CVC Scorched for Skipping Brazil’s Largest Trade Show
In January 2016, CVC, Brazil’s largest tour operator, announced that it was forgoing participation in trade shows and travel fairs in the country for at least a year. “We have much affection for these fairs, but we decided to invest in exclusive events CVC this year in regional meetings where travel agents will meet our customers to talk about sales, destination, seasons …” Valter Patriani, the company’s vice president, told Panrotas, the country’s top travel trade publication and website.
Even so, the company’s absence at the 2017 ABAV (Association of Brazilian Travel Agents) International Expo Sept. 27-29 at the Expo Center Norte in Sao Paulo touched a raw nerve in the Brazilian travel trade, and brought to the surface a hostility toward the travel giant, which has suffered not a whit during Brazil’s ongoing economic crisis.
An editorial in Diario do Turismo, a widely read online Brazilian tourism journal, shows what one might describe as contempt toward, and jealously of, the nation’s most successful travel company. The English translation (Beware: It’s a Google translation) of the editorial below was tweaked in a few places by the Inbound Report. For an exact rendering of the editorial, we recommend the original Portuguese version: http://diariodoturismo.com.br/por-que-cvc-nao-participou-da-expo-abav-2017/
Why Didn’t CVC Participate in Expo-Abav 2017?
By Daily Editorial Board
Brazil’s largest tourism operator, CVC, did not participate in the Expo-ABAV 2017 and pulled others by the hand, for a variety of reasons, but let’s focus on the CVC’s reasons.
It comes from the understanding of who is working for tourism and in the tourism the absence of this operator in the Expo-ABAV and the silence shrieking of all. No one answered the question: Why didn’t CVC participate in Expo-Abav 2017?
Here we have one of the answers: Because it puts itself in a very quiet position; it is a listed company whose results are measured by the success of its executives who are remunerated through bonuses for the economy they make and the dividends they give to their shareholders.
How much did they save? 500 thousand (reais)¹? Perhaps. The argument—perhaps grounded, perhaps bored—is that the model of the fair is outdated and that the moment of crisis² does not allow spending … Crisis? What crisis? There may be a crisis in the industry, real estate, construction, political crisis, but there is no crisis in leisure travel. The great equipment, the big market players are tied in complex national and international sales systems and sales are at full steam ….
CVC has a very high level of financial resources, so much that it has a list of companies that it wants to buy, already with the release of CADE (Administrative Council of Economic Defense). It has already acquired Trend Operator, bought Submarino, bought Rextur, and with that, has all the travel agents in hand. With this absence CVC shows little caring for tourism and for the tourism sector …
There are commercial reasons the company can even accept and consider. But where are the institutional reasons of the company? Its founder, Guilherme Paulus holds a seat in the National Tourism Council but he was not a part of the authorities table at the opening of Abav-Expo 2017, last Wednesday (Sept. 27). Is this really the case? Should not the king be questioned?
Pretend it was Not
The company’s business is a thousand an hour and that they do not need a fair to earn more or sell more, you can understand, but it’s hard to accept.
CVC is expanding the scope of its franchises through Brazil at a cost of 100 thousand (reais)³ of investment per new store. The municipality is satisfied when it opens a CVC travel agency within its territorial boundaries. But are you happy for what? These agencies arrive to send tourists out and not to import tourists. It is precisely the economic model of business concentration that makes Brazil skid in its development of truth. An unequal model, and nothing sustainable. How (do we pretend) it was not.
¹ About $157,000
² Brazil’s two-year-old economic recession—the worst in a century for the country—is frequently referred to simply as “The Crisis.”
German Travel to America Continues to Slide in 2017
It very well could be that the German travel trade is about to experience a second consecutive “lost year of growth”—the term that the Nuremberg-based marketing research firm GfK used last October to describe the business year for the tour and travel industry in the country.
The same analysis aptly describes the Visit USA market for Germany’s international travelers. Arrivals from Germany to the United States dropped 10 percent in 2016 vs. 2015. And for the first four months of 2017, there are down 1.4 percent vs. 2017. That figure would likely be larger were it not for a robust April, which benefited from Easter (it was on April 16) traffic this year.
In its latest monthly report, GfK, as reported by the trade publication FVW, pointed out the following:
—German travel agents had another disappointing month in August with an overall 3 percent drop-off in sales due to weak last-minute summer holiday bookings.
