Travel Agents

Virtuoso’s new commitment to Australia and Asia

Ali Coulton

It’s no secret that Virtuoso has been expanding for quite some time now.

Though the company has been operating globally for 15 years, it only began ramping up its international expansion about five years ago.

The company are now in 44 countries around the world and still growing.

See also: Virtuoso’s MD on Acquisitions: It’s glory days for niche operators.

In fact, last week Virtuoso announced a further expansion into Asia and an increased commitment to Australia.

That’s right, us!

giphy

To celebrate the extra attention, we had a chat with the company’s Asia Pacific Managing Director, Michael Londregan.

Londregan told us Virtuoso’s fastest growing region last year was the Asia Pacific region.

“We grew our revenue for 2017 was 21 percent up, year on year and at a time when a lot of the macro tourism numbers are pretty flat, that’s a really good outcome,” he said.

“It suggests we’re getting strong growth in Australia and New Zealand which are our core markets, plus a lot of new growth in the Asia Territories.”

“As part of that growth, you’ve got to put resources in the market’s where you’re operating and because so much of our business is about relationships, the only way to have a proactive relationship is to stay in contact as much as you can.”

“To do that you’ve got to have people in the market to work with our members and our suppliers.”

“The market’s really changing quickly and dynamics change quickly, and you’ve got to be able to react at a local level.”

Virtuoso also announced two key promotions in its Asia Pacific team: Evan Pierce and Cristina Magni, who have been promoted to Regional Director roles in recognition of their success in both growing the Virtuoso network and driving member engagement over the past three years.

Evan will relocate to Singapore as the Regional Director, Asia role in order to lead the Asia team in Virtuoso’s expansion into China, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

Cristina will remain in Sydney as Regional Director, Australia and New Zealand, where she will continue to drive the ongoing success and growth of the member network.

“We’re really really proud of the fact we’re actually developing our senior leaders through the ranks,” Londregan told us.

“I figure a sign of a company with a really good culture is that it’s able to develop its talent through its business and I’m really proud of the fact that our two business development managers have taken regional director titles.”

“Companies that tend to helicopter senior people in on top of their existing people to me tend to have less of a development culture than companies that are actively promoting internally.”

Londregan told us this new commitment to the Asia Pacific region means the company can put a personal touch on its global expansion.

We’ll be better positioned to act locally and still think globally and that’s been a big catch phrase for a lot of companies for a long time.”

“Everyone loves to say it but the only way you can actually do it is if you have global programs you can tailor locally to the markets.”

For example its great to have a beautiful website that’s built with an infrastructure from a global perspective but if you can’t put local promotions on it and understand what season it is it doesn’t really work for the local market you’re operating in.”

“So it’s a think globally, act locally approach.”


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