LAS VEGAS -- The first group of travel advisors to use Virtuoso's long-term travel planning platform, Wanderlist, recently graduated.

Wanderlist is a tool that advisors can sell to clients to map out future travels

CEO Matthew Upchurch said at Virtuoso Travel Week that the tool was designed to help advisors and their clients be more purposeful in planning future travel. The technology platform enables clients to identify the kind of travel their family is interested in, and it also helps advisors have deeper conversations with their clients about future tools.

It builds on a common theme he has identified in the most successful advisors: They're never planning just one trip for a client.

Advisors must undergo a six-week training program to offer Wanderlist to clients. Upchurch said the first class of 120 recently graduated, and another training class will be held in the fall.

Some agencies are opting to hire Wanderlist Guides, individuals to help clients use the platform and parse through travel they are interested in, Upchurch said, though advisors themselves can also take on that role. Virtuoso has hired several guides that will be available to members as virtual assistants.

Clients pay to use Wanderlist. Advisors set the price, as they are encouraged to build in the number of hours they will spend planning travel, Upchurch said.

Virtuoso is also adding another community, Virtuoso Celebration Travel, to its roster of groups of suppliers and advisors interested in the same kind of travel. Virtuoso Celebration Travel, coming in 2020, includes everything from destination weddings and honeymoons to birthdays, anniversaries and other milestone events. Communities also exist around six other areas: Adventure, Voyages, Wellness, Family, Culinary and Ultraluxe. 

Communities enable member advisors and supplier partners that focus on similar areas of travel to come together, including at events like Virtuoso Travel Week. The advisors also benefit from additional training, networking and marketing tools. Currently, 262 supplier partners participate in communities, as do 3,295 advisor members. On average, advisors who are members of a community are more likely to sell more than their peers.

Virtuoso said its first Community Cruise is scheduled from May 28 to 31, 2020, when the consortium has chartered a Seabourn cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver. The consortium will invite 150 advisors who actively participate in communities to sail on the cruise.

This year's Virtuoso Travel Week is the largest in history with 6,515 attendees. That includes 3,093 advisors, up 7% from last year.

Currently, Virtuoso has 1,000-plus agency members and 20,000-plus advisors in 50 countries. Its annual sales are $26.4 billion. In 2019, network sales are up 10.9% year over year.

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