—The weak August sales followed after a 5 percent decline in July, and leave cumulative bookings for the summer of 2017 just 1.5 percent ahead of last year.
—As a result, overall travel agency sales for 2016/17 are likely to finish lower than last year due to a 3 percent decline in winter 2016/17 turnover.
—Bookings for summer 2017 fell by 8 percent in August compared to August 2016, indicating weak last-minute summer holiday bookings.
—In contrast, early bookings for summer 2018 are looking better with a 2.8 percent increase compared to the same period last year; they accounted for 13 percent of total sales in August.
—Bookings for the coming winter season fell by 4 percent after strong early sales in the last two months. The winter season is now 4 percent ahead of the same period last year overall, and sales have reached about 40 percent of last year’s total sales volumes.
—With Easter in March in 2018; so far, the month is up by 18.8 percent while April is currently down by 27.5 percent.
(GfK uses a representative sales analysis of 1,500 agencies as the basis for its findings.)
Receptive Tour Operator of the Week
Lassen Tour & Travel Inc.
Lassen Tours is a US West Coast over the road motor coach series tour operator with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. It operates its own tours with its own fleet of deluxe motor coaches and staff tour guides.
Lassen Tour & Travel Inc.
391 Sutter St. Suite 504
San Francisco, California 94108
Lassen Tour & Travel Inc.
19700 Mariner Ave.
Torrance, California 00503
The TourOperatorLand.com website by the NAJ Group (it also publishes the Inbound Report) has introduced both receptive tour operators, U.S. tour operators and international tour operators to travel product and services of U.S. travel suppliers and DMOs. Visitors to the website can use its exclusive Receptive Finder™ to find the right RTO. It is designed to help both the travel trade and travel suppliers find the right U.S. based receptive tour operator to sell their products on the international travel market place.
The receptive operators, who are vetted and qualified by the NAJ Group also take part in at least one of NAJ’s RTO Summits series. The Summits take place annually in Los Angeles (Feb. 21-22, 2018), New York City (April 17-18) and Orlando (TBD, 2018).
RTO Summit Orlando Highlights: Where do Receptives Go From Here?
In his “Travel and Tourism Trends and Insights” remarks at NAJ’s recent RTO Summit in Orlando (it is the final of the three RTO Summits that NAJ hosts each year; the others take place in late winter in Los Angeles and spring in New York), Jake Steinman, founder and CEO of the NAJ Group, ended up emphasizing the fact that receptive tour operators remain an integral factor in the travel distribution channels globally and in United States and they will survive by re-imagining and re-inventing themselves—even it means learning and mastering new technologies and even if the RTO segment is coming off a year in which there was both fragmentation and consolidation. Selected highlights from his keynote remarks include the following:
- In trying to predict what trends will prevail in the coming year or two, there are certain macro factors that no one can control. For instance, there is no way to project, with precision, where currency exchange rates will be a year from now. Yet, they will have an impact on the tour and travel industry no matter what levels they reach. Last year, for instance, a major impediment to selling the U.S. travel product was a strong U.S. dollar. A recent snapshot of the dollar’s position shows that it has changed considerably in a year.
- Similarly, when the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) released its final five-year forecast last October, it had no way of predicting that Donald Trump would be elected president of the United States or that global political tensions (between, for instance, the U.S. and North Korea) would be at a very high levels in the autumn of 2017, or that the political environment in Venezuela would be such that it would bring visitor traffic out of the country to a near-halt. The NTTO 2017 forecast for key international source markets, as well as that of the INBOUND Report were relatively conservative, although there are some notable differences.
- Now, compare the above with the latest year-to-date numbers (below) from NTTO that cover activity through the first quarter 2017. Were these numbers to hold at the same percentage levels for the entire year, they would make the above table way, way off.
- The cost of a hotel room night—the most significant cost in a travel package—has made the market a seller’s market, with occupancy on a rising trend from 2010 through 2016. Hotel industry analysts see demand flattening as 2017 nears an end, as supply has exceeded demand in the second half of the year. Overdevelopment could help make 2018 a buyer’s market. Look for RTOs to partner more and with independent and smaller hotels, whose scale of operation simply cannot endure the steep transaction fees charged by OTAs who re-sell their incremental room inventory.
