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List of Virtuoso (and hotel club) Travel Agents who are also active FT members

List of Virtuoso (and hotel club) Travel Agents who are also active FT members

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Old Feb 21, 19, 6:22 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: RichardInSF
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Note, added August, 2016: Most Virtuoso agents receive their pay from hotel commissions. Recently, however, I have heard of a few who have started charging an additional fee for making bookings in some cases. I believe that there are still plenty of agents who do not do this, so you may want to ask before making a commitment to a particular agent.

RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels

The following is divided into two lists. Each list is in alphabetical order.

Virtuoso and FT members also in high-end chain programs

There are many high-end chains but these members are at least participants in ALL of the following programs: Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Mandarin Oriental FAN Club, Peninsula Pen Club, Ritz Carlton Stars, and Starwood Luxury Privileges.

ABG
CanvasTravelCo
CometEE
DavidO
Fitstylist5
folden-diaz
jasondetar
JessicaO
KristenNix
LindaTerrill
luxury
luxtrvlwrks
MarshKing
TravelConcierge
Travel K

Virtuoso and FT members not indicating other affiliations

ajinlondon
Alexisonsmith
andreadbc
besvisor
bocastephen
challett
chinmoylad
ddavault
price123
sarahlee


Annually, FT members who have not posted for at least a year are assumed to be inactive and deleted from these lists. Last updated Feb 18, 2016.

For those who have not worked with a Virtuoso travel agent before, this thread discusses how the process works:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showt...ferrerid=14479
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Old Feb 18, 15, 11:29 am
  #1  
Moderator: Luxury Hotels and FlyerTalk Evangelist
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Palo Alto, California,USA
Posts: 16,854
List of Virtuoso (and hotel club) Travel Agents who are also active FT members

One of the most common questions we get is how to find a Virtuoso travel agent. The wiki, which is just above this post, lists those Virtuoso agents who are active contributors to FT.

Please do not comment on individual Virtuoso agents on this thread.

The algorithm to decide who to include is very liberal. I took the list in an old thread and deleted the names of people who had not made a single FT post since January 1, 2015. If someone was accidentally omitted, feel free to add your nick to the wiki above.

It would be of value if we had an fair, evenhanded way to rate Virtuoso agents. I just can't think of how to do it, so if anyone has any suggestions, please make them here.

Last edited by RichardInSF; Aug 9, 16 at 1:38 am
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Old Feb 22, 15, 8:20 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
It would be of value if we had an fair, evenhanded way to rate Virtuoso agents. I just can't think of how to do it, so if anyone has any suggestions, please make them here.
I'm not sure we should be rated, per se. Or, conversely, I'm not sure that's the right question/issue to deal with. I don't have a solution, but have been thinking about the wording of this question for some time now...

And, don't forget:

-Belmond Bellini Club
-Rocco Forte Knights
-Jumeriah Passport to Luxury
-Dorchester Diamond Club
-Starwood Luxury Privileges
-Rosewood Elite

Lastly, it may be worth adding 1 or 2 lines/sentences accompanying each program to signify what exactly being a preferred partner of that company mean. Conversely: one sentence at the beginning of the sticky, something along the lines of: "In addition to being Virtuoso, individual agents can also be preferred partners of specific programs. Being a preferred partner means ________________"
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Old Feb 22, 15, 10:42 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Programs: Marriott LTPP/LTT, HH Gold, Avis Pres, Hertz Pres, UA Silver, Recovering ex-AA EXP
Posts: 855
I wonder if it would be worth adding Signature agents, too? While there is a lot of overlap with Virtuoso, there may be properties that fall under Signature's umbrella that is not covered by Signature.

To pricesquire's point, the initial list is missing some preferred agency programs. I'd also suggest adding Langham and Sofitel's programs to the list. Unfortunately, as the list grows, it may not be possible to keep with the single letter abbreviations.

