|Matthew D. Upchurch, chairman and CEO of Virtuoso|
This year’s Virtuoso Travel Week is off to an exciting start. The 27th Virtuoso Travel Week welcomes more than 4,842 attendees from 90 countries to the Bellagio in Las Vegas. This year’s message is all about embracing the Virtuoso brand and understanding the best ways to sell travel. Matthew D. Upchurch, chairman and CEO of Virtuoso, spoke to advisors and suppliers about these themes during yesterday’s opening session.
“So what has our brand done for us?” Upchurch asked. “It’s turned a dream into a reality. It has separated us from the negative image of travel agents and appropriately highlighted your talents as highly skilled and passionate professionals, in tune with what consumers are craving today,” he continued.
What are those negative images of travel agents Upchurch is talking about? Daniel H. Pink, the keynote speaker at this year’s opening session and author of To Sell is Human, spoke about the challenges and negative connotations that surround advisors and how to overcome them.
He explained that it is no longer a “buyer beware” world, because buyers have more access to information than ever before through tools like the Internet and social media. It is now more of a “seller beware” market, where the advisor now has to curate information for the client.
“We’ve gone from this world where buyers have not much information, not many choices and no way to talk back, to the world today where buyers have lots of information, lots of choices and all kinds of ways to talk back,” says Pink.
Pink also urged advisors to understand the client’s point of view and not to get discouraged in the face of rejection.
During the opening session, the 2015 Member Production Awards were also presented. The winners included:
Top Virtuoso Air Production: Travel Experts
Top Virtuoso Network Engagment: Valerie Wilson Travel
Top Production per Advisor: Chruchill and Turen, Ltd.
Top Year-Over-Year Percentage Sales Growth: Andavo Travel
Top Year-Over-Year Total Sales Growth: Travel Experts
Top Production Australia/New Zealand: Goldman Travel Corporation
Top Production Latin America/Caribbean: Teresa Perez Tours
Top Virtuoso Network Production: Protravel International
Stay tuned to Luxury Travel Advisor for more from this year’s Virtuoso Travel Week.