Mauricio Leyton, a colleague of the Virtuoso network and a travel industry veteran, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 1, 2013. He was 52 years old. He was hospitalized on Wednesday with a sudden illness, and suffered a heart attack during the night. He was traveling in Chile at the time and was surrounded by his family.
"Mauricio’s travel career spanned more than 25 years, with more than 15 of those years spent with Virtuoso," said a memo from Virtuoso that was sent out yesterday, December 2. "During his tenure, Mauricio was responsible for building Virtuoso’s travel agency membership and operations throughout Mexico, South America and the Caribbean, opening up Virtuoso’s first markets outside of North America. He later served as vice president of Virtuoso’s Global Member Partnerships, before moving on to oversee the acquisition and development of key relationships with tourism boards all over the world."
In addition to curating luxury travel experiences, Mauricio was an accomplished actor with films, plays, commercials, and TV appearances to his credit.
“I mourn my loss and that of so many who Mauricio touched with his amazing soul. His love enriched the lives of everyone lucky enough to have come across his path and know him. His kindness, creativity and compassion will be with us forever,” said Matthew Upchurch, chairman and CEO of Virtuoso when advising members of Mauricio's passing in the email communique.
At International Luxury Travel Mart in Cannes, which is ongoing this week, a candlelight vigil was held on the shore of the Mediterranean in Leyton's honor by his very many friends, many of whom had commented on Facebook about how devastated they were by his sudden passing.