|Matthew D. Upchurch (Virtuoso), David Brandon (Travel Concepts Brisbane)|
and Michael Londregan (Virtuoso) from 2014 Roadshow
The world’s leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso, has announced plans to make Australia its regional headquarters in a move that will spearhead expansion into the Asia Pacific region this year.
With more than 9,000 travel advisors around the globe, Virtuoso has a turnover of more than USD $14 billion in annual travel sales and has announced the Australian move as part of a global expansion which included United Kingdom and Europe in 2014.
“Following on from our strong move into the European and UK markets last year, Virtuoso will now use Australia as its regional hub to help secure its move into Asia, including new partnerships in Hong Kong and Singapore to be announced mid-year,” Virtuoso Asia Pacific Managing Director, Michael Londregan said.
“Australia and New Zealand’s travel agency elite have been Virtuoso members for the past 10 years and this strong foundation in the luxury market continues to drive growth for our brand and allows Virtuoso Australia to be perfectly placed to support our Asia expansion.”
Virtuoso Global CEO and Chair, Matthew D. Upchurch, will be visiting Australia in February, where he will present the latest data on international luxury travel trends including new research into growth in this segment in the Australian market.
Mr Londregan said the nature of luxury travel had changed in recent years, moving decisively away from the idea of opulent ‘5-star’ treatment, towards experiential travel that has a truth of connection and helps people in the race to “collect life experiences”.
“Virtuoso’s strength comes from its extraordinary travel advisors who have firsthand knowledge, on the ground relationships and often specialise in particular types of travel or locations.
“Luxury travel is not just about nice hotels, it is about experiences, new destinations and exploration, and people realise this is an investment in their quality of life.
“Much as you might seek out the advice of a financial planner to help support your long-term financial goals, Virtuoso’s model helps people to fulfil their travel dreams and recognises that many people are constrained by time and knowledge rather than budget.
“Our travel advisors are highly skilled and help people see their destinations in new ways, with more depth and with special access and creativity as well as a personal knowledge of their customers, and this is just the kind of service more and more travellers are seeking out.
“Through our network of partnerships, our clients are able to access the same, and often better value than you can find online, and can secure special benefits like complimentary room upgrades, daily breakfast, and other extras you can’t get on your own.
“Virtuoso has recognised the strong growth in the Asia Pacific region for luxury and that is why Australia has been chosen as the optimum base for regional expansion.