The Trump Factor, Continued
Tour and travel industry professionals are still trying to calculate the impact on inbound travel to the USA in the wake of two proposed bans on travel to the United States from a half-dozen Muslim majority nations, as well as other measures and rhetoric embraced by the Administration of President Donald Trump that most in the industry deem harmful.
Yet, during last week’s ITB in Berlin, another factor that is damaging the efforts to promote and sell the USA as a destination became just as apparent—the strong U.S. dollar. Europe’s currency, the euro, is down about 20 percent vs. the U.S. dollar over what it was three years ago. The decline is slightly greater for the UK’s pound sterling. The UK is Europe’s largest country source market for overseas visitors to the United States.
To illustrate the point: “I’m really getting tired of this narrative: Trump certainly accentuated it tenfold, but the “slump” predates his election,” wrote Jonathan Elkoubi, director, tourism, group sales & corporate events at Applebee’s-Apple-Metro, Inc., in a Facebook post while commenting on a March 9 Inbound Report article on the “Trump Slump.” He added, “The most important culprit is a high U.S. dollar, which first impacted the Euro and Canadian dollar in late 2014/early 2015, followed by the British pound six months later. As of last week, all 3 currencies had lost between 25 to 35 percent of their value against the dollar…”
The Ban, Version 2.0: On Jan. 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive that, among other provisions, would have kept refugees from entering the USA for 120 days and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations out for three months. The countries affected are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. It did not help the Administration that there was confusion in the ban’s rollout, as well as a turnabout, as it related to green card holders and other provisions.
Within two weeks a U.S. District Court judge and an Appellate Court in San Francisco had overturned the travel ban. Then, on March 6, the Trump Administration came out with a new travel ban executive order that had the following changes:
- It prohibits travelers from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Iraq is no longer on the list.
- Valid visa holders are not affected.
- It removes the indefinite restrictions on Syrian refugees. Instead, the policy halts all refugee admissions to the U.S. for four months.
- It stripped language that would have given preference to religious minorities — such as Christians from the Middle East — once refugee resettlement resumes.
- The new ban was scheduled to become effective in 10 days, March 16—not immediately.
Impact Update—a Quick Tally: Since March 6, several states have filed suit challenging the “2.0” ban. Meanwhile, accounts of the impact of the ban—as well as the response of travelers in some country markets to the Trump Administration—include the following:
Top German Operators Cite Exchange Rate as a Key Reason for a No Growth 2016
German Travelers “do not feel as welcome as before.”
The recently released German Travel Trade Barometer covering the end of 2017 and first quarter of 2017 revealed that top German tour operators reported no growth in 2016 compared to 2015 on average (for year-end 2016 bookings). While not necessarily positive news, a no-change-year-over-year is significantly better than double-digit declines being reported for total visits from Germany to some markets, notes the Barometer, which is conducted by Travel Market Insights Inc., pointing out that the trade only represent their bookings and their input does not account for all travel. But it does indicate that U.S. companies and travel destinations that work with the German trade might register a stronger return. (Editor’s note: Because of the format of the Barometer, there were not any questions specifically referring to U.S. President Donald Trump asked of operators.)
According to the survey, German operators also projected bookings for the 2016-2017 winter period (November 2016 – March 2017): they increased slightly (up 1-3 percent) for the winter period compared to last year. The difference between what the operators are reporting and a decline of more than 10 percent (for the first eight months of 2016) reported by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) may be reflected in potential demand to book travel via an agent or operator given an increase in uncertainty in the exchange rate and political (policy) uncertainty. It also reflects the growth in the trade developing FIT options for consumers. In either case, said the Barometer, demand for travel to the USA has retreated from the record highs in 2015.
In the Barometer, German operators were asked why bookings/demand is projected to change. The top reason bookings changed in 2016 was “a change in consumer demand,” followed closely by the currency exchange rate, and the cost of travel in the U.S.
When asked to elaborate several themes appeared on why demand shifted, operators pointed to:
- A strong U.S. Dollar and cost of lodging
- Politics in the U.S.
