TIME graduate embraces Virtuoso Travel Week scholarship

Quark Expeditions' Tenille Hunt raves about the "Superbowl of travel events"

The Travel Industry Mentor Experience’s (TIME) Virtuoso Travel Week Scholarship winner, Tenille Hunt, Business Development Manager from Quark Expeditions, says she has relished the opportunity to be in Las Vegas this week with industry peers in the luxury space.

Hunt was chosen from around 20 TIME graduate applicants that applied for the scholarship earlier in the year. The scholarship provides financial assistance for the graduate to attend, covering conference registration and accommodation for the week-long event.

Launched in 2018, the goal of the TIME Virtuoso Travel Week Scholarship is to provide an opportunity to attend the ‘Fashion Week of the travel industry’ for an individual intent on amplifying their career in luxury travel. Applicants can be either an advisor or a supplier, however they don’t need to be a Virtuoso member or a partner, but they can only come from the pool of around 300 TIME graduates.

At the Virtuoso Travel Week cocktail party for AU/NZ partners, from left are: Michele Duncan, Virtuoso; Melanie Ford, TTFN; Nikki Glading, FCTG's Luxury Travel Collection; Kerrie Fellowes, Virtuoso and Tenille Hunt, Quark Expeditions.

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Fiona Dalton, General Manager, Virtuoso Australia/New Zealand said Hunt’s application was a standout for someone clearly intent on furthering their positioning in the luxury space.

“Tenille has the added advantage of working for a Virtuoso partner, which meant her time with us here at Travel Week has been more special because she gets an understanding of how the week unfolds, while also spending time with us and working alongside her US team, which she’ll benefit greatly from when returning home,” Dalton said.

“She’s been really humble about what this experience has meant to her, and she will now be able to take all this knowledge and thought leadership and understanding of luxury on a global scale, and share it with the TIME community, but also it will also help her in her quest to progress her own career.”

Hunt, who graduated from TIME in 2019, told LATTE she jumped at the opportunity when the scholarship presented itself and couldn’t believe her luck when she was chosen.

“Throughout the week I’ve had the opportunity to view Virtuoso Travel Week through the lens of an agent as well as a supplier thanks to Virtuoso Travel Australia. Fiona Dalton and the Virtuoso team have been beyond amazing in supporting me, taking me to events with my

Fiona Dalton, GM Virtuoso AU/NZ with Tenille Hunt, BDM APAC, Quark Expeditions.

carefully curated scholarship schedule crafted by Fiona to enable a bird’s eye view of the entire Virtuoso Travel Week,” Hunt said.

“To be at an event with over 5,000 advisors and suppliers from 105 countries who are all here to talk all things luxury travel is simply hard to put into words. The buzz in the rooms is electrifying. Although at times it can be overwhelming with so many sessions, the Virtuoso team is always around to help navigate or lend a helping hand when in need.”

Quark Expedition's team: at Virtuoso Travel Week 2023 - from left: Meg Murgatroyd, Global Partnerships Director; Beth Mercier, Regional Sales Director North America; Tenille Hunt, Business Development Manager, APAC; Taylor Hass, Business Development Manager, Central USA and Cara Matthew, Regional Sales Director, Canada.

“I have especially loved the professional development side of his scholarship where I have been fortunate enough to attend the tech summit and a number of PD Sessions. “How to be a game changer when the game keep changing” by Orlando Bowen was a highlight (and actually left me a bit teary.) Walking through the Pinnacle lounge and attending the sustainable ‘Under One Sky’ lunch have been great experiences.”

Hunt said she has also been fortunate to work with her Quark Expeditions team attending events, sessions, meetings on the Tracks, and at the Cruise Café.

“It’s been a super busy week to say the least, but I am super energised and have made many meaningful connections made along the way.”

“I certainly have a better perspective of Virtuoso Travel Week after the last few days and the luxury sector overall. A highlight of the week was attending the Cruise Night Out event where Quark Expeditions won Best Expedition Cruise Line.

“It was such an honour to be here for this event as we took out this award for the first time ever!”

Winners are grinners! At the Cruise Night Out where Quark Expeditions won 'Best Expedition Cruise Line', from left are: Cara Matthew, Regional Sales Director – Canada; Chris Hanna, National Accounts Manager USA; Tenille Hunt, Business Development Manager – APAC; Meg Murgatroyd, Global Partnerships Director; Beth Mercier, Regional Sales Director North America; Taylor Hass, Business Development Manager – Central USA.

“I highly recommend and encourage anyone in the tourism and hospitality sectors thinking of doing the TIME program to do it. I graduated four years ago and I am still continuing to learn and grow as a result of this wonderful program today!

“A big thank you to Fiona Dalton and Penny Spencer for making this scholarship possible and of course my team at Quark Expeditions for always supporting me,” Hunt concluded

Dalton added that while Virtuoso is “only a tiny business, occasionally we can do things in the Australian marketplace that are really about investing in the industry and making a difference.”

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