Jonathan Elkoubi has been appointed senior director of business development at VR World NYC, the first “totally VR” attraction in North America. Located at 4 East 34th Street, across the street from the Empire State Building, it comprises 20,000 square feet of space and more than 50 unique experiences. Elkoubi joins the VR World NYC from Applebee’s (Apple-Metro, Inc.), where he was director of tourism, group sales and corporate events. Prior to that, he was director of sales and partnerships with Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Times Square.
JacTravel Acquired by Webjet. Australian-based Webjet is acquiring London-based JacTravel. With the acquisition, JacTravel join Sunhotels, Lots of Hotels and FIT Ruum’s in the company’s B2B division WebBeds, to become one of the world’s largest B2B travel providers. JacTravel operates two distinct brands: JacTravel and totalstay.com, both of which will now become part of the WebBeds business. In bringing JacTravel to the WebBeds’ family, the combined company will boost its annual total transacted volume to over 600 million and will increase its global footprint with offices in 19 countries.The new company will have over 900 employees and a global portfolio of more than 225,000 hotels, of which 17,000 are directly contracted, in all regions of the globe.
Travel Leaders Group and ALTOUR Merge. two of the largest travel companies in the United States, have signed an agreement to unite under common ownership to form a single, powerhouse travel agency organization with nearly $24 billion in annual sales. There will be no substantive operating changes or name changes to either ALTOUR or Travel Leaders Group’s businesses or organizations. In the 2017 Travel Weekly Power List of the top travel agencies doing business in the United States, ALTOUR ranked No. 14 and Travel Leaders Group ranked No. 9. The Power List comprises companies that do at least $100 million in annual sales.
Alexandre Chemla, founder, president and CEO of ALTOUR, will remain in his current leadership role and Ninan Chacko will continue to serve as CEO of Travel Leaders Group. In addition, upon the closing, Chemla will become a shareholder and join the Board of Directors of Travel Leaders Group Holdings.
Brian Waters has been named vice president of marketing and executive director at Visit National Harbor—the hotel, casino and entertainment venue along the Maryland side of the Potomac River just south of Washington, D.C. Before his appointment to his new post, Waters led B2B marketing for Hilton Hotels. Previously, he was with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts for almost 15 years. He succeeds Bruce Gudenberg, who is now executive director of industry relations for Hilton.
Mary Grimley has promoted to the position of vice president of sales for VisitDallas. A member of the organization’s sales team for the past 14 years, Grimley has had numerous jobs as she rose through the ranks, serving lastly as director of group sales. Previously, she spend 15 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
The Brazilian tour operator New Tour has hired Ronaldo Amaral, who will be part of the company’s sales team in Rio de Janeiro. He has more than 20 years experience in the trade, with stops at MK Travel and MMTGapnet included. Amaral scan be contacted at: [email protected] and (21) 2509-0115.
Roni Stevens has been named director of marketing and sales for DC Trails. Stevens, who previously worked as director of business development for Reliable Limousine and Bus Service in the Washington DC area, has also served tenures in sales and marketing for Venture Tours, Academy Bus and New World