Brand USA Launching its own Trade Show+ in London next September
In what its president and CEO, Christopher Thompson, described as “one of those things” in which the agency can “create new opportunities as a result of our trade development efforts,” Brand USA last week announced at the organization is launch a Brand USA Travel Week in September 2019 that will include a three-day trade show in London.
Cathy Domanico, vice president, global trade development, Brand USA, made the announcement during the organization’s board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.
The idea “first came up in roundtable discussions in 2016” and gained currency at subsequent discussions, Domanico said, explaining that the new trade show in London, which will include buyers from throughout Europe, will have three components:
- A hosted buyer program for 200 of the top European travel buyers: “Because it is invitation only we get to control the level and quality of the tour operators who will be meeting with U.S. suppliers.”
“We’re also going to open it up to 300 U.S. suppliers across all sectors of the travel industry,” she added. “During the three-day event, there will be 44 pre-arranged meetings that will be scheduled through an interactive electronic appointment system.”
- There will be a focus on leadership and education. Said Domanico: “We plan to create an engaging speaker and seminar series that will be offered throughout the three days. If buyers and suppliers are not in an appointment, they’re really going to be encouraged to attend one of the seminars. Topics will vary.”
- The event will also provide innovative networking events to provide opportunities in which individuals will come- face-to-face with industry leaders
In the future, the event will include a media component, travel agent component and a “really robust” consumer. After the 2019, the event will move on to Year other locations in Europe, said We would like to go global with this as well
Last Year’s Arrival Data to Show a Creep Upward: In her report to the Brand USA board meeting, Carroll Rheem, the agency’s vice president, research and analytics, had some encouraging news. She said that the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), which has temporarily suspended the publication of overseas arrivals data due to data anomalies in records received from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is expected to report growth of approximately 2 percent for 2017. Previously, she noted, year-to-date numbers through September was put at minus 6 percent.
Despite growth, Rheem pointed out, the USA lost substantial market share of the global long-haul air traffic market and that next year is expected to present a consistently, if not more, challenging environment due to a strong U.S. dollar, heightened political sensitivity and market uncertainty due to escalating tariffs and trade tensions overall.
Operators Clash over Selling SeaWorld in Florida
Thomas Cook abandons attraction, while ATD Travel Voices Support: The UK’s second largest and oldest tour operator, Thomas Cook, last week announced that it will stop selling tickets to animal attractions that include killer whales—this means SeaWorld Florida—while ATD Travel Services, which comprises Attraction Tickets Direct, Do Something Different and Theme Park Beds, made it clear that it will continue to sell SeaWorld.
In a blog post announcing the move, Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser attributed the decision, in part, to changing customer expectations when it comes to animal attractions. Thomas Cook sells more than 10,000 day trips a year to SeaWorld Florida. The company implemented an animal welfare policy a year-and-a-half ago that has led to the removal of 29 animal attractions from its brochures and itineraries as they did not meet minimum standards set by Abta, the UK travel association. Only 20 now remain.
Meanwhile, ATD chief executive Oliver Brendon, issued a statement that said, in part: “We all have a responsibility to act ethically and support the causes that mean the most to us but I do not feel that withdrawing support from brands such as SeaWorld will have a positive effect on these issues. “The survival rate of whale calves born in the wild is plummeting due, in all likelihood to pollution and plastics in the ocean. There is currently no viable, humane and proven alternative for orcas who have spent their lives in captivity. We all have a responsibility to act ethically and support the causes that mean the most to us but I do not feel that withdrawing support from brands such as SeaWorld will have a positive effect on these issues.” ATD sells more than a million tickets annually to attractions, ground tours and experiences.
PROFILE: Could Elaine Kellogg be the Hardest Working Person in the Tour and Travel Industry?
She sure makes a good case for the honor: After a fair number of friends and colleagues suggested to INBOUND that we feature Elaine Kellogg in our monthly profile series, we took notice, especially when words and phrases used to describe her included “intense,” “hard working,” “no-nonsense,” “direct” and, “witty.”
Where does “witty” fit in here? “I could be perceived as intense and very competitive, but being witty often eases the intensity of those traits,” says Kellogg, executive director, business development for Gray Line/City Sightseeing New York City, “but it comes in very handy, I think, when used in the appropriate manner with clients or in negotiating situations—plus I just enjoy having a good time with it. It’s something I try to use to help soften my directness.”