B= Belmond Bellini Club
D= Dorchester Diamond Club
F= Four Seasons Preferred Partner
J= Jumeriah Passport to Luxury
L= Couture by Langham
M= Mandarin Oriental Fan Club
P= Peninsula Pen Club
R= Ritz-Carlton Stars
RF= Rocco Forte Knights
RO= Rosewood Elite
S= Starwood luxury partners
SO= Sofitel Step
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Old Feb 22, 15, 12:34 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by MarshKing View Post
I wonder if it would be worth adding Signature agents, too? While there is a lot of overlap with Virtuoso, there may be properties that fall under Signature's umbrella that is not covered by Signature.

To pricesquire's point, the initial list is missing some preferred agency programs. I'd also suggest adding Langham and Sofitel's programs to the list. Unfortunately, as the list grows, it may not be possible to keep with the single letter abbreviations.

B= Belmond Bellini Club
D= Dorchester Diamond Club
F= Four Seasons Preferred Partner
J= Jumeriah Passport to Luxury
L= Couture by Langham
M= Mandarin Oriental Fan Club
P= Peninsula Pen Club
R= Ritz-Carlton Stars
RF= Rocco Forte Knights
RO= Rosewood Elite
S= Starwood luxury partners
SO= Sofitel Step
Good point on STEP & Langham.

Also: I think the one letter thing sounds like a good idea, but it's more confusing than anything. For instance, because there is so much white space, wouldn't it be easier to say "FSPP" instead of "F"?? Or, even, "MO" instead of "M"?

Re: your Signature comment, not a bad idea, but I don't think I've ever run into a Signature agent on this forum. Ever. Could be wrong?
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Old Feb 22, 15, 4:58 pm
  #5  
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Well, so far, everyone who has posted is a member of everything. If that trend continues, we can just have two lists (everything or nothing)!
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Old Feb 22, 15, 5:28 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
Well, so far, everyone who has posted is a member of everything. If that trend continues, we can just have two lists (everything or nothing)!
It's very rare to be a member of one consortia but not the other. Agencies that can pull in that # of sales usually has a large number of agents. An agency w/ xx millions in revenue, quite simply, will be members of all.
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Old Feb 22, 15, 7:19 pm
  #7  
formerly known as deathscar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: Virtuoso | SPG
Posts: 1,742
Would it also be worth doing a brief on areas (geographical and type) specialised?
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Old Feb 23, 15, 7:11 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BNA
Programs: AA Plat, Virtuoso, FSPP, RC STARS, Rosewood Elite, Bellini, SPG LP, Dorchester Diamond, PenClub
Posts: 345
My preference would be to link to our profiles on Virtuoso.com, instead of having a lot of duplicate data here. Individual websites could also work, except that I am not sure that everyone has one. Perhaps give advisors the choice of one or the other.
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Old Feb 23, 15, 4:25 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by luxtrvlwrks View Post
My preference would be to link to our profiles on Virtuoso.com, instead of having a lot of duplicate data here. Individual websites could also work, except that I am not sure that everyone has one. Perhaps give advisors the choice of one or the other.
This!!! Easy, clean, simple.
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Old Feb 23, 15, 6:42 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Palatine, Illinois
Programs: Virtuoso,RitzStars,Belmond Bellini,Dorchester Diamond,Starwood Luxury,FSPP, Pen Club, Rosewood Elite
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by luxtrvlwrks View Post
My preference would be to link to our profiles on Virtuoso.com, instead of having a lot of duplicate data here. Individual websites could also work, except that I am not sure that everyone has one. Perhaps give advisors the choice of one or the other.

Agreed!
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Old Feb 23, 15, 9:14 pm
  #11  
formerly known as deathscar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: Virtuoso | SPG
Posts: 1,742
I'm all for that
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Old Feb 24, 15, 9:00 am
  #12  
ABG
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Canada
Programs: Virtuoso TA, Four Seasons Pref Partner, Rosewood Elite TA, Ritz Carlton STARS TA
Posts: 4,101
I've never really been in favor of the constant aura of commercialization that enters the Luxury Hotels Forum. I read this forum (and the other FT forums I follow) more for my own personal enjoyment and product research than I do with the hopes of a sale. Lots of threads here have replies of little substance but with lots of links to blogs, bios whatever. I don't see the value in this.

