Last week saw Virtuoso’s Travel Week kick off in Las Vegas, and how else does such an event wrap up? With a smashing party and a bunch of awards, of course.
In front of more than 2,800, international luxury travel network Virtuoso celebrated this year’s most outstanding travel agents, agencies and partners, presenting them with neat little Virtuoso Awards.
The stylish gala closed the 29th annual Virtuoso Travel Week, which was held across the Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa over the week.
Hosted by Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew Upchurch, the gala recognised the most innovative and admired agencies and advisors around the world.
In the ‘most admired advisor’ category for Asia Pacific, Tina Killeen (pictured above) from Spencer Travel in Sydney, scored the top trophy.
“Tina’s achievements help set a new high bar for the luxury travel industry,” said David Kolner, senior vice president, Global Member Partnerships for Virtuoso.
“This award places Tina in a very exclusive category, as Virtuoso’s most celebrated advisors and agencies are held up as superior examples throughout the industry.”
Killeen added, “I feel incredibly humbled to be recognised by my peers at Virtuoso and so proud to be able to represent Spencer Travel on a global stage”.
This year Virtuoso tallied almost 2,000 votes in the awards, which are judged by network peers. Travel providers vote for agencies and agents, while travel agency members vote for preferred partners.
“Virtuoso Travel Week is all about building authentic human connections that then translate into personal, more enriching experiences for clients, so it’s fitting that we close the week by recognising those Virtuosos who put the most into their industry relationships,” said Upchurch.
“Each year I’m amazed at how our members and partners go above and beyond to create a new standard, and I am very proud of these outstanding Virtuosos.”
But enough chit-chat, let’s get to the worldwide winners.
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
Virtuoso’s pick of outstanding cruise performers:
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
Virtuoso Asia Pacific Managing Director, Michael Londregan said of Tina Killeen’s award, “This admired award is for the best and fairest in our network and truly generates enormous pride within the Virtuoso membership.
“It’s voted on by thousands of our preferred supply partners and is earned over the course of the year. This year’s winner comes from Spencer Travel – an agency member which consistently demonstrates a commitment to the Virtuoso program.
“As an individual, Tina is a shinning example of our two most cherished beliefs – that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that travel is a team sport.
“She is an unselfish leader who is much loved as this award demonstrates.”