- Uncertainty (primarily over entrance-and-exit policy)
The German trade indicated that these concerns are resulting in some consumers “putting off” travel to the United States. The desire is still there, as some indicated, but consumers are willing to skip the USA for other destinations that are more stable at this time. Canada was clearly benefiting with 80 percent of the trade reporting Canada as the top competitive destination for the U.S. in 2016. For the winter period (November 2016 – March 2017) the Caribbean was the top competitive destination for the United States.
Respondents ranked entry-and-exit requirements as the strongest deterrent for travel to the U.S. in the next six months. Accommodation rates and the exchange rate to the U.S. dollar rounded out the top three deterrents
The German respondents were also asked “in your own words”: “What are the most important motivators to expand travel to the U.S.?” and “What are the most concerning deterrents for travel to the U.S. in 2017?”
Most of the trade indicated that tightened immigration regulations would have a negative impact. The concern on entry and exit requirements included “continuity in entry regulations,” “focusing on the need for a clear and consistent policy.” Others expressed similar concerns for continuity: “uncertainty about the president’s policies,” “stable entry regulations,” “clear objectives by the new government would be beneficial to our customers,” “stable communications,” “In general, the entry procedure is not conductive to tourism.” Others suggested that the welcome mat has been removed and that needs to be addressed: “statements that European tourists are welcome in the country would be beneficial,” “Travelers do not feel as welcome as before.”
German operators also provided insight on changes in demand for travel during the winter period (November 2016 – March 2016). Niche travel, car rentals, touring the countryside, world heritage/national park sites, and multi-destination travel ranked the strongest. In contrast, shopping trips, theme parks, and full package travel ranked the lowest overall – but were still rated as only being slightly lower in demand.
A Note on Methodology: The German Travel Trade Barometer program is conducted by Travel Market Insights Inc. The survey is administered in German on line. The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce and receives input from Germany’s Visit USA Committee. The German Travel Trade Barometer is a qualitative survey of top German tour operators that sell and promote travel to the United States. This survey session was conducted from January 30 to February 22, 2017. Out of 50 potential qualified respondents 26 responded. The 26 respondent companies are estimated to represent 80 percent of the German bookings to the Unites States. For access to the full U.S. report (in English or German), U.S. destination specific results, or more details on the program please contact Scott C. Johnson, president and CEO of Travel Market Insights Inc. /[email protected] /Phone: 1+518-668-2559 (USA).
And the Worst U.S. Airline is …
With the dramatic decrease in the number of legacy airlines in the past two decades, it has become more of a challenge for airline analysts to come up with a Top 10, but there are enough of them that a new report by The Points Guy (TPG), a travel lifestyle website that has a focus on how to best use travel rewards, has ranked the 10 leading domestic U.S airlines from 1 to 10, and found that customers ranked Spirit Airlines the “worst” airline, i.e., No. 10. The “ultra low-cost carrier” was found to be the leader in the categories late arrivals, low customer satisfaction, not so comfortable cabins, and a lousy frequent flyer program.
It’s no coincidence that Spirit is often the cheapest way to fly, said Julian Mark Kheel, analyst at The Points Guy. Frontier Airlines landed just ahead of Spirit at the bottom of the list. “The key takeaway is that you get what you pay for,” said Kheel. “Spirit leads the pack with low airfare but that leaves them with less to put towards other [factors] like baggage operation.”
Here’s the full list of the Best –to-Worst Airlines (with #1 being the best) in the U.S according to TPG.
- Alaska Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin America
- JetBlue Airways
- American Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
A Note on Methodology: Sources used by TPG included the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation, Routehappy, and others. TPG made a point of only evaluating “hard data,” making a list of 10 criteria, an then then quantifying the value of each criteria as follows: airfare (25 percent), route networks (15 percent), bag/change fees (10 percent), cabin comfort (10 percent), customer satisfaction (10 percent), frequent flyer programs (10 percent), on-time arrivals (10 percent), lost baggage (5 percent), domestic lounges (3 percent) and involuntary bumps, aka, overselling seats (2 percent)
Chinese Market Not Expected to Shrink for Foreseeable Future
The population of China is expected to peak at 1.45 billion in 2030, then drop to 1.4 billion by 2050 and 1.1 billion by the end of this century. Wang Pei’an, deputy head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, released the numbers at a March 11 press conference in Beijing, reported China’s Global Times, a daily newspaper that operates under the auspices of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.
“China does not lack in population, not in a few decades, not in 100 years,” said Wang, who added the country should focus more on demographics and education levels.