Hard working? When we called to set up a time for interview, she replied, “How about noon on Sunday?” One would think that doing an hour-long, work-related telephone call at mid-day on Sunday qualifies anyone as hard working.
Our interview that Sunday, along with the e-mail exchanges and telephone calls that preceded and followed it, made it clear that this direct, hard-working-and-intense, yet witty New York tour and travel industry professional has some strong feelings on a number of matters—from why she became a part of the industry to her assessment of relationship marketing, the role of international tour operators, receptive tour operators and her favorite travel buddy—her 14-year-old grandson.
So, what drew her to the tour and travel industry? “Like a lot of people, I think it was destiny,” she says, recalling a school bus trip from Memphis (she was a senior at a Catholic high school for girls in Memphis, Tennessee) to New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. There were, she vividly recalls, “two Continental Trailways buses, 76 girls, two nuns and four lay teachers who set off on this week-long journey.”
And then: “I knew the minute I saw the skyline … that I was going to like this place. The legend in the family is that I came home from the trip and announced to the family that, someday, I was going to live in New York.” So, ‘twas the city, not tourism, that drew the young Memphian into the industry. Whatever it was, she does not have a West Tennessee accent). Kellogg now speaks in familiar, rat-a-tat-tat New York City fashion. It takes her less than a half-second to say, “New York Minute.”
Until the early part of the 2000s, she had another career in sales in New York City. Then, she decided to take a year off, ease up and recalibrate. Toward the end of this period, she spotted a three-line ad in the New York Times and answered it. She soon found herself selling theatre tickets in a New York hotel lobby.
Explains Kellogg: “This was a pretty great deal, because it opened up to me a life I didn’t know existed. In those days, I made $6.50 an hour plus some very good tips, and I got to see every Broadway and off-Broadway show I wanted to see. Then, one opportunity lead to another as I learned about the industry and here I am many years later, loving the heck out of it.”
About what percentage of her work time is on the road or outside of the New York City area? Outside of the U.S.? She estimates that about 50 to 60 percent of her time is spent outside of New York. It’s mostly international. “Sometimes I make some calls in the U.S.” she points out, adding, “and I sometimes attend a marketplace somewhere in the U.S. But mostly it’s international.”
Kellogg markets and promotes two very well-known brands: Gray Line and CitySightseeing. The Gray Line brand itself is more than 100 years old. How do these help her when she’s selling abroad? It certainly does help, she acknowledges: “Brand recognition and an excellent global reputation are a huge plus in our selling efforts. It often opens doors more easily than if I represented a new company or some company that was not as well know.” But, as a salesperson, she notes, “I cannot assume that just because they know the brand that they know New York and they know Gray Line City Sightseeing New York. So, it eases the way for me, but it doesn’t it doesn’t solve all of my obstacles sometimes.”
New York is the most popular U.S. destination abroad. Does she see this status improving, remaining the same or changing in some way in the near-term future? “No doubt that New York is going to remain the number one destination … there is something so very special about visiting New York, about living in New York, that I don’t think will change,” Kellogg says. “It is the place that you must visit and, fortunately, for many people it is not a one-time destination. It is ever-changing there is so much to see and do that you come to the destination a hundred times, and a hundred times it would be different.”
Kellogg lives at 56th and Broadway. She is 1.1 miles from office. She tells us, “I can get anywhere in the world from the Columbus Avenue subway station.”
What’s the easiest sell when she’s talking about NY? Without hesitation, she tells us: “It’s really more about the diversity of the city. About everything the city has to offer. There is something here to offer everyone. With the products that I represent, we can help people—in this case the tour operators or individuals—to put together a trip that’s going to be meaningful for them.”
About the USA brand: What do international operators tell you are the most challenging aspects of selling the United States in their home countries? And what do the they like most about it? “It’s always been a challenge,” she explains. “I’ve been doing this long enough that I have seen cycles. I have seen repetition of different things.” It could depend on what country or what part of the world one talking about on any given day, she notes. In some cases, people are talking to her about the rate of exchange being difficult. Right now, some are concerned about the uncertainties that are coming with the implementation Brexit next year. As a result, they are staying closer to home.
