Thousands were in attendance at the 11th annual Luxury Travel Expo at the MGM Grand Conference Center and Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, December 1-3. The 2,522 travel agents participated in three days of education and visited over 600 exhibiting companies in a globally representative exhibit hall.
“As luxury travel begins to rebound, agents and suppliers found Luxury Travel Expo to be the place to reenergize their business.” remarked Alicia Evanko, show director. “The industry looks to our show to deliver a high quality event much like the products and services they provide for their clients. We are confident that we exceeded expectations and that Luxury Travel Expo is the resource for our industry to connect before, during and after the show.”
General session highlights included presentations by Terry Dale, president and CEO, CLIA; Cindy Novotny, managing partner, Master Connection Associates, and Matthew D. Upchurch, CTC, CEO, Virtuoso. Attendees enjoyed a sneak preview of the latest entertainment in Las Vegas, including an energetic performance from "America’s Got Talent" winner Terry Fator and from "Viva Elvis," the newest Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil production. A record audience of more than 1,500 travel professionals attended the third annual Luxury After Dark party held Wednesday night at XS- the Nightclub at Encore. The event included delectable desserts, indulgent cocktails and an evening of non-stop dancing and was sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Wynn Resorts, The Travel Group and Luxury Travel Expo.
The ninth annual Leaders in Luxury awards were presented Thursday. Selected by the editors of Luxury Travel Advisor and Travel Agent magazines, the awards are given to individuals who have exemplified superior leadership in travel. The winners included: Sven Lindblad, president and founder, Lindblad Expeditions (Tour); Bill Smith, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Crystal Cruises (Cruise); Andy Pesky, senior vice president, leisure sales and marketing, and Elaine Pesky, senior account executive, Protravel International (Travel Professional) and Vikram Oberoi , joint managing director-operations, The Oberoi Group, LLC (Hotel). The recipients shared their stories of gratitude and success with the audience.
The show announced new packages for 2010 including Luxury Travel Exchange. Luxury Travel Exchange will include pre-arranged appointments between a select group of luxury suppliers and an elite group of pre-qualified travel advisors allowing the ability to maximize time and investment during the trade show. Packages will include print and digital streams, onsite sponsorships and enhanced exposure on Luxury Travel Expo Connect, the show's virtual tool. The 12th annual Luxury Travel Expo will take place December 7-9, 2010 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.