Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas is the most important tourist event on the American continent, which is held every year in August and brings together cream of cream world luxury tourism. Exactly the 29th Virtuoso Travel Week recorded a record attendance – 5.670 participants from 103 countries, of which 2.714 were travel agents and 2.404 preferential partners.According to the CNTB, representatives of the CNTB Head Office and the CNTB New York office held numerous meetings with tour operators, travel agencies and other travel advisors, as well as cruising companies from the USA, Canada and Latin America and introduced them to the Croatian tourist offer, the role and activities of the CNTB and opportunities for cooperation in order to raise awareness of Croatia as an attractive and safe European and Mediterranean destination and increase tourist traffic from these markets.Membership and activities in cooperation with Virtuos are a priority for the promotion of Croatia, growth of tourist traffic, increasing the competitiveness of the offer and improving the quality of service and positioning Croatia on the map of world luxury destinations, the CNTB points out. Istria, Kvarner Tourist Board, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board and Virtuoso representatives of the Croatian tourism industry, Croatia is among the most sought after Virtuoso destinations with a growth in demand of about 25%.Lošinj Hotels & Villas became a new member of VirtuosThis year’s Virtuoso Travel week is extremely important for Croatia because we got a new member of Virtuoso, Boutique Hotel Alhambra – Lošinj Hotels & Villas, which is the biggest recognition for the last three years of demanding but very productive cooperation with Virtuoso. In addition to the CNTB and the Alhambra Hotel, the Croatian members of Virtuos are: Calvados Club, Fortuna Travel, Hotel Villa Dubrovnik and Le Meridien Lav Hotel.A big surprise of Virtuoso Travel Week is the recognition of the CNTB for successful cooperation and the proclamation of the CNTB Representative Ina Ina Rodin as the Ambassador of the Year of Virtuos and the awarding of the eponymous award during the 2017 Virtuoso Alliances meeting.With more than 16 tourism advisors worldwide and a portfolio of almost 1.700 partners (hotels and resorts, airlines, cruise companies, onsite travel agencies and tourist boards) and with an annual turnover of more than 21 billion US dollars, Virtuos is the most important organization in the luxury travel segment.Authenticity and experience One of Virtuoso’s unofficial slogans, as Matthew D. Upchurch points out, is the CEO next “A Virtuoso offers what you cannot see, but will feel forever.“It is precisely our greatest value that is our incredible diversity and authenticity, and yet on the other hand we continue to sell sun and sea. We are full of experiences, our authentic stories, and the motive of the trip is to get to know new ways and culture of living. The biggest responsibility lies with the local tourist boards, which unfortunately do not develop strategically or sustainably. Tourist destinations (cities, counties, so-called) develop local tourism, ie tourist destinations, while CNTB and MINT are on a global level and as a platform or extended arm to the entire sector.Everyone has known and talked for years, even Virtuoso, and it has always been so, tourism is emotions, experiences and stories. Let’s tell stories
“A broader investment universe will thus not automatically mean that the Bank actually invests the fund in unlisted equity,” they said.“If the Ministry does permit unlisted equity investments, the Bank will approach investment opportunities and build expertise gradually, invest via and alongside others in a responsible manner that safeguards the fund’s ownership interests, and share relevant information with the public,” the men wrote.They said the detailed investment strategy for private equity would be set by Norges Bank’s executive board later on, based on more analysis.NBIM agreed with the ministry’s idea that the bank should have responsibility for deciding how much should be invested in private equity, as was the case with the fund’s allocation to unlisted real estate.Real estate was removed from the GPFG’s benchmark index from 1 January 2017, but the asset class remains part of the investment universe, effectively allowing NBIM to decide on the allocation up to a stipulated upper limit.NBIM said the ministry could set an upper limit for private equity too, and suggested this could be about 4% of the fund, or 6% of its equity portfolio.This was the allocation indicated if the fund’s stake in the private equity sector were to equate to its average stake in companies included in the benchmark for equity, it reasoned in the letter.“The Ministry could also choose to set a lower limit,” Olsen and Slyngstad added.The pair said it would “take a long time to build up a portfolio”.NBIM noted in its letter that other SWFs had allocated 8.5% of their capital on average to unlisted equity at the end of 2016, up from around 4% in 2000.Back in August, the ministry appointed two expert groups to review aspects of how the GPFG invests, including one to assess whether it should be allowed to invest in unlisted equities, and the other to analyse the performance of its active management. The manager of Norway’s giant sovereign wealth fund is recommending the government allows the fund to extend its investment universe to include unlisted equities.In a letter to the Norwegian Finance Ministry, the leaders of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) suggested a cap of 4% on any allocation to private equity. This could amount to as much as €35bn based on the Government Pension Fund Global’s (GPFG) NOK8.5trn (€881bn) investment portfolio.The letter – signed by Øystein Olsen, chairman of the central bank Norges Bank, and Yngve Slyngstad, NBIM’s chief executive – was in response to a request from the ministry made at the end of June for the manager’s opinion on whether the investment universe for the fund should be expanded to include investments in unlisted equity.The pair emphasised that NBIM would only make investments if individual deals would help boost the fund’s overall risk-return profile.