And—it should come as no surprise—she tells us, “Some people are concerned and vocal about our politics, but that’s always been the case to a greater or lesser degree. At the same time … the other half of the world seems OK with the rate of exchange.” As a result, concludes, the people she deals with “seem OK with the politics, and they don’t have that kind of uncertainty going on in their part of the world. So, I think the challenge is pretty much the same.”
China will soon be the largest overseas source market for the U.S.—probably in the next two or three years. How long has Kellogg been working the market? And what would she identify as the top challenges of selling the U.S. to Chinese operators? Kellogg believes there are challenges in working with the Chinese market as there are in working with any unfamiliar or culturally different market. “The number of Chinese who are now traveling here as FITs often have enough English to get by,” she says. “But you need to be able to provide them services in their language.” For Gray Line City Sightseeing, it means offering recorded sightseeing tours on its double-decker buses in Mandarin. The company also provides private tours with Mandarin speaking guides for those who are interested in that type of service. “Usually in a sedan or an SUV type of setting,” Kellogg points out. “Sometimes for small groups, it would be on a van.”
The important thing, she emphasizes “is to recognize is that the way the Chinese like to work is in a step-by-step method. They want it laid how one to 10 or one to 20 how something is going to work – what’s going to happen, in a logical sequence. And Sometimes that could be … sometimes, it’s important that we utilize our patience. Let me put it that way.”
If she had to tell tour operators as a group what they could do to make it easier for them to sell USA product, what would she tell them? “Oh, I wish I knew,” she says with a sigh. “We would all certainly have a lot more sales if we could figure that out.”
When a supplier is able to sit with a client one-on-one over a period of time, she explains, “sometimes you can figure that out. You can find a way to help them increase their sales either of activities or sightseeing in general or your product in particular, or even your destination … but … that’s just not always the case.”
What about Receptive Operators? Kellogg believes that “the number of receptive operators is dwindling, as far as those who are handling on a worldwide basis.” Those who seem to be doing well, she notes, are those that are really focused on particular markets—”not that they don’t accept work for other markets—but they are focused on working with particular countries in Europe, in China and elsewhere.”
In today’s environment of acquire-and-merge, she suggests that it is difficult for many receptives, who operate on small margins, to compete against online travel companies and other channels of distribution. Those receptives servicing smaller levels of FIT business have a challenge when it comes to delivering activities and sightseeing.
Kellogg indicates that she does not know the answer to what to do strengthen the role of receptives, but believes that, historically, they have been a creative lot, able to re-invent themselves when the business environment requires it. “Just think,” she tells us, “they survived 9/11 and the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009—they have what it takes … “
She has also found that, once both international tour operators and receptive tour operators realize the value of activities and sightseeing, they are more inclined to make it a part of their product mix. The sector is, she points out, valued at billions of dollars worth of business.* “And that,” she adds, “is even more than car rental and cruise ships combined.”
If receptives are going to are going to compete with online travel agencies, she adds, “it might be something that they might want to look at. Where they can all things to their customer. They won’t have a need to go anywhere else. The customer has the ability to buy everything from the receptive.”
In the sightseeing and ground tour business, suppliers have gone from point-to-point tours to hop-on and hop off … from cash and hard copy tickets to a reliance on plastic to smartphones and QRCs. What’s next? “I’m one of those people who likes to imagine things, but I have to say, honestly, that even 10 years ago, I would not have imagined where we would be in the industry at this point … as far as technology is concerned. I wish I knew.”
As do other serious international travel marketers, Gray Line City Sightseeing uses WeChat and other channels. “We have all of the social media covered. Who would have thought (10 years ago) we would have WeChat. Who would have thought that?”
One part of the tour and travel industry that we hear emphasized repeatedly is that personal relationships are both important and necessary. So, just how important then, are they? “I agree to a certain extent, but it is changing. Personal relationships are helpful. People, in some cases, have to get to know you. It just depends on the size of the operator.” But, with technology, many of the people who are now buying and making decisions at a middle management level or lower are basically following marching orders from the top.” With technology, Kellogg suggests, “these relationships and the parameters that they have and the discretion that they have is less now when they were the ‘sole buyer’ or ‘sole marketing manager.’
“So, while it’s great to have a very nice relationship with that buyer—and we certainly enjoy many excellent, friendly relationships—the reality of it is that how they make decisions or how they work with you is no longer entirely up to them.”