According to Wang, China’s working age population—it includes those between 15 and 64 years and contains the key travel-age population—is a little over 1 billion and accounts for 73 percent of the total population. The working age population will gradually drop to 985 million in 2020 and to around 800 million by 2050.
In comparison, In the U.S. the working age population accounts for 66 percent of total population;in Europe, it is 67 percent; and in Japan, 61 percent.
“Although the total working age population in developed countries in the US and Europe is around 730 million, which is less than our 1 billion, they have a much higher productivity rate,” Wang said, noting that the drop in workers will be compensated by advances in technology.
Last year, China relaxed its decade-long birth control policy, allowing couples to have a second child if one of the parents has no siblings. Wang said the implementation of the second-child policy is “within expectation.” China expects the average yearly number of births to vary between 17 million and 19 million from this year to 2020, Wang added.
A $5,000 International Marketing Campaign that Works
Tour and travel industry professionals listened with rapt attention at NAJ’s recent RTO Summit West in Los Angeles as Kelly Kirkpatrick, executive director of Mesa Verde Country (MVC)—it represents the southwestern corner of Colorado—explained just how her organization was able to build a targeted international marketing program on a (literally) dollars-and-cents campaign in 2017 that has yielded tangible results.
Because of the cluster of inquisitive people around her after she made a brief presentation on the Mesa Verde County Visitor Bureau campaign, the Inbound Report could not talk with her then, so we followed up online and in a telephone interview to find out more about the $5,000 program.
In Brief: Mesa Verde Country lies within Montezuma County (pop. around 25,000) and its principal feature is Mesa Verde National Park, a stunningly beautiful and historic place that is known for its well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings. Its three principal communities are Cortez, Dolores and Mancos. While small in numbers relative to gateway destinations, the area has attracted some international visitors over the years, especially from Europe.
A former travel agent and one-time executive director of the Cortez Retail Enhancement Association, Kirkpatrick had a good idea about what travelers expect and what local businesses want when she became executive director of Mesa Verde Country at the beginning of 2015.
The challenge—from afar it seems especially daunting—was to mount an international program with available resources: $5,000 out of an overall budget of $15,000.
First, this meant targeting specific markets. MCV already had key messages to convey to travelers—the area’s national park product, western culture and Native American culture. After measuring things that included such numbers as website and social media visitors and combining it with “boots on the ground” data from overseas visitors who had stopped at MVC’s information center, narrowed its target markets to three: Italy, France and Germany. A campaign would then build upon three key messages to three key markets.
Unable to wage a multimedia effort on such a small budget, MVC settled on social media (primarily Facebook) and its blog pages. When completed, its strategy looked like this:
Challenges: Kirkpatrick and others involved in the initiative realized that it was important, as she told us, that the MVC message be told “in their own words and not ours.” All those who listened to her presentation nodded in agreement when she said that “Google translation doesn’t always work.” It is always literal, and not contextual. All content, she emphasized, had to be translated authentically. Giving MCV some help and direction in this regard was Florian Herrmann, NAJ’s creative director and CEO of president of HMS Global.
Journalists who visit the destination invariably write about it, Kirkpatrick said, but it is difficult to get permission to reprint a magazine or newspaper article in a blog or on Facebook. So, MCV took to asking visitors to write a brief note about their experience, and began posting their contents.
This helped to trigger increased engagement, as travelers would often return home and visit their language specific page and post further comments. As well, photos posted on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, began to grow in number.
As traffic on the social media grew, MCV helped to stimulate it further, target key countries via social media ads to drive traffic to its website and engaging people with its travel community. The organization didn’t have to spend much. Here are some numbers:
—MCV’s budget was small, $500 but average was 9 cents per click through ad (click through to page)
—On social Media platform, it used video and $20 boost to reach targets
—On social media platform, it used photo and 430 boost to reach targets
—Each appear in target countries with their different languages
—In sum, it was a campaign with total reach of 100k consumers for a total of $50
—Men were more engaged than women
—Online visitors from Italy responded more freely and shared more
—Those from France did also, though not quite as much
—Germany do not share and didn’t engage … “Germans are less inclined to click through.”
—While other social media sites have their place, Facebook is No. 1 for sharing
–Pictures do so much more than copy alone.
