Postponement to 2021 - 500 top managers from the luxury travel industry in Vienna in 2020
Following a joint initiative by the Vienna Tourist Board and the Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO), the world’s largest luxury travel network Virtuoso will be returning to Vienna in March 2020 – exactly twenty years after it was founded.
The Vienna Tourist Board and the Austrian National Tourist Office have joined forces to bring a top global tourism industry event to Vienna: Virtuoso, the world’s leading organization specializing in luxury travel, has decided to host its prestigious symposium in the Austrian capital in 2020. The event is expected to attract around 500 top managers from the most successful luxury travel agencies in the USA, Latin America, China, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. Past participants include ProTravel, Smartflyer, Valerie Wilson Travel, Departure Lounge, Cube Travel and Goldman Travel Corporation.
The official announcement was made at the end of this year’s Virtuoso Symposium in Melbourne. For months, the Vienna Tourist Board and the Austrian National Tourist Office have been working behind the scenes to bring Virtuoso back to the Austrian capital after 20 years. At the 2000 symposium in Vienna the organization unveiled its relaunch, which saw API Travel Consultants renamed Virtuoso. Ever since, the Austrian capital has been seen as the birthplace of Virtuoso, which strengthens the organization’s close ties with the Vienna Tourist Board and the Austrian National Tourist Office.
“There is nowhere more suitable than Vienna as the location for Virtuoso’s 20th anniversary event, as the city brings together so many of the assets that its target group is looking for. Luxury travel accounts for around a fifth of global travel expenditure – and with a 30% share of the total, city trips are the most popular type of luxury travel. With this in mind, the Virtuoso Symposium really is a unique opportunity to welcome a large number of decision makers to the city all at once. We will make the most of this opportunity to showcase Vienna’s strengths in the highly competitive luxury segment,” explained Vienna Tourist Board Managing Director Norbert Kettner. The Vienna Tourist Board is specifically targeting gatekeepers. The luxury segment is spearheaded by ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI), people with investable assets of over USD 30 million. Kettner: “We want to use this event to position Vienna’s institutions and improve the hotel industry’s ability to establish better prices.”
“By hosting the Virtuoso Symposium in Vienna, we are better placed to present Austria as a premium destination,” explained Petra Stolba, CEO of the Austrian National Tourist Office. “Luxury stopped being about spending lots of money on expensive items long ago – these days it is more about enriching valuable travel experiences and encounters.” The market development activities of the ANTO’s New York office have focused on the luxury travel segment for years, an area in which travel agencies play a key role. The number of wealthy Americans is constantly increasing: the USA is home to over ten million millionaires, more than the entire population of Sweden. “It is precisely this demographic that is driving the growth in international travel from the USA. We are putting Austria and its high-quality offering in the shop window through our Exquisitely Austria campaign, which is brought to life through personal support from our hosts and qualified guides,” Stolba confirmed.
At the multi-day Virtuoso Symposium, participants will not only find out about Vienna but will also visit other parts of Austria during a post-event program. The Virtuoso Symposium in Vienna is being hosted in partnership with the Hotel Bristol, Hotel Imperial, Hotel Sacher, Hotel Palais Hansen Kempinski, Hotel Ritz-Carlton, Hotel Park Hyatt and Palais Coburg Residence, as well as Mondial DMC.
Virtuoso is the leading international agency network specializing in luxury travel. Its 20,000 travel advisors in over 50 countries generated revenue of USD 26.4 billion in 2018. Historically, Virtuoso has been most strongly represented in the USA, but has expanded into Asia, South America, Australia, the Middle East and Europe in recent years.
Click here for further information on the North American incoming market.