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16 Feb 2017

BY Rob Gill


Virtuoso strengthens UK network with new members

The Virtuoso global network of luxury travel agencies has added seven new UK-based companies to its portfolio over the last year.

Matthew Upchurch Virtuoso.jpg

"Luxury travel is continuing to outpace and outperform other industries” says Virtuoso

Virtuoso, which is based in the US, added a total of 18 new travel agencies and 39 locations across 23 countries in 2016. The group now has 772 agency locations – a 5% rise on the previous year.

New UK members included Worldwide Escapes in Cheshire, Selective Asia in Brighton plus the sister brands of Oxford Private Travel and Oxford Ski Company.

Four London-based firms have also joined Virtuoso: Bluebird Travel, Brown + Hudson, Beyond Traveller and business travel agency Reed & Mackay.

The new additions take the number of Virtuoso members in the UK up to 19.

Virtuoso’s global network now includes more than 15,000 travel consultants in 44 countries – the number of agents has risen by 33% in the last year. Total annual revenue from Virtuoso members was £21.2 billion in 2016.

David Kolner, senior vice president of global member partnerships for Virtuoso, said: “More than half of the advisor growth – 55% of it – came from our existing travel agency members, not from agencies we added throughout the year.

“That means current Virtuoso members brought on 2,095 new advisors, which is really incredible when you consider CareerBuilder’s 2016 Jobs Forecast showed only 36% of employers planning to hire full-time permanent employees. Luxury travel is continuing to outpace and outperform other industries.”

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