This is similar to my reasoning to never post reviews of places I go to (other than general "yes you should go to XYZ hotel or this hotel has great F&B etc etc").

So all that to say, while I do appreciate the FT'ers who I have helped and continue to help professionally, i won't be posting bios, blogs, reviews or whatever here. I wish great success to those who do. I guess I am just happier for now under the radar here.

Last edited by ABG; Feb 24, 15 at 9:11 am
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Old Feb 24, 15, 12:52 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by ABG View Post
I've never really been in favor of the constant aura of commercialization that enters the Luxury Hotels Forum. I read this forum (and the other FT forums I follow) more for my own personal enjoyment and product research than I do with the hopes of a sale. Lots of threads here have replies of little substance but with lots of links to blogs, bios whatever. I don't see the value in this.

This is similar to my reasoning to never post reviews of places I go to (other than general "yes you should go to XYZ hotel or this hotel has great F&B etc etc").

So all that to say, while I do appreciate the FT'ers who I have helped and continue to help professionally, i won't be posting bios, blogs, reviews or whatever here. I wish great success to those who do. I guess I am just happier for now under the radar here.
At this risk of creating an issue with you [of which it's obvious we've had many], I feel the need to respond to this one...

It's not a black/white, either/or scenario.

Full disclosure of whose who, or if/when someone visits a property as an agent, or in what capacity someone is reviewing a property = all that stuff is VERY important [which is obviously the 'why' behind Richard creating this sticky in the first place].

The Luxury Forums section of FT is no more commercial than the SPG forum [with has SPG company reps posting/responding 24/7] or the Cruises forum [of which there are many more agents there than here - and many more 'under the radar' than here, too].

And if you think agents are actually getting real business by posting reviews, you gotta be kidding me. Lots of shoppers, sure. But business? Like a review of the FS Cairo actually would convince someone to think "damn, I gotta get to Egypt!!"...gimme a break. Sure, I bet a buck or two DavidO has booked some clients who PM'd him off here. But I don't think he's quitting his day job to lurk the FT forums.

Taking your claim at face value [commercialization --> solicitation --> the downfall of the LH forum]...you think banning agents from reviewing, or making it harder to figure out whose an agent vs. whose not an agent..that would help?!

One things for sure...whether you're a MOD, an agent, a reader, a reviewer, or a shopper = the support is overwhelmingly for transparency.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 3:57 pm
  #14  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Canada
Programs: Virtuoso TA, Four Seasons Pref Partner, Rosewood Elite TA, Ritz Carlton STARS TA
Posts: 4,101
I said what I was doing.... you can do whatever the Mod permits you to do pricesquire. I'm opting out of the suggestion posts above about bios & Virtuoso.com profiles as I feel it brings zero to the forum. Promoting my blog or pushing an expertise is not the reason why I read these posts in the first place. Like I said, i wish success to those who do.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 5:34 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by ABG View Post
I've never really been in favor of the constant aura of commercialization that enters the Luxury Hotels Forum. I read this forum (and the other FT forums I follow) more for my own personal enjoyment and product research than I do with the hopes of a sale. Lots of threads here have replies of little substance but with lots of links to blogs, bios whatever. I don't see the value in this.

This is similar to my reasoning to never post reviews of places I go to (other than general "yes you should go to XYZ hotel or this hotel has great F&B etc etc").

So all that to say, while I do appreciate the FT'ers who I have helped and continue to help professionally, i won't be posting bios, blogs, reviews or whatever here. I wish great success to those who do. I guess I am just happier for now under the radar here.
I've always noticed & admired that about you
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