Big Five Tours & Expeditions Honored By Virtuoso® As An Industry Standout at 26th Annual Virtuoso Travel Week

Stuart, FL (August 15, 2014) – International luxury travel network, Virtuoso®, celebrated the close of its annual Virtuoso Travel Week event with its festive gala and Virtuoso Awards, where Big Five Tours & Expeditions was recognized as the winner of 2014 Sustainable Tourism Leadership. Held at Bellagio Resort & Casino, the gala attracted a record turnout of 2,668 attendees, which included some of the biggest names in the travel industry.

Virtuoso® is the travel industry’s leading luxury travel network.  This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 340 agencies with more than 8,900 elite travel specialists in 20 countries as well as over 1,700 of the world’s best travel providers and premier destinations.  The network’s member agencies generate over $12.5 billion annually in travel sales, making the group the most powerful in the luxury travel segment.

“Our organization comprises some of the top professionals in this industry, and these awards recognize the companies and individuals, such as Big Five Tours & Expeditions, who embody Virtuoso’s values as well as top performers who make this network so successful,” said Virtuoso Chairman and CEO, Matthew D. Upchurch, CTC. “We honor Big Five as a leader, having been awarded Sustainable Tourism Leadership in recognition of the company’s contributions.”

The final gala ceremony marked a successful weeklong event that brought together the upper echelon of the travel industry, including Virtuoso member agencies and their travel advisors, hotels and resorts, cruise lines, tour operators, preferred destinations and tourism boards, airlines, on-sites and specialty services. The event honored some of the most innovative, revered, and top-performing travel agencies and advisors throughout the United States, Australia and Latin America, as well as the network’s global portfolio of world’s-best travel partners.

“We started this journey seven years ago with Virtuoso,” noted Ashish Sanghrajka, president of Big Five. “This is not the culmination; it’s the beginning of the next chapter. We believe in sustainability because our world is so precious and desperately needs our help. I believe in it because of my kids. I want to lead by example and show them what life is really about… helping others.”


About Big Five Tours & Expeditions

Big Five Tours & Expeditions is renowned for customized, luxury adventure travel to more than 45 destinations worldwide. Founded in Kenya in 1973 by Mahen Sanghrajka, Big Five has stood at the forefront of distinguished luxury travel, providing the latest destination offerings while focusing on low-impact, sustainable tourism that steadfastly supports environmentally responsible lodgings and cruise boats. Big Five has been recognized for this commitment.  Virtuoso®, an international luxury travel network, awarded Big Five the 2014 Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award; while Conde Nast Traveler magazine named Big Five as one of its 2013 World Savers Award winners.  For more information, contact Big Five at (800) 244 3483, or visit


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Deborah Kilcollins
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