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4 May 2018

Tourism Australia continues to promote Australia as a premium travel destination with the Virtuoso Symposium coming to Melbourne 7-11 May 2019.

Virtuoso, the leading global network specialising in bespoke and experiential travel will next year bring around 500 of the most influential decision makers in the luxury travel industry to Australia for a week-long program of conferences, networking events and destination immersion famils.

With around 50 per cent of the Virtuoso Symposium's attendees being travel agency owners or managers from across the globe, this is an incredible opportunity for Victoria, and Australia more broadly, to showcase its premium offerings to the top luxury travel agencies in the world.

Tourism Australia, along with Visit Victoria, are sponsoring the event.

Mr John O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Tourism Australia said, “Australia’s diverse and world-class tourism offering provides premium travellers with a unique and unforgettable experience every time they visit. This event will allow Australian tourism operators to engage with the travel advisors who are responsible for selling Australia to the world and show them first-hand what makes our country so special.”

“Australia is a country of great significance to me, both personally and professionally, and I couldn’t be happier that our Virtuoso Symposium is returning to this incredible country for a second time – the first being Sydney in 2009,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, Virtuoso Chairman and CEO.

“In 2004 we began operating in the market, and we now have a solid base of 89 travel agency locations in Australia, our largest membership outside of North America. This is a region where we see continued growth and the potential for more from an outbound perspective. Our agency members are eager to host their counterparts from 44 other countries and show them exactly what Australia has to offer their clients, which will drive greater inbound tourism for the country.”

Tourism Australia has worked with Virtuoso in North America since 2015 with the aim of building a greater connection between the international luxury market and Australia’s highly desirable luxury offering.

Mr O’Sullivan said Tourism Australia’s strategy is all about targeting high value travellers who spend more money and time in Australia.

“Our partnership with Virtuoso is an important aspect of this strategy as Virtuoso focuses solely on curating luxury travel experiences for their premium clientele. Our successful and ongoing partnership with Virtuoso, as well as the hosting of their Symposium, provides a great platform for us to target those high value travellers,” he said.

When planning visits to Australia for its upscale clientele, Virtuoso draws upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, to provide exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access.

Virtuoso has agencies in 45 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Earning a phenomenal US$23.7 billion in sales annually and specialising in luxury and experiential travel, Virtuoso comprises of over 1,000 travel agency members with more than 17,500 elite travel advisors.

The United States is an important market for Australia’s tourism industry, ranking second largest for spend and third largest for arrivals. US visitors spent over $3.75 billion in Australia last year.  More than 790,000 US visitors came to Australia in the year ending January 2018, up 9.4 per cent year on year.

About Virtuoso

Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 17,500 elite travel advisors in more than 45 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $23.7 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

For more information contact:

Leo Seaton
Tourism Australia
Phone: +61 447 463 197
Email: lseaton@tourism.australia.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TourismAus

Julie Smith
Virtuoso
Phone: +61 421 029 353
Email: messagejulie@hotmail.com