Exotissimo Travel hosted a number of Virtuoso agents on a familiarization trip of Cambodia and Vietnam in 9-22 May 2009.
A Virtuoso on-site since July 2008, Exotissimo took this opportunity to introduce these American agents to Vietnam and Cambodia and demonstrate the unparalleled services provided by Exotissimo.
Lee Marona, President of Exotissimo North America, said ‘This particular group of professionals in our industry was a pleasure to be with. None of these agents were “kids out of travel school”. They were all surprised at the breadth of Exotissimo’s operations in Cambodia and Vietnam, the superb quality of our guides, and our overall ability to produce amazing travel venues in our region of the world. We all look forward to working with these, and many other Virtuoso agents in the future’.
The program balanced a combination of touring activities and facility inspections. A strong focus was placed on showing the agents more than the usual tourist attractions by incorporating Exotissimo’s signature tours into the itinerary.
Highlights included a visit to Beng Mealea, a remote temple on the outskirts of Siem Reap, where the group enjoyed a gourmet lunch within the shady grounds of the temple. Reflecting on the experience, agent Les Berger said ‘It made us feel special once again to have "found" this treasure before the masses.’
At Hotel de la Paix, the group was treated to cocktails at The Arts Lounge which had been specially decorated for the event. Ice blocks dangled from the ceiling and candles floated in the central pool, creating a stunning ambience and a fitting prelude to the gourmet meal which followed at Meric Restaurant.
Continuing to Vietnam, Exotissimo immersed the group on a south to north journey of cultural and culinary discovery. In the Mekong Delta, the agents enjoyed a mouth-watering lunch with a local family in their elegant colonial villa.
The trip culminated with an overnight cruise on the luxurious Emeraude steamer in Halong Bay. A fitting farewell for the journey, the guests relaxed on the boat’s decks, took part in a cooking demonstration and kayaked through the Bay’s waters.
The agents were enthusiastic to plan trips to Southeast Asia with Exotissimo especially Laurielle Penny from Toronto: ‘I truly enjoyed every moment. It was wonderfully informative and I've come back bubbling with ideas for future programs. I am (even more strongly) an Exotissimo fan; I was so impressed with the entire operation and all the colleagues we met along the way. I consider myself part of the team and your ambassador in Canada! It's my job now to go forth and sell more!’