Joe Thompson will take over as managing director of Virgin Holidays next July. Thompson is currently senior vice president of sales and distribution for Virgin Atlantic and will take up his post in July following parental leave. He takes over from Mark Anderson, who has been promoted to executive vice president, customer at Virgin Atlantic. Until Thompson returns from parental leave, Virgin Holidays will be led by interim managing director Dave Geer, who is currently product, commercial and business development director for Virgin Holidays. Thompson joins Virgin Holidays after 14 years with the airline.
Susannah Costello has left Visit Florida where she served for eight years as vice president of global brand, to establish her own company, BrandTap (BrandTap.com), which will be help companies tap into the power of other brands through collaborative storytelling and marketing. Before joining Visit Florida, Costello had served as director of industry growth initiatives for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation in Alexandria, Va.
Marianne Bieri-Oppliger has been appointed head of purchasing at FTI Ticketshop. In doing so, she directs the purchasing of the wholesaler in Switzerland and France. She is responsible for all the company’s purchasing activities on the Swiss and French market, and also manages the marketing team for both companies. She reports directly to Maik Gruba, the managing director of FTI Ticketshop AG and FTI Ticketshop SAS. Bieri-Oppliger succeeds Mike Steinmann, who left the company at his own request. Previously, Bieri-Oppliger was with Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Zurich for 10 years.
In Australia, Robert Halfpenny is leaving his post as sales director, global account & Asia Pacific development for Rocky Mountaineer to take over as CEO of Expedition Cruise Company, Aurora Expeditions. He succeeds Lisa Bolton, who stepped down last September to pursue other opportunities. A veteran of more than 25 years in the tour and travel industry, Halfpenny has previously held senior roles with Globus, Virgin Australia, the Travel Corporation and, most recently, Rocky Mountaineer.
Phil DeLone has been appointed president & CEO of the Reno-Sparks CVA. He joins the bureau from his post as CEO of Safari Club International (SCI), a position he’s held since 2012. DeLone has 20 years of executive sales and management experience working at Reno hotels, and is being welcomed back to the destination after acquiring more than four years of experience as an established CEO, a prerequisite many CVA board members set for candidates when their search for a new leader began.
Alan Palmer has been named group sales director for Snowmass Tourism. A veteran of 30 years in the tour and travel industry, Palmer most recently worked as director of group sales at the five-star Rancho Valencia Resort in San Diego. Prior to his tenure at Rancho Valencia, Palmer spent 18 years in Colorado promoting group sales within the ski resort industry.
Merlin Entertainments has announced today that representation in Brazil of the Orlando complex that includes Madame Tussauds museum, Sealife Orlando aquarium and the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, has been moved from Interamerican Network to São Paulo-based Wolf Marketing, whose founder and CEO is Claudia Lobo.