Six days from now, I'll be basking in sunny Las Vegas for my tenth Virtuoso Travel Week, or #VirtuosoWeek (which is the direction the branding is taking). Actually, not exactly basking in the sun. Saturday afternoon will be my "free" time — so will probably hang out in the fabulous pool at Bellagio — because the work will soon begin.
I'll be doing a site inspection of The Palazzo, part of the Venetian complex. Never seen their room product, but I'm guaranteed by their guaranteed upgrade to a Prestige Suite (Club) from Luxury, Bella, Fortuna, and Siena suites.
Every breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week is already filled with get-togethers with vendors like Four Seasons Hawaii, Hotel De L'Europe (Amsterdam), Fairmont Hotel Group, Classic Vacations, Dorchester Collection, Pelican Hill Resort, Montage Hotels, Amanresorts, Swain Tours, Ritz-Carlton, and Kurtz-Ahlers Associates.
Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., is filled with hundreds of 4-minute "speed dates" with sales representatives from various Virtuoso hotels, cruise lines, tourism boards, and destination management companies. I'm planning to re-design the speed-dating process (which, all too often, is just a 4 minute slide show on an iPad). I've created a set of Question Cards, and will invite sales reps to choose one of my questions* and speak to it. (Negative points to anyone who mentions the number of square feet in their spa).
Top Ten List. Last year, I created a Top Ten List of the most intriguing hotels, destinations, and values I learned about during the week. I will do the same thing this year!
* my questions for vendors:
1. Why should my clients visit your destination?
2. Describe a really special experience that a guest had at your property.
3. How do you differentiate your property from the other Virtuoso choices in your destination?