Luxury travel network holds global symposium in Melbourne
8 May 2019
One of the world’s leading networks specialising in luxury and experiential travel, Virtuoso, has brought 500 influential international decision makers to Melbourne this week for its 2019 Symposium.
It’s the second time Virtuoso has chosen Australia for the annual event recognising the importance of the country as one of the world’s most popular luxury destinations and one of Virtuoso’s top 10 destinations since 2011.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan said the return of Virtuoso’s Symposium, this time to Melbourne, was highly significant and recognised the evolution of Australia’s luxury offering.
“Over the past ten years or so, Australia’s offering for the high-end, luxury traveller has improved out of sight,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“Having the Virtuoso Symposium in Melbourne is a wonderful opportunity for us to share our evolving upscale story and show this hugely influential group of travel decision-makers just how far Australia's luxury tourism offering has come and why it will resonate so strongly with their clients.”
The Virtuoso Symposium, held in a different location each year, brings together more than 450 of the most influential decision makers in luxury and experiential travel discuss industry trends, challenges, and opportunities.
“Travellers at the top end of the market are looking for more than luxury, they are seeking their own tailored experiences, to explore and connect through genuine and meaningful interactions that make them feel like they've been absorbed into the local environment. That is something Australia offers in abundance,” says Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso.
“People are fascinated by everything about Australia - its unique wildlife, extraordinary landscape, great food, and friendly and open people. It’s somewhere just about everyone aspires to visit.
“Over the past 10 years, Australian tourism products have really lifted to meet the needs of luxury travellers and that’s why we have seen incredible increases in traveller numbers through the Virtuoso network with a 23 percent increase in visitor numbers over the past two years alone,’ he said.
The event began on Tuesday 7 May and runs through to Saturday 11 May with functions at Crown Towers Melbourne, Park Hyatt Melbourne and the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and special events at the Melbourne National Gallery and Melbourne Town Hall.
Delegates also have the opportunity to experience the destination through excursions including day trips to the Mornington Peninsula, walking and tasting tours of Melbourne and exclusive shopping trips.
Tourism Australia and Visit Victoria helped attract the event to Australia and provided support leading up to and during the Symposium.