Bayview’s DeMuth takes Virtuoso Community gong

Nominees and winners of annual luxury travel awards revealed for 2023

Virtuoso revealed its top travel advisors and suppliers/partners across six Communities of the luxury travel network, on day one of the 2023 Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas today [Saturday 12 August]. Among the winners was Josephine DeMuth of Bayview Travel in Brighton, Victoria, who was one of five finalists from around the globe in the running for Top Community Advisor in the Wellness vertical.

Virtuoso’s Communities include Adventure, Cruise, Culinary, Ultraluxe, Sustainability, Family & Celebration and Wellness. The Community Awards recognise a travel advisor and a partner that has inspired that type of travel, based on both their sales figures (agency-reported data) and engagement within the community. The partner nominees were voted by advisors.

Josephine DeMuth, from Bayview Travel with Anna Davies, Account Director, Virtuoso

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Virtuoso also unveiled for the first time new branding for the Communities to Virtuosos assembled at the Aria Resort & Casino. That branding and its new visuals (pictured below) will start to be rolled out globally.

DeMuth has been a travel advisor for over 30 years. Before joining Bayview Travel 10 years ago she worked as an independent travel broker in New Zealand for 23 years.

While there are seven Communities, only advisors and partners from six of the fields have been recognised in the past, and including 2023. Marisa Pilato, Virtuoso’s Director, Access & Network Producers revealed that will change from 2024 when Sustainability will also convert to a sales-focused community.

The new icons to represent Virtuoso's communities - from right to left: Adventure, Sustainability, Cruise, Ultraluxe, Culinary, Wellness and Family & Celebration.

“What that means is that [Sustainability] will now include marketing, training and globetrotting that really stimulates sales, versus the educational focus,” Pilato said, adding, “We’re very excited about the next phase.”

New Community

Pilato also revealed that a new Community will be introduced in 2024, offering Virtuoso delegates a taste of what that will encompass.

“That program will connect advisors with new-to-network partners who have joined Virtuoso since January 2022,” she said, adding the intention is to provide those partners with a concentrated program.

Virtuoso Community 2023 nominees and winners

Not only was Bayview Travel’s DeMuth the only Australian advisor in the Wellness community, she was also the only Australian finalist across all the other awarded Communities in 2023.

There were a small number of Virtuoso travel advisors that were nominated across multiple Communities, while Michael Kempinski of Northstar Cruises received three separate community nominations.

The nominees and Award winners (in bold) in the Top Community Advisor and Best Community Partner categories for 2023 were as follows:


Top Adventure Advisor Community

  • Becky Craft, Travel Crafter, an Independent Affiliate of Travel Experts
  • Cristina Buaas, CSB Travel
  • Dana Welch, The Travel Society LLC
  • Gina Morovati, Northstar Cruises
  • Michael Kempinski, Northstar Cruises

Best Adventure Community Partner

  • Abercrombie & Kent
  • Aqua Expeditions
  • Big Five Tours & Expeditions
  • Swan Destinations
  • Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions team


Top Cruise Advisor Community

  • Gina Morovati, Northstar Cruises
  • Jonathan Phillips, Cassis Travel Services
  • Michael Kempinski, Northstar Cruises
  • Sue Bradley, The Pampered Cruiser, and Independent Affiliate of Smartflyer
  • David Porter, Roaming Boomers Travel Services, an Independent Affiliate of Cadence

Best Cruise Community Partner

  • AmaWaterways
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Seabourn
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
  • Silversea Cruises


Top Culinary Community Advisor

  • David Porter, Roaming Boomers Travel Services, an Independent Affiliate of Cadence
  • Jennifer Royster Travel, an Independent Affiliate of Brownell Travel
  • Laney Sachs, Ortensia Blu Travel Adventures, and Independent Affiliate of Gifted Travel Network
  • Sandy Grodsky, Brownell Travel
  • John Skelton, John Skelton Travels, an Independent Affiliate of Departure Lounge

Best Culinary Community Partner

  • Conrad Punta de Mita
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Il Facloniere
  • We Travel France
  • IC Bellagio
IC Bellagio's Andrea Grisdale, Founder and CEO (centre); flanked by Carole Pertusini (left), Sales & Product Coordinator, and Ambassador; and Marta Valsecchi, Itinerary Designer and Ambassador.

Family & Celebration

Top Family & Celebration Community Advisor

  • Cindy Mahorn, Susan’s Travel Services
  • Jamie Paul, Elite Travel Designs, an Independent Affiliate of Gifted Travel Network
  • Jean Paugh, Travel Unlimited, an Independent Affiliate of Uniglobe Travel Center
  • Sabrina Pilant, Travel Experts
  • Cristina Buaas, CSB Travel

 Best Family & Celebration Community Partner

  • Family Twist
  • One&Only Palmilla
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Great Lakes
  • Micato Safaris


Top Ultraluxe Community Advisor

  • Becky Craft, Travel Crafter, an Independent Affiliate of Travel Experts
  • Laura Wallace, Herff Travel
  • Michael Kempinski, Northstar Cruises
  • Peggy Purtell, Travel Experts
  • Sue Kasmar, Sue Kasmar Travel

Best Ultraluxe Community Partner

  • Dream Escapes
  • Micato Safaris
  • Remote Lands
  • White Desert
  • Cheval Blanc Paris
JOALI BEING's Josie Karabolard, Director of Sales - Americas with Semiha Askin, Global Director of Sales & Marketing


Top Wellness Community Advisor

  • John Smith, an Independent Affiliate of Coastline Travel Advisors and
  • Kristie England, Universal Travel
  • Leslie Bulluck, Direct Travel Luxe
  • Patti Olshen, Unique Travel of Palm Beach
  • Josephine DeMuth, Bayview Travel

Best Wellness Community Partner

  • Galeries Lafayette Paris
  • Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda
  • Six Senses Hotels Resorts & Spas
  • Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
  • JOALI Being 

David Kolner, Executive Vice President, Virtuoso also reminded Virtuosos that 2024 registrations from partners and advisors for each Community will close on 15 September and in November, respectively.

LATTE is reporting on site from Virtuoso Travel Week, as a guest of Virtuoso.

Lead image: Josephine DeMuth, Bayview Travel

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