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Luxury travel network Virtuoso is seeing positive signs pointing to a rebound for the travel industry — and is preparing its travel advisor partners for that shift with enhanced marketing and PR efforts, a transformation of its website and hosted virtual events.
Following a revamp of its website to provide a “content-forward, visually compelling experience,” Virtuoso has seen its total number of online visitors increase by 50%, along with a 15% rise in visit duration and a 45% jump in page views. In fact, since January, Virtuoso’s web traffic has reached levels that exceed the company’s pre-pandemic 2019 high point. The increased interest and engagement are a welcome sign that travelers are gearing up to hit the road once again.
In another strong indicator of travel’s rebound, Virtuoso also notes a sustained 50% increase in consumers seeking out travel advisors through the website’s Find a Travel Advisor catalog — a momentum that has been maintained since January.
“This data is a compelling indicator that people are ready to travel again, and they’re pursuing travel advisors at an increased rate to help them navigate a new and complicated world,” said Travis McElfresh, senior vice president of product for Virtuoso, in a statement. “Virtuoso travel advisors will continue to be the most sought-after experts, as upscale travelers in search of peace of mind and unparalleled expertise visit Virtuoso.com to plan the getaway they’ve been dreaming about for more than a year.”
This data is a compelling indicator that people are ready to travel again, and they’re pursuing travel advisors at an increased rate to help them navigate a new and complicated world.
In preparation for the expected uptick in travel planning, Virtuoso hosted the virtual “Ready, Reset, Go” event last week, which brought together nearly 1,000 people from 47 countries for more than 13,000 one-on-one appointments. The network shared proprietary data indicating that the industry is already seeing an identifiable rise in all types of travel, especially hotels, based on combined daily sales from affiliated agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and select Latin American markets. According to Virtuoso, the data revealed a sales increase of 54% among its U.S. agencies from February to March, and also identified four key trends: closer-in booking times, a preference for outdoor and experiential activities, longer stays and a focus on domestic travel.
“We called this event ‘Ready, Reset, Go,’ but that could easily be the theme of this entire year,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, chairman and CEO of Virtuoso, in a press release. “If last year was all about loss and staying afloat, with a $4.5 trillion industry hit and 62 million jobs gone worldwide, this year is the turning point we’ve been waiting for. And now that it’s here — or at least on the horizon — we need to be ready to reset our businesses and our expectations. We have an immense opportunity to come back stronger than before, and … we are ready to work together to ensure we are collectively successful. With a potentially historic wave of demand growing, we intend to leverage our agency members’ and advisors’ leadership position in luxury travel.”