- RTOs are consolidating and fragmenting at the same time. Illustrating this trend is the recent history of AlliedTPro, which grew out of the 2000 acquisition of Allied Tours of New York City by Zurich-based Kuoni, with another of the latter’s acquisitions, T Pro, a former NYC-based competitor of Allied. The combined entity operated under Kuoni Destination Management, a division that focused on travel within the U.S. The time line of the Kuoni’s acquisitions, divestitures and gradual dissolution as it tried to re-invent itself also shows how one brand intersection a number of the tour and travel industry’s most prominent brands:
—In the 2000s, Kuoni sought to expand the range of its operations and its portfolio. One major development during this period was its acquisition of GTA, the global tour operator with a large bedbank, attractions and entertainment inventory.
—In 2015, Kuoni began selling off different parts of itself in an attempt to strengthen its liquidity position (it turned out that it could not) by selling its tour operating businesses to the German tour operator DER Touristik and early in 2016, it was acquired by the Swedish private equity firm EQT.
—The acquisition included the destination management of Kuoni, which had grown to include units in 17 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the U.S., including AlliedTPro; Asian Trails; Desert Adventures Tourism; Gulf Dunes, Private Safaris; and Australian Tours Management.
—In April 2016, TUI, Europe’s largest travel company, sold its Hotelbeds unit—the world’s largest bedbank—to the private equity group Cinven and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).
—Then, in the first four months of this year, 2017, Cinven and CPPIB acquired Tourico Holidays and GTA, the world’s second and third largest bedbanks, respectively.
—In April of this year, Thomas Cook India (it is owned by Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Toronto-based firm that previously acquired the Kuoni brand in India and Hong Kong. Fairfax Financial had acquired Thomas Cook India in 2012) acquired Kuoni’s destination management component, including AlliedTPro.
—A little more than a month later, EQT sold part of Kuoni’s DMC network comprised of AlliedTPro, Asian Trails, Australian Tours Management, Desert Adventures/Gulf Dunes Middle East and Private Safaris Africa, to Thomas Cook India.
—Finally, last June, the JTB brand was brought into the story line when the JTB Group acquired all shares of Kuoni Travel Investment, i.e. Kuoni Global Travel Services, for an undisclosed sum. It will manage the new company under the JTB European managing company TPE.
- Low cost carriers will continue to increase their share of inbound international leisure travel to the U.S. Norwegian Air’s UK subsidiary has received permission from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fly to U.S. destinations. In Latin America, low-cost carriers are increasing capacity on routes between the USA and South and Central America.
- As hotels look for a better margin by not partnering with OTAs, look for DMOs to play “Matchmaker” between receptive tour operators looking for inventory and smaller and independent hotels.
- Confronted with the challenge of finding room inventory, RTOs will be asking themselves if they should focus more on service and in-destination product.
- Leisure groups have gotten smaller in the past several years, which explains the popularity of the 12-passenger Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van taking the place of the 50-plus passenger bus as the preferred mode for ground travel for groups.
- Along with the shrinking leisure group, there is growth in what has come to called the Partially Independent Traveler (P.I.T.) who requires some elements of the group itinerary, but who seeks more free time and independence when on holiday.
- More and more Chinese travelers are exhibiting a preference for self-driving tours—sometimes these tours involve extended families with friends who use vans and/or travel in small “caravans.”
- Hot products for 2018 and 2019 will be “Testosterone Travel” in which travelers can try their hand at using heavy construction equipment, driving exotic race cars on speed tracks or shooting machine guns on ranges.
- Food has become an important for an overwhelming number of international travelers in selecting a U.S. destination or region to visit.
- With medical campuses now established in Nevada and Florida, medical tourism to the USA—especially for elective surgery—is continuing to grow.
… And remember, the only certainty is uncertainty.
The Epiphany: By Jake Steinman, founder and CEO, NAJ Group
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom—nor cancellations—stays these NAJ staff from the swift completion of their appointed rounds …”
Sometimes it takes a simple epiphany to wake me up to understand what has made the RTO Summits unique from other travel trade shows.
First, the trend-driven content we develop the first day of each event is designed to help international sales professionals to find ways to increase their sales using today’s digital tools that can supplement relationships and help them advance their careers.
Secondly, our staff takes operator cancellations personally. Here’s what I mean:
On Friday, Sept. 15, prior to the RTO Summit in Orlando (Sept. 19-20) one of the tour operators who planned to attend told us that she had booked flights for the wrong dates and was scheduled to fly out late on the day before the one-on-one marketplace. Sofia Williamsson (left) told her she would reschedule all her appointments during the education sessions the first day of the show.
