GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO (Fri May 06, 2011) — With every day bringing the dream of space travel one step closer to reality, Virtuoso® and Virgin Galactic teamed up to add more Accredited Space Agents (ASAs) to its existing sales force. Jeff DalPoggetto of Andavo Travel, a Virtuoso member agency, has been selected as one of an elite group of travel advisors who are specially trained to sell the most exciting new adventure in travel: suborbital flights aboard Sir Richard Branson’s commercial space venture. DalPoggetto joins an existing group of 72 Virtuoso ASAs the only travel advisors throughout the entire Americas who have this distinction.
DalPoggetto is part of a small group who were hand-selected by Virgin Galactic to sell the seats, which go for $200,000 a ticket. Virtuoso determined its new recruits through a two-step process to ascertain each candidate’s potential to sell these one-of-a-kind flights. After submitting an initial online application, DalPoggetto submitted a proposal outlining how he planned to produce space sales. Other criteria included a proven track record in selling Virtuoso preferred supplier product, client demographics, market location/penetration, marketing and public relations acumen, and – most importantly – a demonstrated passion for space travel. DalPoggetto recently participated in an intensive training session at Virtuoso’s Fort Worth, Texas office, which will allow him to bring this opportunity to existing and prospective clients.
“The Virtuoso advisors who are selected as ASAs have an opportunity to be on the forefront of one of travel’s most significant breakthroughs,” says Matthew D. Upchurch, CTC, CEO of Virtuoso and Virgin Galactic ‘Founder’ Passenger. “Virgin Galactic â€“ an organization with enormous name recognition â€“ has entrusted trusted travel advisors with the sales of its pioneering project. This recognition raises the bar for all travel advisors by highlighting the value that advisors like Jeff DalPoggetto provide to their clients. Virgin Galactic continues to cross major milestones that bring us closer to realizing space travel, and Jeff DalPoggetto and his future astronaut clients will be part of this historic journey.”
Carolyn Wincer, Head of Astronaut Sales for Virgin Galactic, commented, “Adding new ASAs like Jeff will prove beneficial for the entire Virgin Galactic program. Not only does it strengthen the existing ASA program, it builds awareness for the project and brings the opportunity to more future astronauts. We are confident Jeff’s participation will be an asset.”
Virgin Galactic is the commercial space project currently in development by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. With its a specially built spacecraft currently undergoing successful test flights, Virgin Galactic leads the way in private space tourism. Virtuoso’s ASAs recently hit the $10 million mark in space travel sales, with demand continuing to build with every milestone reached.