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What:Luxury travel network Virtuoso recently announced that its community of travel agents grew 26 percent in 2015 with the addition of more than 2,000 agents. Though the figure is due in part to the expansion of existing agencies (57 percent of the total increase), Virtuoso also welcomed a substantial number of agencies around the world.
Why It Matters:With new members based everywhere from Hong Kong and Singapore to Belgium, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands, it clearly has been a great year for Virtuoso — which means it has been a great year for travel agents as well. As more agents continue to join consortia, they gain exclusive access to top suppliers; helpful tools such as training and marketing; and events to engage in networking and well-deserved recognition. This growth may also lead to new, innovative programming that will help both suppliers and agents continue to meet the surge in demand from consumers.
Fast Facts:- In 2015, current travel agency members added 1,353 new advisors.
- New agency growth worldwide included the addition of 1,061 advisors.
- In terms of global presence, Virtuoso added 40 new agencies with 96 office locations in 19 countries.
- The network now has 381 agencies in 720 locations in 34 countries.
- New destinations represented by Virtuoso members include Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Paraguay and South Africa.
What They Are Saying:“Virtuoso, in partnership with our global agency members, is co-creating this network to position each region for success while simultaneously building a powerful international brand,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, CEO and chairman for Virtuoso. “Our ongoing growth, both from existing agencies and new entrants, demonstrates that travelers worldwide seek quality service and bespoke experiences from expert professionals. We are bringing our relationships, services and advantages to highly regarded agencies that are committed to our mutual growth — all for the benefit of their clients.”