“In ‘olden times,’ as I like to say, that relationship was often the end-all be-all. In that relationship, you worked together to increase business for the both of you. You worked together to solve problems. You worked together to tackle the market. In that situation, your relationship, your contact often worked to protect you because they knew that you had a great product or a great relationship that was good for their business and wouldn’t even entertain anyone else come into the market. That’s been changed—not by that buyer, but by the company’s way of doing business.”
How important does she regard IPW? “For us, it’s very important,” she responds. “It’s an opportunity to see over 65 percent of our existing clients at IPW—Not our appointments, but of our existing clients we get to seat IPW. That’s very important because we only do World Travel Market and IPW as far as trade shows go. IPW is an opportunity to both discover new business, but also to see our existing clients. And we are finding that some of our clients are at shows—especially ITB—just don’t have time to get to everybody. So, we look forward to seeing t hem at IPW.
Kellogg sees IPW as “the only marketplace of its type. We make a big investment in IPW in order to see our clients. And, fortunately, we get to meet a lot of new people there. This means large and small. It means huge volume tour operator as well as some of the smaller operators that focused on a particular country. That’s really important.”
Gray Line and CitySightseeing also does its own sales missions and its one-to-one meetings, noting that the there is a mix of seeing existing clients but, just as important, it is about developing new business: “We are always mining for new business in particular markets.”
For a person whose business involves a lot of travel, we wondered where does she go for a vacation. ”Well, I’m kind of running out of new places because I’ve been to over 85 counties and I’ve been to 49 of the 50 states (Montana will be No. 50)—either for vacation or business or both over the years. In recent years, my interest has been in kind of more exotic places—combining train and land tours, or river cruises with land tours in places like Vietnam, Myanmar, Zimbabwe and South Africa—always by myself. But now I have my new travel buddy, my 14-year-old grandson. That’s allowing me to look at things a little bit differently. So, we’ll probably be revisiting some of those countries. Together we added a new country on our recent vacation: Mongolia. I had not been there. He had not been there. And so it was an opportunity to experience a new country for both of us.
Finally, another anecdote about working hard: Last May, as the Wednesday luncheon at IPW was winding down, INBOUND’s editor left early, looking for some photo opportunities. We happened to pass by the Gray Line City Sightseeing booth and there was Kellogg and two members her team, eating boxed lunches. They were going over the day’s business. “Yes,” she recounts. “For the three of us, It was an opportunity for us to kick our shoes off—you may have looked under the table and seen that we had our shoes off—and to relax and have fun and discuss what has been going on. We’ve been doing for a couple of years now. I find that it’s much more relaxing.”
So, there you have it. The hardest working person in the business, Elaine Kellogg, actually does relax.
* Kellogg points to a Phocuswright report, Tours & Activities Come of Age: Global Travel Activities Marketplace 2014-2020, which says, among other things, that the sector will be worth $183 billion by 2020.
Mexico, Brazil and Argentina—Latin American Market Update
In an interesting take on international source markets, Expedia has released a study that that analyzes a fairly thorough profile of the key markets of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina which, combined, account for more than 3 out of every 5 international visitors to the United States (Based on data from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office for 2016, which show that the three countries sent 23.6 million travelers to the USA out of a total of 75.7 million visitors—or 31.2 percent of the total.
INBOUND has decided to start off with what usually comprises the summary part of such a report, Key Takeaways, in order to provide a palette for the reader to better understand the report: “Latin American Travel & Tourism Trends—Travel habits, behaviors, and influencers of Argentinean, Brazilian and Mexican Travelers.”
—Travelers from Mexico, Brazil and Argentina prioritize experiences over deals, and take longer holidays so marketers should lead with unique activities and experiences and promote a longer length-of-stay itinerary – while providing relevant deals to make the decision even easier.
—They’re undecided on a trip destination: 6 in 10 or more are undecided on a destination when they decide to take a trip, so there is ample opportunity to influence through effective advertising.
—They seek inspiration from a variety of sources: Create a multi-platform strategy to reach and influence travelers through relevant content throughout the purchase journey.
—They turn to OTAs for inspiration and booking: More than half of travelers are using OTAs in their trip planning process. Seek out opportunities for strategic partnerships.
