NEW YORK, August 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Virtuoso®the world’s leading network specializing in luxury and experiential travel, is hosting its first-ever Travel Tech Summit, which takes place August 14e at the ARIA Resort & Casino from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at its Virtuoso Travel Week event. The summit will consist of three distinct components: a Big Ideas Session featuring multiple speakers addressing the technology strategies driving the industry forward; a Resume Panel focused on longer-term innovations and opportunities that investors seek out and fund; and one Boot Showcase featuring companies tackling the barriers the travel industry is currently facing. Led by an entrepreneur and technology investor, as well as a board member of Virtuoso, Gilad Berensteinwith Virtuoso Senior Vice President, Digital & Consumer Products Travis McElfresh among the great idea speakers, Virtuoso puts technology center stage to support its long-standing belief that its network is best served by having choice in technology solutions.

“Innovating and pushing boundaries is something Virtuoso has always embraced,” says Virtuoso CEO Matthew D. Upchurch. “Our incubator program has helped launch some of the travel tech players that are at the heart of our business today. This Travel Tech Summit is just our next step in fostering innovation and ensuring that technology travel benefits our agencies, advisors and partners who work with us. We believe in fostering technology that enhances the value of human connection. As I’ve said for over 20 years, automate the predictable so you can humanize the exceptional.

The summit will start with a broad and macro view and go through phases that will eventually narrow down to the local level. Berenstein will kick off the sessions with a broad overview addressing five key themes: optimizing everything; the financialization of travel and how it leads to better consumer experiences; the role of creators and influencers; aggregation and super applications; and emerging technologies focused on the Metaverse and the Web3. This opening presentation marks the four big ideas speakers, who will dive deeper into each category. Then, the panel of venture capitalists will weigh their point of view as investors. Finally, the Boot Showcase will feature five new companies developing solutions to alleviate pain points in the travel industry and demonstrating real-world application.

“After attending so many industry events, both open and closed, it felt like there was no home for innovators focused on luxury travel and the advisor/agency model,” Berenstein said. “The goal of this summit is to bring together some of the best minds in the industry, from the greatest innovators to those funding development, to the entrepreneurs and start-ups bringing those visions to life.”

Speakers for each session follow.

big ideas

  • Khalid Meniri – CEO and Founder, Selfbook
  • Ethan Hawke – Head of Strategic Partnerships, Hopper
  • Karen Bolda – Senior Vice President of Partner Products, Expedia Group
  • Travis McElfresh – Senior Vice President of Product, Virtuoso

Resume Panel

  • Gaurav Tuli – Managing Director, F-Prime Capital Partners
  • Chris Hemmeter – General director, Thayer Ventures
  • Chantal Noble Haldorsen – Head of Early Stage Venture Capital, Certares
  • Cara White Hill – Founder and Managing Director, Unlock Advisors

Boot Showcase

  • Grace McBride – Founder and CEO, Lucia
  • Gary Kohn – Co-founder, Luxury Travel Hackers
  • Alex Jara – CEO, Deal Engine
  • West Askew – Founder and CEO, Thatch
  • Irving Betesh – CEO and co-founder, Sion

For more information about Virtuoso, its global network of top travel agencies, advisors and partners, or developments within the organization, visit

About Virtuoso

Virtuoso® is the world’s leading network of travel agencies specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization includes more than 1,200 travel agencies with 20,000 travel advisors in 50 countries across North America, Latin Americathe Caribbean, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Leveraging its preferred relationships with more than 2,200 of the world’s top hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour operators and premier destinations, the network offers its upscale clientele exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. Normalized annual sales of (United States) $25$30 billion make Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit

Media contacts:

beautiful foggy

Lauren Wintemberg

Virtuoso – Vice President, Global Public Relations

Alice Marshall Public Relations – Account Manager



[email protected]

[email protected]

SOURCE Virtuoso


Comments are closed.