Betsy Cooper (right) called all operators the day before the appointments to remind them to attend. During those calls one operator told her they would not be able to attend and she told him he had a full list of appointments and it would be like standing up 35 suppliers. She had a solution: she would simply set up an iPhone at his empty table and conduct the meetings by Facetime.
After a pregnant pause, he agreed to attend–but only until 2:00 pm. “That’s no problem,” she said. “We’ll reschedule your afternoon appointments from 12:30-2pm– during the lunch.” And she did!
I think it’s this terrier-like commitment to fight for what is truly important to our attendees that sets the Summits apart and I’m proud of our incredibly talented staff that, in the wake of I-don’t-know how many potential crises that could have arisen in the wake of the Hurricane Irma that operators may have had to attend to, in the end we had only one cancellation.
I am grateful every day for two things—my fabulous team and our wonderful group of clients.
The NAJ Group, which publishes both the INBOUND Report and The Travel Vertical, organizes and hosts the RTO (receptive tour operator) Summit series—educational, networking and business appointment events in Los Angeles, New York and Orlando. The NAJ Group also stages the upcoming (Oct. 18-19) eTourism Summit in San Francisco and the Active America-China Summit (March 25-27, 2018 in Atlanta).
Canada: Triple Digit Increases in Mexican Arrivals in April
Stronger Canadian Dollar Puts Dent in U.S. Arrivals: Canada’s inbound tourism experienced a year-on-year decline in July for overall arrivals as some of its targeted source markets under performed, but the continued over-the-top increases in arrivals from Mexico (and in July, from Brazil) suggest that industry is still on course to match, or possibly exceed, last year’s total—which was a near record—and experience its best year ever, according to the latest monthly profile for July just released by Destination Canada.
From Destination Canada, here is the quick take:
And here is a slightly longer take:
- With the U.S. dollar depreciating 9.8 percent against the Canadian loonie in July 2017 relative to June 2017 (this was the fastest recorded monthly drop since 2000), arrivals from the U.S. fell 1.2 percent in July 2017 as fewer arrivals by automobile (down 3.6 percent) overshadowed gains in air arrivals (+1.7 percent) and other modes of transportation. Year-to-date, overnight arrivals from the U.S. were up 1.9 percent due to gains in air arrivals (up 5.4 percent) and other modes of transportation (+6 percent) more than offsetting a sag in auto arrivals (down 0.8 percent).
- A strong performance in overnight arrivals from Destination Canada’s eleven international markets in July 2016 of last year (+12.8 percent) cast a shadow over what appeared to be subdued results in July 2017 of this year (down one half of one percent over July 2016) and served to hide robust growth from most of its 11 key markets (up an annual average of 5.8 percent since 2015).
- Year-to-date (through July 2017) arrivals from Destination Canada’s 10 overseas markets were up 12.0 percent over July 2016, with Destination Canada’s Latin America region leading the way (up 43.5 percent), followed by Asia-Pacific (up 14 percent) and Europe (up 2.8 percent). Arrivals from the U.S. stood at +1.9 percent year-over-year.
- Destination Canada’s two Latin American markets continued to attain new peaks in July 2017 as outstanding growth from Mexico (up 38.8 percent) and Brazil (up 25.1 percent) enabled both markets to reach their highest arrivals numbers in any single recorded month.
- Year-to-date, overnight arrivals from Destination Canada’s Asia-Pacific region were up 14 percent, with double-digit growth from each market except Japan (+5.5 percent).
- Year-to-date arrivals from Destination Canada’s European region remain positive (up 2.8 percent).
- While Destination Canada does not speculate on the unusually large increase, year-on-year, in the number of Mexican arrivals, the consensus among those who follow shifts in international travel to Canada is that a strong dislike of U.S. President Donald Trump (national surveys show that his approval ratings in Mexico are consistently in single-digit percentages) is causing many Mexicans to forego a trip to the U.S. in favor of a holiday in Canada. Here is how 2017 has been fairing on a monthly basis versus 2016, which itself was a record year.
