A native Texan, Keith Waldon began his career in luxury travel while still in college in Dallas as an intern for Rosewood Hotels, where he continued his career as a marketing manager after graduating from Southern Methodist University. Keith later spent 16 years as a senior executive for the international luxury travel network Virtuoso, where creating the Virtuoso brand and elevating the awareness of travel advisors were among his accomplishments.
With 25 years in the luxury travel industry and a bit of a maverick Texan personality, Keith developed the Departure Lounge concept as a new way to visibly engage a community with the world of travel.
“A couple decades ago and before, travelers needed a place to pick up air tickets and brochures, along with the expertise of a travel advisor,” he explains. “Today, electronic tickets and websites take the place of printed documents, but the need for a knowledgeable travel advisor is stronger than ever in a marketplace of search engines that produce a million results for just about any destination. So Departure Lounge addresses the current needs of travelers via a fun place to discover destinations, literally get a taste of the world’s most amazing places through coffees, wines and foods, and collaborate with travel advisors who are knowledgeable and globally connected to help travelers experience the world at its absolute best.”
Keith has traveled the world through his career, and his favorites include Italy, Egypt and Cambodia, as he is drawn to history, art and remarkable architecture. While his travel interests may be focused on destinations with ancient pasts, his vision for the future of travel has given Austinites a remarkable venue to celebrate wanderlust and plan their next great adventures.
Keith is honored to be featured on Travel+Leisure Magazine’s A-List of travel experts as a Food & Wine travel specialist.