Virtuoso Travel Week Highlights

It might not be that big, tucked on the side of Spain on the western edge of Europe, but Portugal is the hottest destination going this year. Combine the capital of Lisbon — think a European San Francisco — with second city Porto and the beach-laden Algarve region with the diverse islands of Madeira and the Azores, and Portugal becomes a lot bigger than you might have previously imagined. That was one takeaway from Virtuoso Travel Week this month in Las Vegas, where more than 6,000 attendees from 100 countries shared the latest and greatest in the travel industry.

Another important trend is the rise of sustainability. From resorts such as The Brando in French Polynesia, where 95 percent of the energy used is renewable. Buildings made from local, renewable and recycled material blend with their natural surroundings and even waste is turned into compost that is used in organic gardens. The resort’s conservation program focuses on fish and sea turtle replenishment as well as atoll conservation. Seawater air conditioning and coconut oil biofuel help power the resort while getting it closer to carbon neutrality.

Kevin Molony, president of New Orleans-based Royal Insider is working to preserve the culture in and around the city his family first came to in the 1720s by showing clients the authenticities of life for those who call the Big Easy home, far from the tourist haze of Bourbon Street. That could mean hanging behind the scenes with a Mardi Gras crew to see how much blood, sweat, and tears go into preparing not just afloat but a celebration of heritage or dining in a historic home with a meal prepared by the city’s top chefs.

With the launch of www.galapagos.com, www.safaritours.com and www.visibleasia.com, Big Five Tours & Expeditions, ranks countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia based on the sustainability of tourism there, and works in the destinations it services to improve those scores. As Lesa Bain of Lindblad Expeditions succinctly put it in her acceptance speech for Virtuoso’s Sustainable Tourism Leadership award, “Sustainability rocks!”

All told, more than 40,000 meetings took place over the course of a week between travel advisors and suppliers, resulting in an exchange of information that will benefit our travelers. Looking for a great meal? Meadowood Napa Valley’s The Restaurant, winner of Best Dining Experience, has you covered. A nice drink? The Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel in London was voted Best Bar. As for any other experience you can imagine, drop us a line at info@dmctraveltailor.com.

Virtuoso Travel Week: Your One-Stop Travel Shop

What destinations are you interested in visiting over the next year? Any new experiences you’d like to try? We always want to hear your thoughts, but especially now, since our team will be taking over Las Vegas next week as representatives from hotels, tour operators, cruise lines and more from all over the world descend on the Strip for the biggest travel event of the year.

Virtuoso Travel Week turns Sin City into the epicenter of the travel world, with more than 5,000 people from 100-plus countries gathering to share the latest innovations in vacations. While no one can visit every hotel and every country, the week allows advisors to build a knowledge base and take advantage of the vast resources of the Virtuoso network. Think of it as a luxury shopping trip, with your travel advisor acting as your proxy

There’s a smorgasbord of destinations, experiences, and modes of transportation to discover. There’s a wide gulf between booking something on the internet and doing something you may not have realized was even possible when you first thought about planning a trip. Virtuoso Travel Week is the difference. Maybe you want to be dropped in the middle of nowhere and have to find your way out. Maybe you want an itinerary designed just for you, where you don’t have to think at all, just relax and enjoy. Those options, and everything in between are at your advisor’s fingertips.

Fewer than 1 percent of travel agencies worldwide are accepted as Virtuoso members, so this week is an exclusive chance for us to meet face-to-face with the best of the best suppliers.
We’re there as insiders so we make each trip you take truly extraordinary. It may take going to the ends of the earth to discover your true self, or you might just need a long weekend a couple hours away. So let us know: where do you want to go next?