I enjoy the preparatory elements of travel – packing my bags and choosing my outfits – but my favourite part is getting there.
Two weeks from tomorrow I head off to Las Vegas again for Virtuoso Travel Week. This is my chance to shop for your extraordinary travel experiences. What shall I bring home for you?
Last year was the first time in several years that I did not attend Virtuoso Travel Week. But now it feels like time to go again, to get the batteries and psyche re-charged. Travel Week is the time that we front line agents and vendors spend four days doing “speed dates” of four minutes each. I know from experience how grueling it can be. We agents feel our eyes glazing over as we hear about how many thousand square feet of spa space this resort has or how many rooms have been refurbished in that luxury hotel. The vendors’ presentations get shorter and shorter from day one to day four, as they and their iPads go through them for the eleven-teenth time. And yet, even knowing how it will progress, I still get excited by the palpable energy in the ballrooms on Monday morning, as hundreds of pairs of people introduce themselves across small tables to begin the week.
We have several spotlight events, too, which focus everyone’s attention on extraordinary developments or opportunities. I will hear from operators who specialize in active and specialty travel, and from Latin American tourism boards. On Sunday afternoon a keynote speaker will offer some new inspiration or instruction to help us deliver better service. We usually enjoy very nice food and truly memorable evening entertainment.
The key to making a very crowded week like this useful is having something to look for. It’s amazing how any given speed date appointment suddenly gets much more interesting when I hear magic words that match my clients’ interests and needs! (It’s like wandering through a huge supermarket looking for peppermint extract – until you get to the peppermint aisle!) Frankly, I sit through lots of presentations I will never need. But the ones I DO need give me something to live on during the less useful discussions.
So what can I shop for that YOU would enjoy? Is there a region or an activity which has been on your bucket list that I can explore for you? What has been on your Someday List for way too long? Please send me your wish lists so I have something to shop for during my time in Las Vegas.
If you have something you have always wanted to do – or perhaps just recently decided you really want to do, let me know about it. Chances are it will come across my table. I can take careful notes and bring the goods back to you for consideration!
Boundaries divide. Travel unites.
24 July 2014