Montrose, CA, May 23rd, 2017– – Corporate Travel Management-owned Montrose Travel and host agency MTravel, have moved on from its decades-long relationship with Ensemble Travel Group to become Virtuoso®’s newest national member. As Virtuoso®’s only global account, the expanded partnership gives the company access to Virtuoso®’s extensive network of supplier partners and amenity programs. Together with Corporate Travel Management’s leisure arm, Allure Travel by CTM and Travizon, Montrose Travel now joins Virtuoso® as one of it’s national accounts. New World of Opportunities for Montrose Travel’s Travel AdvisorsVirtuoso® is the leading luxury travel network with instant industry brand recognition worldwide. Its reach puts $21.2 billion in global buying power into the hands of Montrose Travel’s advisors, connecting them to a community of 1700 preferred suppliers in more than 100 countries. Montrose Travel’s professionals will be able to offer exclusive rates, perks, free upgrades, blocked group cruise space, and even corporate rates and contracts to their clients. “It’s been particularly wonderful to welcome Montrose Travel and its highly respected network of professional advisors into the Virtuoso® family because of our many synergies,” says Virtuoso® Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch. “Both Virtuoso® and Montrose Travel hold dear as key values: excellence in client service, continued learning and growth, and close relationships with industry partners. These shared qualities, along with our mutual longevity in the competitive luxury travel industry, bode well for a highly successful future together.” MTravel’s Independent Travel Professionals Happy With MoveThough one of Virtuoso®’s newest agency members, MTravel’s independent travel professionals are already reaping benefits. “I had clients call recently for a last-minute booking. MTravel helped me beat the price for the property by 25 per cent with the Virtuoso® membership. I was able to get free daily breakfast, $100 food and beverage credit, plus a room upgrade,” said Marla Kornfeld, owner of upmarket agency LUX Orientations and independent advisor with MTravel. “Virtuoso® bent over backwards to help. Advisors get to enjoy the benefits to pass on to our clients and look like a star.” Advisors will also enjoy Virtuoso®’s exclusive search-engine-optimized Travel Advisor Profile on their website, allowing clients to search and connect with a Virtuoso® advisor of their choice. The profiles work with all search engines and will help MTravel’s advisors boost their brand visibility online. Virtuoso® Professional Development and Marketing Tools Boost Agent GrowthIn addition to supplier perks, the new partnership gives Montrose Travel’s advisors access to Virtuoso®’s suite of marketing tools and award-winning publication Virtuoso Life. Professionally-designed pieces are customized at the local level for each advisor’s clientele, including ready-to-use marketing materials such as postcards, ad templates, brochure outlines and more. For professional development, the Virtuoso® Travel Academy provides over 1600 active online courses to help advisors master the benefits of their network. Exclusive two-day and week-long training and networking events also prepare travel advisors for long-term success. Excitement for the FutureThough moving their brands under a new consortium was difficult, the move was considered a wise one for the future. “Montrose Travel has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with our friends at Ensemble, and we thank them for their support over the years,” said Andi Mysza, Head of Leisure and MTravel for North America. “Our new partnership with Virtuoso® will empower our advisors and directly benefit our clients. We’re ready to forge ahead with excitement.” About MTravelA top 5 host agency and member of the prestigious Corporate Travel Management family, MTravel is the ideal match for business-minded independent travel professionals. With 45 years of hosting expertise, MTravel helps agents achieve success beyond their individual scope by providing deeply personal support, unmatched online booking technology and access to decades of frontline travel-selling experience. To learn more, please explore www.MTravel.com or call 800-870-5799. About Montrose TravelCelebrating 60 years in business, family-operated Montrose Travel has grown a small local travel agency into a Top 30 Travel Management Company and a Top 5 Host Agency nationwide. Montrose Travel provides the highest quality services with complete vacation, corporate, loyalty and group travel management solutions for its clients and independent travel professionals. Learn more about its leisure division at www.MontroseTravel.com | 1-800-MONTROSE (666-8767); its corporate division at www.MontroseCorporateTravel.com | 1-800-766-4687; and its hosting division for independent travel professionals at www.MTravel.com | 1-800-870-5799.About Virtuoso®Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 770 travel agency partners with more than 15,200 elite travel advisors in 44 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $21.2 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso® a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.
TORONTO — Tumbling oil prices saw the commodity-heavy Toronto stock index give up some of the week’s gains on Friday ahead of the holiday weekend.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 47.98 points to 15,728.32, as the November crude contract fell $1.50 to US$49.29 per barrel.It was a wobbly week of fluctuating optimism and pessimism about OPEC oversupply fears.Panic resurfaced on Monday following a report from oilfield services company Baker Hughes that more oil drilling rigs went into operation last week after two weeks of declines, and Reuters reported that output of OPEC nations grew in September.Then earlier on Wednesday, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration temporarily swayed concerns when it reported that U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 6.0 million barrels for the week ending Sept. 29. But then later that same day the EIA reported that U.S. crude exports jumped to 1.98 million barrels per day, marking the fourth weekly increase.“People have started to have some second thoughts or doubts about the ability of OPEC to effectively curtail production enough to push crude higher,” said Andrew Pyle, a senior wealth adviser at Scotia Wealth Management. “That will weigh on the markets.”It was last November that OPEC and 10 other oil-producing countries, including Russia, agreed to cut their production until March 2018 in a bid to combat a supply glut and shore up crude prices.Still, Pyle added, “I don’t think the story has really changed for crude oil going into the fourth quarter. We’ve been hovering around the US$50 mark, global growth remains strong.“Yeah, we are seeing U.S. production come back — that’s eating through the export numbers — but the demand side of it really hasn’t changed at all.”Slumping energy stocks also took a toll on U.S. stocks’ record high week on Friday, as Wall Street’s S&P 500 index gave back 2.74 points to 2,545.49 and the Dow Jones industrial average nudged down 1.72 points to 22,773.67.Only the Nasdaq composite index was able to squeak out its sixth consecutive record high, as it added 4.82 points to 6,590.18.In economic news, it was a washout for U.S. jobs growth as employers cut more jobs last month than they added, the first time that’s happened in seven years. Economists, who had been warning of a particularly weak figure in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, downplayed the report.In Canada, jobs data was far rosier. Statistics Canada said Friday that the labour market posted a 10th-straight month of net job gains in September to match the economy’s longest monthly streak since the financial crisis almost a decade ago. The national unemployment rate stayed at a nine-year low of 6.2 per cent.Experts underlined a lot of positives in the jobs report that arrived amid recent signs suggesting the economy is already starting to cool down, as widely expected, following red-hot start to the year.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was unchanged, trading at an average price of 79.69 US.Elsewhere in commodities, the November natural gas contract was down six cents at US$2.86 per mmBTU, the December gold contract was up $1.70 to US$1,274.90 an ounce, and the December copper contract dropped two cents to US$3.03 a pound.The TSX will be closed Mon., Oct. 9 for the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets will remain open.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter