It's a year ago this week that our host agency, Gifted Travel Network, became members of Virtuoso, thereby aligning us with the leading global network of agencies specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This has made a monumental difference to both our own business and our clients trips. We experienced 50% sales growth in 2019 while remaining focussed on superior personal service and 2020 is expected to continue on a similar path. There is seemingly endless travel knowledge that we still have to learn each and every day, and as we grow, our team continue to train and focus on specific areas so that we really can cover all aspects of your travel needs with total confidence.
2020 will see our whole team diving into various Virtuoso training programs as we delve even deeper into what we can offer our clients. We are so thrilled with how Virtuoso has benefited our travelers in the last year, but we honestly believe we have only just started to scratch the surface.
We hope that soon you will get to experience the Virtuoso Effect for yourselves.
Top 5 - The Virtuoso Effect
1. Wanderlist (above and below)
Wanderlist is a new product launched by Virtuoso just last year. Our Business Development Manager, Tori has undergone a 10-week training course in order for J5Travel to be eligible to offer this, and we strongly believe the program could be of great benefit to many of our loyal travelers.
If you have travel dreams, you deserve a travel plan. Of all of life's priorities, leisure time is one asset you can’t earn back. And before we all know it, another great travel opportunity has slipped away. It pays to collaborate with a seasoned expert to maximize your most precious non-renewable asset – your time.
Building on the model of a wealth advisor and blending the popularity of the bucket list, Wanderlist is a travel portfolio that helps capture your dreams and prioritize what matters most – a clear path to mapping out your future travel possibilities. Why live day-to-day when you can live trip-to-trip? The team at J5Travel would love to help you turn your wish list into a thoughtful long-term travel plan. If you'd like to find out more please email Tori.
Virtuoso offer specialized "communities" where we are able to focus on the different types of travel most relevant to our clients requirements. In 2019, we were so busy focusing on our basic training that we made the decision to wait and see on these for 2020. Well, we are fully committed this year. Our team of advisors have been carefully vetted to ensure we fulfill comprehensive criteria, so you can be confident you will always receive the very best in that type of travel. The core purpose of Virtuoso Communities is for us to become more aware and engaged with partners specializing in a specific niche. For 2020 our team will be fully engaged members of the following Communities:
Helen - Family and also Adventure (above)
John - UltraLuxe (below)
Kanise - cruise specialist - Virtuoso Voyages (as well as World Cruises)
Tori will be continuing to expand her Wanderlist knowledge.
Benefits can vary by property and experience, but generally our Virtuoso travelers receive preferred rates at hotels, upgrades upon arrival (if available), Virtuoso-only amenities (spa credits, shopping credits, etc.), daily breakfast for two, and early check-in/late checkout. Check out just a small section of the breakfast buffet above at the Intercontinental Hong Kong. This complimentary amenity has a value of $100 a night.
What clients often don't realize is that this works for cruises also, and many luxury sailings will come with extra onboard credit, or a private Virtuoso only shore excursion. All this can add up to incredible value.
Top tip: our most asked question is "will we get an upgrade?" There are just a few properties globally who will guarantee an upgrade at the time of booking, and we would be fools to tell our clients that a regular reservation upgrade is guaranteed. That said, we always make an extra request on our clients behalf and we have had great success. If it's Rome in July or August then your odds are low, but anywhere in off or shoulder season and those odds increase dramatically.
I believe the single biggest benefit that Virtuoso membership has afforded us is the almost limitless connections to the people who matter around the world, those who will personally make your trip better. We literally have the correct email addresses for luxury hotel managers, cruise directors and management, and business development managers all around the world. What's more we get the chance to meet with them at various events and especially at Virtuoso Travel Week (above) held every August. It was a very long week, but I am already hungry to go back and sit down again with these amazing travel professionals.
Experiences are the difference maker in nearly all our clients trips. More and more, we are told that the private chef class, or the local art historian were so incredible that it was the highlight of a vacation. As much as we all focus on the hotel choice, sometimes they are not even mentioned in our clients reviews, as it was the experiences that mattered. Virtuoso has enabled us to seek out and highlight relevant experiences that will take your trip over the top.
Want to realize your James Bond fantasies and enjoy a three-person submersible along the spectacular Croatian coast? Then take a cruise on the Crystal Esprit (above).
Want to turn your expedition photos into professional masterpieces? Then the fully equipped Photo Studio aboard Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger Silver Cloud offers master classes in composition, editing, and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop programs. especially relevant if you join them on an Antarctic expedition (below).
Be social and follow us on our next travel adventure.
Want our blog posts delivered straight to your inbox?
Enter your email below to subscribe to our blog posts & newsletters.