Monarch Airlines Files Bankruptcy: Orlando Only US Destination Affected
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is still struggling to bring home the remainder of some 110,000 travelers who were left stranded this past Monday (Oct. 2) when Monarch Airlines ceased operations, cancelled all flights and filed for bankruptcy. The action also resulted in the shutdown of the airline’s tour operator unit, Monarch Holidays.
The airline, whose only scheduled service from the UK to the USA was a low-fare route to Orlando’s Sanford Airport, had been struggling of late, following two years during which traffic on flights and packages to Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey had fallen off in the wake of terrorist attacks on UK holidaymakers visiting the region.
Monarch ceased operations after failing to reach an agreement with regulators to extend the company’s license to sell package holidays to overseas destinations.
The airline had been trying to make a shift from short-haul flights to long-haul travel to reduce losses as consumers shied away from Middle Eastern and North African destinations.
According to published reports, Monarch’s collapse represents the biggest ever failure of a British airline. KPMG partner Blair Nimmo said administrators are now considering breaking up the company as no buyer has been found to purchase Monarch in its entirety. Counting the airline and tour operator business, the company had 2,100 employees.
Of these, administrators said 1,858 staff had been made redundant, with the remaining workers helping to bring back 110,000 Monarch holidaymakers from overseas.
The Best U.S. Cities for Families in 2017
Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor‘s family travel site, has named the Best Cities for Families in 2017 –ranking the best cities in the U.S. for family travel. Along with the announcement, Family Vacation Critic shares age-based activity recommendations and weekend guides specifically designed for families.
The editors of Family Vacation Critic put together weekend guides, outlining where to eat, play and stay in each of the top cities, with options for a variety of budgets.
The list of the best cities for families in 2017 include:
- Washington, D.C.
Best for Infants and Toddlers:National Zoo
Best for Little Kids:National Museum of Natural History
Best for Big Kids: Monuments by Moonlight
Best for Tweens and Teens: Newseum
Best for Infants and Toddlers: Boston Public Garden
Best for Little Kids: New England Aquarium
Best for Big Kids: Freedom Trail
Best for Tweens and Teens: Fenway Park
Best for Infants and Toddlers: Pacific Science Center
Best for Little Kids: Ride the Ducks of Seattle
Best for Big Kids: Theo Chocolate Factory Tours
Best for Tweens and Teens: Museum of Pop Culture
- Las Vegas
Best for Infants and Toddlers: Fountains of Bellagio
Best for Little Kids: Discovery Children’s Museum
Best for Big Kids: Adventuredome Theme Park
Best for Tweens and Teens: Stratosphere
- San Antonio
Best for Infants & Toddlers: The DoSeum
Best for Little Kids: Natural Bridge Caverns
Best for Big Kids: Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Best for Tweens and Teens: Pearl Brewery District
Best for Infants and Toddlers:Cascades Park
Best for Little Kids:Tallahassee Museum
Best for Big Kids: Mission San Luis de Apalachee
Best for Tweens and Teens: Harry Smith Outdoors Kayak Tours
- San Diego
Best for Infants and Toddlers: La Jolla Cove
Best for Little Kids: San Diego Zoo
Best for Big Kids: Balboa Park
Best for Tweens and Teens: California Surf Museum
- New York City
Best for Infants & Toddlers:Central Park Zoo
Best for Little Kids:American Museum of Natural History
Best for Big Kids: Luna Park at Coney Island
Best for Tweens and Teens: New York TV and Movie Tour
Best for Infants and Toddlers: Adventure Science Center
Best for Little Kids: General Jackson Showboat
Best for Big Kids: Grand Ole Opry
Best for Tweens and Teens: Historic RCA Studio B
Best for Infants and Toddlers: Lincoln Park Zoo
Best for Little Kids: Navy Pier
Best for Big Kids: Skydeck Chicago
Best for Tweens and Teens: Second City
For more information, visit:
- Washington, D.C.
Florida Keys & Key West Open for Business
The southern stretch of U.S. Highway 1, running from mainland Florida throughout the Florida Keys to Key West, has earned many names over the years. It’s been called the Overseas Highway. The Highway That Goes to Sea. A scenic byway. And for those of us who love the Keys, whether as residents or visitors, it’s our road home.
Following Hurricane Irma’s unwelcome visit to the Florida Keys and parts of mainland Florida, that highway also became an enduring symbol of our road to recovery.
That’s because many islands along the Overseas Highway sustained damage from Irma. Some, like Key Largo and areas of Islamorada, as well as the southernmost island of Key West, felt less of the storm’s wrath. Others, like parts of Marathon and the Lower Keys, felt much more of it and will take some time to recover.
