Virtuoso has accepted four travel technology companies into its 2019 Incubator program, looking at tools designed to enhance efficiency for multitasking advisors.
A recent poll of Virtuoso agency owners identified enhancing advisor efficiency using technology as an opportunity and focus for 2019. The program is now looking for new solutions in this area.
Virtuoso Incubator is designed to assist up-and-coming companies in refining their products via real-world testing and feedback from the network's travel advisors. Each Incubator company receives a panel of advisors who use the tool and suggest improvements to better aid member agencies, consultants and clients. In 2018, nearly 100 advisors from 80 member agencies volunteered, and everyone indicated they would like to serve on panels again.
Once the trial is complete, Incubator companies could become full Virtuoso partners. Virtuoso says former participants who have transitioned have had a significant impact in increasing advisor productivity and sales. A network study found that advisors who use an itinerary management program from Incubator graduates Axus, Travefy or Umapped increased partner revenue by 29 percent, as compared to an eight percent rise for advisors who did not use the tools.
The 2019 Virtuoso Incubator participants are:
- Groupdesk: Group travel software that moves inventory management, registration and payments, into traveler self-serviced online portals and sites. Groupdesk automates time-consuming administration for advisors while removing many potentially error-prone steps.
- Trips.app: A platform enabling advisors to create a website with a collaborative itinerary planner. Advisors and partners can craft itineraries, market and sell inventory, securely process payments and track commissions.
- Emadri: A tool that generates relevant, shoppable packing and experience recommendations for travelers through technology that companies can plug into, automatically serving clients with personalized suggestions to improve their travel experience.
- SION: A user-friendly platform that streamlines payment, management and receipt of commissions by helping advisors organize bookings and track open invoices.
The main priority of Virtuoso members in 2019 is to enhance efficiency. Three members of the 2019 Incubator class focus on agency operation and performance solutions. Another priority, diversifying the business mix, is addressed via Emadri’s ecommerce personalization focus.