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What:At this year’s Virtuoso Travel Week — which took place from Aug. 12-18 in Las Vegas — the network announced that it has now reached a record of 16,000 Virtuoso-affiliated travel advisors. Virtuoso also announced that its travel sales exceeded $21.2 billion in 2017, a year-over-year increase of 37 percent. A notable 1,000 agents have joined the network since January.
Why It Matters:While it should be noted that the figures above are based on Virtuoso’s entire global network, it’s still good news for U.S. advisors. Virtuoso agencies are hiring at unprecedented rates because of an influx of FIT business, according to David Kolner, senior vice president of global member partnerships for Virtuoso.
Fast Facts:- According to Kolner, a major source of growth for Virtuoso is independent contractors (ICs).
- Majority of growth is organic (coming from existing agencies).
- Virtuoso agents represent more than 800 locations from more than 45 countries.
- More than 100 agencies and seven new countries have joined Virtuoso since Virtuoso Travel Week 2016.
What They Are Saying:“The ‘IC-ification’ of the world is a huge phenomenon, not just in the U.S.,” Kolner said. “People are literally trying to hire as many people as they can, especially at full-service agencies with FIT. It’s a wonderful time to become a travel agent for sure.”