On August 17 Virtuoso celebrated this year’s most outstanding travel advisors, agencies and partners, presenting them with Virtuoso Awards. The gala represented the culmination of the 29th annual Virtuoso Travel Week held in Las Vegas at Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa.
Hosted by Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch, the gala recognized the most innovative and admired agencies and advisors worldwide, in addition to the finest partners in the network’s global portfolio, the organization said.
The top agencies, advisors and preferred partners honored by the Virtuoso Awards are determined by their network peers. Travel providers vote for agencies and advisors, while travel agency members vote for preferred partners. Engagement in the process is strong; this year Virtuoso tallied almost 2,000 votes, the organization said.
The 2017 Virtuoso Award winners are:
Agency/Advisor Awards (as voted by preferred partners)
- Most Hospitable Agency: Avenue Two Travel, Villanova, Pennsylvania
- Most Innovative Advisor: Fernando Gonzalez, First in Service Travel, New York, New York
- Virtuoso Rising Star: Jessica Renshaw, Renshaw Travel, Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Most Admired Advisor – Asia/Pacific: Tina Killeen, Spencer Travel, Sydney, Australia
- Most Admired Advisor – Canada: Cindy Ducasse, TTI Travel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Most Admired Advisor – Europe/Middle East/Africa: James Merrett, Black Tomato, London, UK
- Most Admired Advisor – Latin America/Caribbean: Fernanda Martin del Campo, ITG – International Travel Group, Mexico City, Mexico
- Most Admired Advisor – USA: Mickey Weill, Protravel International, Beverly Hills, California
Partner Awards (as voted by travel agency members)
- Airline of the Year: Emirates Airline
- Specialty Partner of the Year: Travelex Insurance Services
- Sustainable Tourism Leadership – Partner: Wilderness Safaris
- Cruise Line of the Year: AmaWaterways
As well, Virtuoso honored four outstanding cruise performers at a reception August 15:
- Top Producer – Virtuoso Voyages: Gina Morovati, Northstar Cruises
- Most Innovative Advisor – Cruise Sales: Leah Bergner, Coastline Travel Advisors
- Virtuoso Cruise Ambassador of the Year – Member: Ruth Turpin, Cruises Etc. Travel
- Virtuoso Cruise Ambassador of the Year – Partner: Mark Conroy, Silversea Cruises