Travel Agents

Virtuoso APAC MD on rethinking travel: “It’s about communities not destinations”

Ali Coulton

We are LIVING for all the fantastic industry news trickling out of Virtuoso’s Travel Week in Las Vegas!

It’s helping us live vicariously through the attendees and pretend we’re spending the week in sunny Vegas instead of freezing Sydney.

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Today the luxury travel network revealed a whole range of key insights into Australia’s favourite destinations and celebrated a whole range of cruise and lifestyle partners. You can read more about the awards here.

To satisfy our FOMO, we did a little snooping of our own and had a chat with Virtuoso’s APAC managing director, Michael Londregan to get the drop on the latest luxury travel trends.

He told us technology has paved the way for some fantastic new behavioural patterns amongst consumers, connecting them in ways that were previously impossible.

“We’ve spent all of our lives in the travel industry thinking we all live in really separate places with separate trends,” Londregan said. 

“What I think we’ve missed is how connected we are. There’s no doubt that we have technology to thank for this.”

Here’s what he’s getting at: market segments, or communities, are getting more strongly defined by our abilities to connect with like-minded people online.

Young woman in Budapest

“If you’re somebody who’s into health and wellness, you’re part of a global health and wellness community because of technology,” he said.

“If you decide to try a new retreat in the Maldives and you’re connected to this community globally, you’re not just telling people in Mossman about your trip, you tell all your friends in Hong Kong, London or wherever.”

Londregan said these new connections could have huge implications on how the travel industry operates.

“Maybe we have our travel business set up for an old paradigm where all the brochures on the rack are about destinations, where really what they should be about is communities,” Londregan told us.

“We generally think of people being segmented by where they wanna go but actually they’re becoming segmented by what they’re passionate about.”

“And maybe our brochures should say ‘Food and wine’, ‘Adventure’, ‘Family retreats’, ‘Health and Wellness’ and then within that, there are all the destinations and the product that relates to that segment within those destinations.”


Do you have something to say about this? Get in touch with Travel Weekly Editor Ali Coulton at alexandra@travelweekly.com.au

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