Where They Stay on Their Travels
Budget is Primary Factor…
Type of Trip Matters …
Six in Ten Vacationers are “Destination Indecisive” …
A Majority are Open to “Destination Inspiration” …
Activities and Experiences Drive Travel Decisions …
Question: Identify which consideration would be most important to you in terms of how you choose a vacation/ holiday and which consideration would be least important to you in terms of how you choose to purchase a vacation/holiday.
Deals, Info and Ads Influence Trip Planning Decisions …
Resources that Play an Influential Role in Trip Planning …
Effective Advertising Features Appealing Deals, Imagery Informative Content …
Smartphone Usage During Inspiration and in-Trip
Notes on Methodology: Sample Size—Mexico: n=1,000; Brazil: n=1,001; Argentina: n=1,001; Total: N=3,002. Qualifying Criteria: Respondent must have booked online travel in the past year. Data Collection Method: Quantitative Survey. Field Work: March 1-12, 2018.
Featured Partner of the Week—Ithaca, New York
Nestled in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, Ithaca is best known for stunning waterfalls and dramatic gorges. Ithaca is a culinary wonderland where fresh, local, and organic are daily specials. Ithaca is the perfect hub to experience all the Finger Lakes Region has to offer.
UK Operator Notes
- Accessible Travel & Leisure (ATL) Shuts Down: Established 21 years ago by its owner, Andy Wright, himself a wheelchair user who suffers from a degenerative illness, the company offered overseas travel packages to those with accessible needs. In announcing the Accessible Travel’s closure, Wright said it was becoming “increasingly difficult” to compete with large operators which had a “virtual monopoly” on accessible accommodation. Wright plans to retire.
Accessible Travel is a member of the Travel Trust Association (TTA) and all bookings are protected. Its office will remain open to answer queries about existing bookings until September 10 after which time the TTA will take over.
Said Wright: “It has become increasingly difficult to provide a high level of service to my clients, while trying to compete with some of the global travel companies, which now have a virtual monopoly on accessible accommodation. Plus, it is now more of a physical challenge for me than it was 20 years ago.”
“ATL is financially sound, but I’ve decided that now is the time to retire from tour operations. Otherwise in the future, the business could have been forced to compromise on standards of service and reliability, something I was not prepared to see happen.”
Neilson Holidays Sold to Private Equity House: Neilson Active Holidays has sold the business to new investors, the London-based private equity firm LDC. The transaction between the investors and the Brighton-based beach club and ski operator was announced by Cavendish Corporate Finance, which advised on the deal.
Neilson operates beach clubs, ski hotels and chalets and 65 yachts, exclusively for its guests who number almost 80,000 every year. In recent years Neilson has successfully capitalized on the increasing demand for activity and wellness holidays at the premium end of the market.
Touchdown Holidays and Travel Industry Services have merged and have renamed the new entity Touchdown | Travel Industry Services. In a statement, the two companies said that they “have joined forces to create a one-stop travel shop” and reassured agents their “mission remains unchanged.”
Director of product and marketing Nasser Gerab said: “We are pleased to announce that Touchdown | Travel Industry Services have joined forces to create a one-stop travel shop, making us the UK’s top holiday operator for travel industry professionals and their friends and family.
Canadian Market to U.S. Recovering
Although reliable data on the number of international travelers who visit the United States are hard to come by—anyone visiting the website of the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office will find almost nothing on 2016, 2017 or 2018 posted online as the agency works to recalculate faulty numbers given it by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—the latest monthly report from Destinations Canada shows that the country, which is the number one inbound source market for the USA, is coming back from a slump that now seems to have bottomed out in 2016.
Destinations Canada reported that for the period of January through April of this year, the number of Canadian arrivals in the United States was up 5.7 percent over the same period last year (it should be noted that the four months contain traditionally strong months for the Canadian “Snowbird”
market) and 13.7 percent over 2016. INBOUND culled the numbers in the following table from previous issues of Destination Canada’s monthly “Tourism Snapshot” reports.
Meanwhile, Inbound to Canada Weak among some Key Markets: After 2017 set an all-time record for international travelers visiting the country, Destination Canada reported that April 2018 and year-to-date numbers were underwhelming, although increases from China and India were at double-digit percentage increases vs. last year.