The hurricane might have impacted the Keys’ landscape, but the storm couldn’t touch the island chain’s greatest asset and greatest strength: the tough, independent, creative, warmhearted spirit of its people.
In the days and weeks following Irma, we focused on recovery, re-energizing and renewing affected elements. Just three weeks after the Sept. 10 storm, we reopened the Keys to visitors — an important step in our recovery, and vital for residents whose livelihood depends on welcoming both first-time and repeat travelers.
Today as before Irma, the island chain offers a laid-back atmosphere, a much-needed respite from the demands of everyday life, the natural wonders of our marine sanctuary, appealing attractions and galleries, unique environmental aspects and eateries with fresh-from-the-ocean specialties.
It’s not only these elements, however, that capture so many visitors’ hearts and minds. The Florida Keys’ motto is One Human Family, representing a respect for diversity and people of all kinds — and that spirit is stronger than ever following the storm.
So wherever you travel along the Overseas Highway when you journey to the Keys, you can expect a welcome as warm as our year-round subtropical climate. As always, we invite you to “Come As You Are.”
Director of Marketing
Florida Keys and Key West
At a Glance: Portland
Portland royalty-free photo library, click here.
For the full Portland itinerary, click here.
For more information contact: [email protected]
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HODGE PODGE: Shifts, Shakeups and Occasional Shaftings in the Tour and Travel Industry
Barbara Richardson, chief of external relations for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) has been elected chair of the board of directors of Brand USA. The action took place at the board’s recent meeting in Washington, D.C. She succeeds Tom Klein, former president and CEO of the Sabre Corporation. Prior to joining Metro, Richardson had her own consulting firm and also served for 12 years at Amtrak, lastly as vice president of marketing and communications. She was appointed to the Brand USA board of directors in 2014.
The San Francisco Travel Association has announced the addition of Tom David as executive vice president/chief sales officer, effective Oct. 16. The post was previously held by John Reyes, who has become COO of Visit Sacramento. David has worked with the Marriott organization since 1988, most recently as vice president of sales, Marriott Western Mountain Pacific Region, where he served as the business leader for the Area Sales (proactive), Group Sales (reactive) and property based teams including more than 300 sales professionals with responsibility for booking business into 70 Marriott and Starwood hotels across five states.
Hubert Kluske will become chief commercial officer at TUI Germany next February. Kluske, who is currently managing director Mobilcom-Debitel Shop GmbH, will be responsible for sales and marketing.
Marek Andryszak currently holds this position in addition to his role as CEO of TUI Deutschland.
As the head of Mobilcom-Debitel Shop GmbH, Kluske has been responsible for several years for the entire area sales with its own shops, franchise partners and hundreds of sales partners from the retail trade.
Delta Air Lines has appointed Shane Spyak as its new staff vice president of sales for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI). He will be working alongside Delta’s European joint venture partners Air France, KLM, Alitalia, and as well as Virgin Atlantic, he will be based at the Air France headquarters in Paris. Spyak joined Delta in 2006, and has held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility across the Global Sales and International organizations. Prior to his promotion to staff vice president, he served as managing director–Latin America & Caribbean.
Sean Keliiholokai has joined Visit West Hollywood as vice president of business development for the organization. Keliiholokai will be charged with growing the local tourism industry through hotel and lodging occupancy, focusing on the city’s top international visitor markets. Keliiholokai was previously the executive director for Visit Dana Point, a destination marketing organization servicing South Orange County.
Philippa Baines has joined Intrepid as its new business development manager for the UK Midlands. She joins the company from Wendy Wu Tours, where she had the same title. Baines also held the same title with The Global Travel Group and Explore Worldwide.
Richard Humphrey, CEO/CCO of The Ride, LLC., has announced a management buyout of New York City sightseeing company that currently includes THE RIDE, THE TOUR and the recently launched THE DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE with Virtual Reality. Partners joining with Humphrey in the buyout include Jeffrey McCormick, managing partner at Saturn Partners, a growth stage investment firm; former board member Alan McKeon, CEO of Alexander Babbage, a strategy and analytics firm for destinations; and Dan Rogoski, currently the President/CRO of Experience the Ride.As part of the transaction, Alan McKeon has joined the company as its COO.