“We want to own the luxury space,” says Virtuoso’s Treasure

Five quick questions with Greg Treasure, Virtuoso's new GM AU/NZ

When Virtuoso recently announced the appointment of a new General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, it is fair to say there was a certain level of shock across the local industry. Surprise that Fiona Dalton, the local head, was stepping aside from the position she had overseen for the past few years, and also mystery as to who her replacement, Greg Treasure, was.

Last week at Virtuoso AU/NZ Owner-Managers Forum in Bangkok, LATTE took the opportunity to sit down 1-on-1 with Treasure to find out about the Sydney sider’s background, to share a brief insight on what he’s done, where he’s been and what he is looking forward to with the luxury travel network.

Greg, can you share an overview of your travel industry history with LATTE’s readers? 

(GT) I started my career in the Leisure travel space 30-odd years ago. After Leisure I moved into the Corporate space, ultimately running CWT in Asia from Hong Kong and Greater China. I moved across to HRG in a similar capacity. I spent the best part of 12 years in Asia then relocated to the United States, managing the North American and South American markets for HRG based out of New York for six years. When HRG was acquired by GBT, I left the business in 2018.

The past five years I’ve been out of the game. Since COVID hit and I haven’t been looking at opportunities.

Greg Treasure, new General Manager, Australia/New Zealand, Virtuoso addresses delegates at last Monday's opening session of Virtuoso Forum in Bangkok

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What lured you to Virtuoso?

(GT) It was only when Michael Londregan [Global Operations VP, Virtuoso] called six weeks ago that triggered the initial conversations. Michael was searching for someone with US experience in Australia. We had a 10-minute round table discussion and things progressed from there rapidly.

In my role at HRG, I was commuting New York to Sydney when my wife and kids returned to Australia, so I was happy to take a break from the workforce.

When Michael re-connected with me I had been happily retired, but further discussions opened up my mind to the concept – the thought of coming back to the luxury Leisure space was appealing.

In a lot of respects, it’s fantastic to return to this space having come from a different world in Corporate travel.

On some levels I don’t think things have changed dramatically. The core of the industry is still very much the same.

I’m at that time of life where I’m reaching my early 60s and thinking this is the kind of experience I want to enjoy so why not go play in the luxury space?

Treasure was formally welcomed to Virtuoso last Monday at the AU/NZ Forum, alongside the powerhouse all-female AU/NZ team.

What exposure to Virtuoso have you had in the past?

(GT) I knew a few of the Virtuoso members and they always spoke so highly of the network and wore the Virtuoso title as a badge of honour.

It’s been great to reconnect with people I’d met three decades ago who are still in the business. A little consultant back then has evolved to the owner of a large agency.

How has your first week at Virtuoso been?

It’s been a bit of a baptism of fire. Last week was a lot of prep work for Forum, so I haven’t seen what a ‘normal week’ looks like yet.

(GT) I probably would have liked to have done a lot more research as to what was happening after I’d spoken to Michael, but it was all very confidential at that time.

Everyone is very inward-leaning and very invested, so after a week’s exposure, I’m excited to jump in.

Treasure (centre, seated) with the AU/NZ team including outgoing GM Fiona Dalton, Michael Londergan, SVP Global Operations, David Kolner, Executive Vice President and Cheryl Cheney Bunker, VP Global Member Relations.

What are you looking forward to in this role with Virtuoso?

(GT) It’s become pretty apparent that the amount of support that the US provides the team on the ground here, and the Regional Member Advisory Board in terms of helping set the direction and the priorities for what we are doing in region is very apparent.

There’s going to be a big push in this market. We have two new roles to fill. We want to own the luxury space.

There is also a huge sense of responsibility to nurture the ecosystem.

We have absolutely fantastic members. I think they are the upper echelon of Leisure travel in Australia.

There is a great sense of responsibility to continue to grow and nurture the network in Australia and New Zealand, and to ensure we are delivering value to them and the partners.

Thanks for sharing your story, Greg.

Greg Treasure and Fiona Dalton, Virtuoso AU/NZ's incoming and outgoing General Managers

For readers wanting to know what Fiona Dalton is doing next, her feedback on LATTE‘s post on LinkedIn provided a thorough overview of her decision and plans for the immediate future.

“After 40 incredible years of full-time work and raising two amazing kids solo, I’m finally ready to embrace the next chapter of my life,” Dalton said.

“I’m hitting pause on the traditional 9-5 grind to embark on a journey of self-discovery, adventure, and cherished moments with friends and loved ones.”

View Dalton’s full comments here.

Lead image: Some of the senior Virtuoso executive team at AU/NZ Forum in Bangkok last week, from left: Michael Londregan, SVP Global Operations; Greg Treasure, GM AU/NZ; Matthew Upchurch, Chairman and CEO and Brad Borland, Chief Operating Officer.

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