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17 Aug 2017

BY Rob Gill


Top destinations for Virtuoso agents? Cornwall and Maldives

UK members of luxury travel network Virtuoso have named the Maldives and Cornwall as their most popular international and domestic destinations.

Virtuoso Travel Week 2017 Opening Cerermony

The results of a survey of Virtuoso’s UK members were revealed as the group held its 29th annual Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, which has attracted nearly 6,000 delegates from around the world.


UK members say that their top five international destinations for the upcoming autumn and winter seasons are the Maldives followed by the US, Italy, South Africa and Barbados.


The top five domestic hotspots over the next few months are Cornwall, the Cotswolds, Lake District, Bath and Devon.


The survey also reveals that the biggest “geopolitical” issues for UK members are currently the threat of terrorism, Brexit and the UK economy.


Virtuoso said it now has a global membership of more than 16,000 affiliated travel agents in 800 locations across 45 countries. It has added 1,000 agents since January as well as seven new countries, including Japan, South Korea and Russia.


These members now account for a total of more than $21.2 billion in travel sales annually – up by 37% on the previous year.


Virtuoso is also growing its hotels and resorts programme with the addition of 94 properties this year to take the total portfolio up to more than 1,200 hotels.


Agents are able to offer their clients extra benefits when they book hotels featured in the programme, such as upgrades, dining credit, free WiFi and late check out privileges.


Virtuoso’s air programme has also added 11 new airlines in the last year as well as a 10% increase in commissionable routes.


Agent members are also increasingly using Virtuoso’s main website with visits up by 108% on the year which has been driven by the use of private label sites.


The group has unveiled research into how members can generate business from the increasingly important millennial generation.


This study found that more millennials earn at least $250,000 per year than any other generation apart the “matures” who are those born before 1946.


Virtuoso said that the number of millennial and generation X (those born between 1965 and 1982) clients has increased in the last five years as a proportion of the overall client base – up by four percentage points since 2012.

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