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In 1981, Valerie Ann Wilson was living in London with her young family. Like many expats, she wanted to take full advantage of her new address and quickly set about planning experiences across Europe. A consummate professional with a knack for details, Valerie sought a travel consultant who would approach travel planning the way she would—by providing unrivaled service with highly individualized attention. She never found one, so the unflappable Wilson took matters into her own hands and upon her return to the United States, she launched VWT. She opened her doors on September 8, 1981 in New York’s famed Pan Am Building. She started small, with just two full-time employees and one part-time bookkeeper. Her dedication to every last detail coupled with her growing rolodex of influential industry contacts made Valerie the go-to source for sophisticated travelers seeking one-of-a-kind experiences.
Fast-forward four decades and VWT is now one of the largest travel consulting firms in the United States. Headquartered in New York City, VWT now has 12 VWT has offices nationwide with a network of over 300 travel advisors and associate agents.
Expansion is not the only change that VWT has experienced. In the early years, VWT focused solely on personal travel, but today, VWT serves both leisure and corporate clients equally. Our corporate clients range from Fortune 500 companies with well-recognized brand names to boutique businesses in a wide range of industries.
VWT’s expansion has allowed for big-agency buying power, but we keep our ears to the ground and have remained nimble throughout the years. Whether it was creating a cruise department or hiring a staff of meeting and event planners to help our corporate clients deliver exceptional conferences and incentives, we have always adapted to meet clients’ ever-changing needs.
Valerie Wilson launched a legacy when she opened her doors in 1981, never knowing then that her two daughters, Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg and Kimberly Wilson Wetty, would join her as Co-Presidents and the company, and her name, would be synonymous with quality.
When Valerie founded the business in 1981, her two daughters were still in college and high school. She could never have dreamed that they, along with Jennifer’s husband, Brian Buttigieg, would join her in the business. Of course, Wilson is not the only name you need to have on your door to be considered a part of the family. A shared passion and a commitment to orchestrating exceptional experiences around the world make everyone who works at VWT a part of this family.
We see the world through peach-colored glasses and value our relationships. Our clients always come first, and we put our experience, expertise, and dedication to work for you. We have spent four decades forging bonds with the best in the business. We are on a first name basis with the top suppliers in the industry and we leverage our long-standing relationships to deliver unparalleled access for our clients. After all, relationships mean the world to us.
I founded VWT with a simple promise of delivering unmatched levels of service and expertise. I never dreamed we would become one of the power players in the industry. I am proud of how far we have come but our growth has never been at the sacrifice of my founding mission. You will still find me talking to clients on the phone and dreaming up their best trips yet.
Virtuoso, by invitation only, is the world’s premier luxury and experiential travel network comprised of the top travel providers and destinations worldwide. Every Virtuoso member is privy to a network of relationships that provide access to exclusive amenities, upgrades and experiences. In the past, Virtuoso advisors have arranged private tours of the Louvre after hours, tours of Cartier’s hidden atelier, and Cirque de Soleil birthday parties in the Grand Canyon, among thousands of other examples. All of the Valerie Wilson Travel locations are proud members of Virtuoso. With worldwide connections, unparalleled expertise and customized travel experiences, VWT works within the Virtuoso network to ensure personal preferences are reflected in every aspect of our clients’ trips.
All of the Valerie Wilson Travel locations are proud members of Virtuoso, an invitation-only luxury travel network providing worldwide connections, exclusive experiences, amenities, and upgrades. From Cirque du Soleil parties in the Grand Canyon to private tours of Cartier’s hidden atelier, VWT taps into the Virtuoso network to orchestrate unmatched experiences for our clients.
The success of Valerie Wilson Travel’s Power of Access® is due in part to our partnerships with incredible people and leading companies. VWT is proud to partner with the following brands:
The world moves quickly, and change is constant. Our decades of experience have taught us that few things are as important as adapting to the times. In fact, we have always been known for our innovative business practices. Whether it was the consolidation of the airlines, the terrorist attacks of September 11th, or the COVID-19 pandemic, we have watched as competitors collapsed while we reinvented. While the “how” we conduct business may have changed since 1981, the “why” has always remained steady.