good time to get ahead of the curve with Spring Break travel arrangements.