And finally, Mesa Verde Country will have another campaign in 2017 but, as it hones its targets further, it might limit it to Italy and France.
For more information, contact: [email protected]
Sustainable Tourism Products Gaining Traction among Europeans
One in ten European holidaymakers book eco-friendly hotels, according to the results of a just-released survey of more than 3,000 travelers by the TUI Group. The survey, which targeted people who had travelled in the last two years but not necessarily with TUI, found German and French tourists show an above-average tendency to book sustainable accommodation, – 17 percent of all German respondents and 18 percent of all French.
“The survey shows that sustainable travel is in vogue among holidaymakers,” saidThomas Ellerbeck, member of TUI~’s Group Executive Committee and responsible for sustainability.
Operators should do More: Survey respondents seem to feel that tour operators are at fault for the absence of sufficient holiday products that emphasize sustainable travel. According tl survey results:
- More than half (55 percent) of respondents criticized a lack of information and choice.
- Two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents believe responsibility for sustainable travel primarily lies with the travel companies rather than themselves. ,
“In the customers’ view, tour operators should attach particular importance to offering fresh local or regional food products at hotels – and avoiding waste,” said TUI.
Do Chocolate and Alcohol Help Operators Remember Suppliers?
A Bite of a Hershey Bar or a Little Liquor Works Better than an Info Kit
The Challenge: Knowing when to send that follow-up e-mail or make that follow-up call after spending 10 or 20 minutes with tour operators who visit your booth during IPW and who have little recall of how to associate your name with a product, or differentiate you from the scores of other business cards they’re taking back with them to their home country and home office.
This challenge was among a series questions tossed about by some 80 tour and travel industry professionals during a roundtable brainstorming session at NAJ’s recent RTO Summit West in Los Angeles. Specifically, participants were asked to discuss the question: “What has been your most successful follow-up tactic with receptive tour operators after industry trade shows such as IPW and the RTO Summit series?
The Response—Don’t Do it Right Away: Defining what was the consensus opinion among the group, Jake Steinman, CEO of NAJ, which publishes the Inbound Report, said “Unless they’re asking you for something, it’s a mistake to follow up right away … You’re actually better off waiting for a month.”
One of those who agreed, Elizabeth Leighton, director of sales at the New Orleans School of Cooking, said that, generally, e-mails sent afterwards are not answered and that she, as well as others use LinkedIn for follow-ups. Also, she noted, Louisiana attractions share a Facebook page that they use for alerting operators to referrals, ideas and industry information.
Pepe Avila, director of tourism development for Visit Anaheim, noted that his organization also relies on the social media to follow-up and keep in regular contact with operators.
The most attention-grabbing tactic discussed was that used by Julie Payne, group tour consultant, Hershey’s Chocolate World, home to both free and ticketed attractions in the Pennsylvania city made famous by its chocolate products. Brandishing a giant Hershey chocolate bar, she explained that, in addition to distributing some of the tasty morsels at trade shows, she sends them to key operators as follow-up reminders.
In discussing the tactic with the Inbound Report, Payne explained that Hershey is one of the most instantly recognized brands in the world (perhaps the key is to figure out a way to make contact with the operator just as he or she is eating it) and serves as a most welcome reminder of whomever is associated with it.
Number two in the attention-grabbing category was the same tactic—different product—used by Harry Wade, tourism marketing manager at Duty Free Americas. Rather than chocolate bars, Wade distributes shot-sized bottles of premium whiskeys and liqueurs. No recipient forgets who Harry Wade is.
25 Tourism Industry Terms Every Pro Should Know
by Sally Barry†
(Editor’s Note: Most Inbound readers are likely familiar with the basic terminology discussed here. We suggest passing this on to your new employees or to others new to the tour and travel industry as a resource tool.)
Every industry has its own terminology and bizarre acronyms and the tourism industry is no different. I have kept a list of terms people have asked me about during the past year. I think that we all want to look like we know what everyone is talking about so sometimes we are hesitant to ask what something means. So if there is a word that you are wondering about that is not on this Tourism Industry Vocabulary list, you can send me an email and I will explain it and add it on to this list. Save this list and take a look at it next time before you go to an industry event and you will look like one of the smartest tourism professionals in the room.
