TTI Travel Specialists
I love to travel. I’m very lucky to have traveled extensively for pleasure and look forward to doing so much more. Travel for business is different and interesting in all its forms.
When I think of all the wonderful offsite business travel I have done for conferences, meetings, sales rallies, achievement rewards, client appreciation events… most of them are fond memories. There have been, however, a few times when a company’s normally high standards were lacking, not for lack of budget (though sometimes that would have helped) but lack of proper planning and attention to detail. Most often it took the special skills of the company's event planner (whether that title was used or not) working in tandem with the talents of a travel specialist dedicated to providing uncompromising service and standards. I can recall observing some shortfalls and thinking how easily most could have been avoided had someone been guided adequately in advance. Sure, some things may be off or go wrong; they almost always do. Corporate travel events require top-notch flawless organization to ensure first-class outcomes. The same applies to personal travel.
TTI your business and vacation travel experts
TTI is a long-established and respected travel management company specializing in business and personal travel. They handle client needs from the simplest to the most complex. They have a large team of dedicated experts knowledgeable and eager to put their stamp of excellence on a client's travel requirements. TTI are also closely connected to preferred travel providers around the globe. That means they are not only in-the-know but on the inside judging for themselves the standards that will stand the test for their clients.
Madeleine Virag is excellent
I do a lot of research just to decide what destination I’ll travel to next. Then I share all my ideas with a reputable travel expert willing to work with me and put the perfect trip together. For years, I was unable to find anyone remotely able to fulfill that task; most travel agents have preset places in mind, take the easy route to planning, and wince at the thought of doing any research to custom plan a trip to give it unique aspects. That is, until I was told, with the highest endorsement and praise, of Madeleine. She was recommended to me by someone I knew well and trusted, so I decided to meet her.
People often tell me how great it must be for me to be in a line of work that requires top standards. I say I’m not meticulous because I'm in this business, I’m in this business because I am meticulous. To be anything less would make a person in this business dishonest and a fraud. Having high standards means coming across many providers who fall far short of expectations. Not so TTI and Madeleine!
I recall my first meeting with her years ago (she was with a different travel provider). She was - and still is - enthusiastic, energetic and eager to know about client travel preferences, plans, and personality. She’s knowledgeable about so many destinations yet wisely recognizes the value of her team and doesn't hesitate to confer with them for their views. Madeleine excels at customer care, is honest and trustworthy, and is a credit to her profession.
Knowledge, confidence, warmth
Don’t let her mild manner or soft-spoken nature let you think she’s anything but fully focused, determined, and assertive when need be in an effort to meet your needs. As one of her colleagues proudly shared with me in private a couple of years ago, Madeleine is amazingly cool under pressure, she never skips a beat… always calm and confident… the consummate professional.
Perhaps what I love most about Madeleine are her genuine warmth, her sincere approach to helping clients, and (even after many years in the business) her sense of amazement at what travel can be and do for people. Recently a provider to TTI who markets luxury properties (and travels to those properties with travel agents), told me everyone loves Madeleine. They all find that she's constantly in awe of the simplest beauties to the most magnificent the world of travel has to offer.
On target, on time, on budget
Whether I’ve asked Madeleine for one week at a special sun spot, a three-week road trip in Eastern Europe or a two-week custom trip in Peru, she delighted (as much as we did) in the planning process. And she's not afraid to make suggestions that may run counter to my initial thoughts in an effort to deliver an outstanding travel experience that's on target, on time and, most important perhaps, on budget. Not only is she practical, efficient and organized but a joy to do business with!
Madeleine’s top picks
Some of her top picks (which have all been beyond amazing!) have included the Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas (see my “Exclusive Travel” story), Grand Pupp Hotel in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic (for our trip through Eastern Europe), Palazzo Sant’Angelo Sul Canal Grande in Venice and Hotel Caruso on the Amalfi Coast (for our very special month in Italy in May).
Recently, she planned a two-week trip to Peru which included private guides and tours with Abercrombie & Kent, and stays at three Small Luxury Hotels, among others. She’s the type of expert who easily appreciates why I wanted a three-night stay at the Inkaterra in Machu Picchu. Most tour operators and travel agents will have clients stay in Cuzco and do a one-day trip to the Citadel.
Madeleine’s recent unique suggestions to me included The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Peter Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands, Encantado Resort in Sante Fe, and numerous suggestions for my wish list to enjoy big game safari in Africa, a high-end South American cruise, travel to French Polynesia and Bora Bora, to name just a few.
Ah so much to see… so little time!