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Global luxury travel network Virtuoso® proudly commemorated 20 years of operating in Australia and New Zealand with an elegant luncheon on the Sydney Harbour last week. The special event, which saw Virtuoso’s Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch on hand to welcome guests, brought together 120 Virtuoso agency members, preferred partners and team members to celebrate and reflect on the network’s growth in the region over the past two decades.

 Virtuoso Australia’s inaugural member agency, Mary Rossi Travel, was appointed on January 29th, 2004, closely followed by its first New Zealand member agency, Voyage Affairs – an early nod to the network’s commitment to becoming a key regional player in luxury travel.

What began as a single partnership has evolved into a vibrant and robust community with 60 esteemed members and over 1,700 advisors across Australia and New Zealand. One aspect that remains unchanged since entering the region 20 years ago is Virtuoso’s embodiment of its core principles of human connection, setting the standard for luxury travel and offering clients unparalleled access to the world’s finest destinations.

With a solid reputation for excellence anchored in these values, Upchurch reflected on the network’s impressive evolution in the region. “Witnessing the growth of Virtuoso in Australia and New Zealand, as well as our continued expansion around the globe, is a testament to the enduring values that have been the cornerstone of our success,” he said. “I fundamentally believe that we are better together, learning from our colleagues and peers, and building something together that is stronger than what we could have achieved on our own. Virtuoso is rooted in co-creation, and it has been my honour to co-create this network in Australia and New Zealand with these incredible professionals.”

Upchurch continued, “Our Members and leadership in Australia and New Zealand have also been instrumental in helping us be a better organisation that is both globally consistent and regionally relevant. Many innovations that we’ve adopted around the globe were born Down Under. And to top it all off, they are a whole lot of fun to be with.”

Claudia Rossi Hudson, previous owner of Mary Rossi Travel when it became Virtuoso’s first Australian member agency, said, “Joining Virtuoso 20 years ago was a transformative experience for Mary Rossi Travel. Since then, the art of selling luxury travel has evolved significantly, as advisors have increasingly become experts in the client in order to deliver exceptional travel experiences. Virtuoso’s commitment to its members in this market has aided in redefining the role of the luxury travel advisor in this region and continuously elevating the value of service we provide to our clients.”

Fiona Dalton, Virtuoso’s General Manager, Australia & New Zealand, shared, “Over the past two decades, our community has thrived, and Virtuoso has set the standard in luxury travel for others to follow. We are excited for what the future holds as we continue to raise the brand profile of Virtuoso, our members and our partners in this market, with the enduring power of human connection at the centre of it all.”

2024 marks 20 years of Virtuoso in Australia & New Zealand. For more information on Virtuoso’s global network of the world’s best travel agencies, advisors and preferred partners, please visit www.virtuoso.com.