Tourism Industry Terms
ABA– American Bus Association. One of the largest trade organizations for the group tour market. They have an annual Marketplace where several thousand tour operators and suppliers (see definition below) meet to create business for all.
Bed tax. Most counties and states charge a tax for anyone that stays in a hotel. It can range from a few percentage points to double digits (See this article: http://fortune.com/2015/08/03/travel-taxes-summer-vacation/). Also called a hotel occupancy tax, the funds are often used to support the local tourism promotion agency, as well as infrastructure repairs.
Blackout dates. This is a term for suppliers such as attractions. Are there admission dates you will not sell to tour operators? Some attractions have special events with special pricing and therefore cannot offer the usual discounted rate to a tour operator. In that case, you would let the tour operator know those are blackout dates and they cannot sell tickets on those dates. Another example is for hotels that know they sell out at a higher rate every year on 4th of July – those dates are blackout dates for the hotel. Tour operators prefer to work with limited blackout dates so use these sparingly. Buyers– in the tourism industry, a buyer is a tour operator. They ‘buy’ your product from you, whether it is admission tickets, hotel rooms or airline tickets. Buyers can be small mom and pop tour companies, or international online travel agencies. Buyers make us happy!
Charters–a tour company will tell you that they work with charters. The definition of a charter is: “the reservation of an aircraft, boat, or bus for private use.” An example is a school band that needs to get to the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade. They will charter a bus to get them there. Sometimes charters are just transportation, and sometimes there is some tour planning involved.
Direct bill—a term a tour operator will use when they want you to bill them on a monthly basis, versus every time a customer of theirs comes to your attraction. This makes sense when you welcome dozens of their groups or individual customers every month. Most suppliers will have a tour operator fill out a credit check before they agree to a direct billing relationship. It does make payment and billing more efficient.
D.M.O.—Destination Marketing Organization. Often used interchangeably with TPA (Tourism Promotion Agency), this is an organization that works to promote a destination. They can focus on many market such as conventions, group tours, leisure visitors and international visitors. They are often funded by bed tax, membership fees or money made through promotional activities for their partners. A DMO can represent an area as small as a county, or as large as our country (U.S. Travel Association/ www.UStravel.org.).
FAM tour– a Familarization tour is a way for tour operators or media to learn more about your destination. These tours are typically organized by a DMO and suppliers are included as a stop on the itinerary. FAMs are the best way for a buyer to learn about your property. I wrote a blog post on best practices for FAM tours earlier this year.
F.I.T. Depending on who you ask, this stands for Foreign Independent traveler, Frequent Independent Traveler or Financially independent Traveler. They all have this in common- it’s one person, a couple or a family instead of a large group. FIT customers can purchase an entire vacation package that includes everything, or can pick and choose what elements of a vacation they would like.
Fly-Drive. This is a bare bones package for an FIT customer. Just like it implies, it includes a flight and a rental car. Many companies will upsell fly drives by offering touring ideas with unique stops that they can then book.
GDS—Global Distribution system. Wikipedia has a great definition: A Global Distribution System is a network operated by a company that enables automated transactions between travel service providers (mainly airlines, hotels and car rental companies) and travel agencies. Travel agencies traditionally relied on GDS for services, products & rates in order to provision travel-related services to the end consumers.
Group Leaders. Group leaders will bring groups to your attraction, so they are valuable contacts. They usually do this as a volunteer position, or as a hobby. Many church groups or social organizations fall into this category. They should get a discount from your general admission price, but not as large a discount as a tour operator.
NTA—National Tour Association. One of the largest trade organizations for the group tour market. They have an annual Travel Exchange where several thousand tour operators and suppliers (see definition below) meet to create business for all. NTA has a partnership with the Department of Commerce to vet all Chinese tour operators that want to sell tours of the United States. The China Inbound Program (http://ntaonline.com/chinainbound/) currently has more than 200 members.
OTA—Online travel agency. The internet has changed a lot in our industry and the birth and growth of OTA’s is one of the biggest changes. Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz are all examples of websites where people can book travel directly. Chinese OTAs such as Ctrip and Alitravel will be larger than all the other OTAs combined within a few years.
