Virtuoso recently honoured its highest performing travel agency members and advisors, each of whom earned the opportunity to experience a different look at one of the world’s most beloved and visited cities: Venice, Italy. Virtuoso hosted the group during a time that is increasingly more popular with luxury travellers, the off-season, which opens up more cultural experiences and opportunities that are not available during busier, more congested parts of the year. Italy has proven itself a favourite among upscale travellers, having been rated the network’s top destination for the past 10 years according to Virtuoso’s annual Luxe Report, prompting participants to add visits to locations throughout the country to round out their Venetian experience.
The Chairman’s Event demonstrates Virtuoso’s appreciation for its most dedicated members, bringing together these industry leaders associated with more than 90 agencies from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, France, Mexico, Peru, United Kingdom and the United States.
“The richness of this gathering is felt through the contributions of each participant as they share varied perspectives from diverse geographic regions, increase their depth of relationships amongst themselves as well as the host partners, and exchange ideas on business and best practices,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso.
“Trust and camaraderie among Virtuoso’s members is a hallmark of the network, and the shared happenings of the Chairman’s Event enhance these bonds while tracking to Virtuoso’s ethos of creating greater authentic human connections.”
With Italian Dream Inc. Travel (I.D.I.) leading the charge, Virtuoso partners, both within Venice and throughout Italy, banded together to create truly exceptional experiences, many of which would be difficult to achieve during the city’s high season. Participants were outfitted by Venice’s famed costumer Atelier Antonia Sautter before attending a traditional 18th-century masquerade ball. The evening brought together Mandarin Oriental, Milan’s two-Michelin-starred chef, Antonio Guida, as well as Hotel & Spa Rosa Alpina’s three-Michelin-starred chef, Norbert Niederkofler, for an unforgettable celebration of Italy’s cultural and culinary heritage.
Other events during this private look at Venice highlighted the city’s art, history, and exquisite sights including special access to Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a feast for the eyes featuring some of Tintoretto’s finest work. Attendees also were treated to a grand lunch at Aman Venice, which had not previously closed its public spaces for any reason other than a hotel buy-out. While Venice rolled out the red carpet to welcome the group, the Virtuoso Chairman’s Event is more than a celebration of good work. This trip represented an opportunity to bring the network’s highest producing travel advisors to one of the world’s foremost destinations, showcasing the many benefits of visiting through Virtuoso’s connections, and ensuring they spread the word to their highly desirable clientele.
“While our Chairman’s Event is a celebration of Virtuoso members who have demonstrated their support of this network, it also raises the tide of collaboration between our advisors and partners,” Upchurch continued. “We selected Venice to support our number-one destination: Italy. By choosing to visit during the off-season, it became a study in how to experience a world-renowned city in a more authentic way for the preservation of the destination.”
This rarified glimpse of luxury Venice is courtesy of Virtuoso’s incredible partnerships, both within Italy as well as the world over. In addition to those already mentioned, Virtuoso preferred partners who supported this ultimate Venetian experience included the three host hotels – Belmond Hotel Cipriani; Hotel Danieli, A Luxury Collection Hotel; and The Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel – as well as Bauer Palazzo, Borgo dei Conti Resort, Bulgari Hotel Milano, Ca’Sagredo Hotel, Crystal Cruises, Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Hotel Londra Palace, IC Bellagio, J.K. Place Firenze, Rocco Forte Hotels, Slovenia Tourist Board, Villa d’Este Hotel and Windstar Cruises.
The Virtuoso Chairman’s Event recognises agency members and advisors across several categories:
- Highest total sales
- Highest average sales per advisor
- Largest sales growth
- Most engaged in Virtuoso programs and services
Those who met the above requirements and received this special invitation enjoyed a destination immersion filled with “wow” moments and memorable experiences during the event, held 4–8 November 2018.