Family-owned travel agency expands to Viera, offers unique Virtuoso service


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Odyssey Travel will open an office in Viera this month.

Ernest Arico

One of Central and Northeast Florida’s most popular and successful family-owned travel agency is expanding into the Viera/Suntree area.

With offices in Ormond Beach and Jacksonville, Odyssey Travel is opening a third office at 5525 Porada Drive in Viera. The grand opening is set for Jan. 13.

Company president John Upchurch said the decision to expand to Viera was easy.

“It’s a growing area and they don’t have any of the Virtuoso connections that we have,” he said.

As a Virtuoso member (the world's oldest and most prestigious leisure travel association), Upchurch said Odyssey Travel enjoys special relationships with many luxury travel suppliers.

According to the company’s website, odysseytravel.com, the business has doubled in the past eight years in sales, and co-founder Karen Upchurch attributes it to the improving economy and retiring baby boomers. Upchurch’s son, John, handles the business end of the operations — information technology, human resources, office management — while Karen Upchurch spends all of her time working with clients.

Another reason for its growth is that the company focuses on adding and training new advisors.

“Our advisors have over 500-plus years of travel industry experience assisting you with your individual, corporate, family or group travel bookings including air, car rentals, hotels, meeting locations, cruises, employee incentives, adventure travel and tour packages,” John Upchurch said.

River cruises also are booming.

“We have connections in 140 countries,” John Upchurch said.

Odyssey Travel believes travel is one of life's greatest values, perhaps the ultimate investment because the return is priceless.

“It is our mission to provide clients with exceptional travel experiences, by offering them incomparable A-level service with only their desires and requirements in mind,” Upchurch said. “We go above and beyond to help you with anything from a last-minute weekend getaway to crafting your dream vacation, always working for you.”‚Äč

The Viera office will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. For more information, go to odysseytravel.com.