Pre-formed tour. This is a type of tour group. It means that someone has a group of people who want to travel together and they call a tour operator and have them plan the tour for them. That means that sometimes they have the opportunity to plan a tour to an area they don’t usually feature. Even if all their tours are planned for the year, there might be a preformed group that will have them create something new. Pre-formed groups are opportunities for suppliers and are a good thing!
Retail pricing—is the full ticket price without any discounts. A visitor walking through the door of your attraction pays the retail price. Wholesale (see definition below) is what tour operators and online booking companies like Viator or Expedia will pay.
ROI– stands for Return on Investment. This is a common term in many industries. In our industry, it often refers to judging whether a tradeshow, sales mission or ad campaign was worth the money spent on it. What was our ROI on attending this tradeshow last year? As you can imagine, ROI can be a challenge to track.
Shoulder season. This is the time of year at an attraction or destination that is between the high season with the most visitors, and the low season with the fewest. Shoulder seasons area often the best place to develop ideas for growth. Supplier. Suppliers are the businesses that supply tourism product to a travel buyer. That is a technical way to say that a supplier is an attraction, a hotel, a shopping venue, a restaurant or transportation provider. If you welcome visitors, you are most likely a supplier!
Tiered Pricing. This is different levels of pricing for different customers. In the group tour industry, retail is the highest price. There is a level with a 10- 15 percent discount for group leaders, and the highest discount (between 15-30 percent) is for tour companies. Look for a future blog post on tiered pricing.
Tour operator/Tour company. This is a business whose main focus is to sell a package tour to customers. They have websites and staff, which is what separates them from group leaders. They should get a price of 20-30 percent off your retail price. Trade shows. There are many trade shows that attractions can attend to get more business. NTA and ABA both have large annual conventions, and there are many regional and state motor coach trade shows as well. This is an efficient way to meet many tour operators in one place, attend educational sessions and network with your peers.
Viator—a large online booking company that specializes in attractions and experience ticketing. Viator is now owned by TripAdvisor so your tickets can be sold right from your TripAdvisor listing. I recommend looking into it for your business.
Voucher. This is a piece of paper that a tour company will have their customer (tour guide or group leader) turn in at your attraction. The voucher confirms that they will pay. This is often easier for companies to use instead of sending a check or paying with a credit card. In order to receive payment, your company will have to show the vouchers that were turned in and bill the company. Vouchers can also be used with FIT guests.
Wholesale pricing. This is the lowest level of pricing you offer to a tour company or online travel company. The lower price is necessary because they will purchase your tickets, mark them up and resell them as part of a tour package. Viator asks for wholesale pricing when working with attractions.
† Veteran travel and tourism industry professional Sally Berry is a member of the Strategic Advisory Council of the NAJ Group, publisher of the Inbound Report. A respected and acknowledged authority on a number of areas of industry activity, Berry, who serves as tourism sales and marketing manager at the Corning Museum of Glass, is a frequent panelist, presenter and speaker at industry conferences and educational seminars.
Want more information? If you are a tourism pro and looking to learn more about how to be successful, check out Sally Berry’s http://theattractionscoach.com/. There are resources, articles and forums for people like you who need a place to ask questions about group tours, international guests, and how to get more visitors through your d
HODGE PODGE: Shifts, Shakeups and Occasional Shaftings in the Tour and Travel Industry
Travel Counsellors has named Jim Eastwood, a former candidate on “The Apprentice” (the BBC version) as its new global sales director. He joins the company after spending five years at Groupon where he was vice-president of sales for the UK and Ireland. Eastwood also finished as runner-up on the seventh series of the BBC reality show in 2011.
Sandy Ward has left her post as sales and marketing director for the Future of Flight & Boeing Tour after 11 years to take on the position of president and CEO of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism in Washington State. Previously, she served nearly a decade as executive director of the Snohomish County (Wash.) Tourism Bureau.
Travelport has appointed Philip Saunders as vice president air commerce EMEA with immediate effect. He joins the company from Kuwait Airways where he was chief commercial officer. Previously, he held senior commercial and customer-facing positions at Air Malta, Caribbean Airlines, Star Alliance, SN Brussels Airlines and British Airways.
Diogo Julião has moved up to the position of managing director Abreu Online, which is the B2B division of the Portuguese group Abreu. Julião joined the company in 2007 and has served as manager of marketing and sales. He succeeds Luis Toncha.