- Watching Falconers Work While Enjoying Wine: Bouchaine Vineyardsin California started using falconers in 2016 to stop birds from eating their crops. Visitors to the vineyard visitors enjoyed seeing the hawks fly and work with their trainer. As a result, Bouchaine decided to offer guests that experience as part of a wine-tasting and lunch. In the company’s own words: “Just 45 minutes from San Francisco, you can experience a falcon land on your arm. In the middle of a vineyard overlooking the San Francisco Bay you can learn about natural habitat from our falconer and learn about Bouchaine’s environmental efforts with an owl staring into your eyes. Join us in our garden afterward for lunch and winetasting: $200 per person. Private group bookings available by appointment.” For more information, visit: http://www.bouchaine.com/, 800.654.9463.
- Now Glamping—Under Canvas Mount Rushmore: A new product that combines pristine nature and luxury accommodations, Under Canvas Mount Rushmore is now open. Situated among pine trees with views of the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the luxury tents feature in-tent bathrooms, showers, king size beds, sleeper sofas and resort like luxuries including daily housekeeping. The site also features an on-site restaurant that provides unique dining experience where glampers can experience leisurely breakfasts, expertly packed box lunches to go and pioneer inspired dinner options. For more information, including trip at-a-glance itineraries or to make a reservation, visit https://www.undercanvas.com/camps/mount-rushmore or call 888.496.1148 or 605.789.5194.
- In San Antonio, Go Rio Cruises has launched brand new experiences along the world-famous San Antonio River Walk that bring visitors of all ages new ways to encounter the senses by health and wellness tours, cultural immersion outings, and social and culinary engagement cruises. As a convention-friendly city, Go Rio Cruises will also offer customized experiences based on the conference’s specific industry and focus! For more information, visit www.goriocruises.com, or call 210.227.4746.
- Kangaroos, Wallabies? Australia Outback comes to San Diego Zoo Safari Park: The Safari Park now it offers a view into the Land Down Under, featuring Australia’s interesting and unique species. Walkabout Australia takes guests through four different types of Australian habitats: grassland, rain forest, wetlands and desert. Featured animals include western gray kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, brush turkeys, radjah shelducks, freckled ducks, magpie geese, double-wattled cassowaries and Matschie’s tree kangaroos. During a visit, guests also may come nose-to-nose with animals like a wombat, kookaburra, echidna, blue-tongued skink, woma, rose-breasted cockatoo or sugar glider. Accompanied by their keepers, these extraordinary animal ambassadors will be available for up-close encounters several times throughout the day. The 3.6-acre Walkabout Australia cost $17.4 million to build, and is located at the base of the trail to Condor Ridge, adjacent to Tull Family Tiger Trail.
Retail ticket prices for the attraction start at $60 for adults, and $44 for children. For more information, visit: http://www.sdzsafaripark.org/walkabout/
At a Glance: Niagara Falls, NY
For more information Click Here.
HODGE PODGE: Shifts, Shakeups and Occasional Shaftings in the Tour and Travel Industry
Janette Roush is the new managing director of marketing for New York City & Co. A long-time veteran of the city’s tour and travel industry, Roush comes to NYC & Co. from AKA NYC, where she spent nearly 8 years, lastly as vice president, insights and marketing. Previously, she’s spent many years promoting Broadway first with Theatre Direct and then with Broadway.com. She replaces Bernadette Carter who has moved on to become the Vice President of Marketing and Tourism for American Dream, the new retail and theme park complex opening at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
Carolyn J. Feimster has partnered with New Jersey-based with Woodcliff Realty Advisors LLC to lend travel and tourism consulting expertise to the company, it was announced by Rudolph E. Milian, president and CEO of the Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based commercial real estate consulting group. A veteran of three decades in the tour and travel industry, Feimster is also travel and tourism manager for SHOP*DINE*PLAY*USA, an alliance of shopping center clients that she represents at key travel trade shows.
John Bevan, the newly appointed chief executive for all of dnata Travel Europe’s B2B and B2C trading brands in the UK, has announced that Frank Rejwan has been named managing director, and will lead sales, marketing, product, commercial and operations. Rejwan joined the new senior leadership B2C team after having held roles in and out of the travel industry including at Abercrombie & Kent, Quintessentially and Ickenham Travel Group.
John Marshall has joined the New York City & Company as director, tourism development, established markets, serving the USA & Canada. In his new role, he will drive leisure travel to New York City’s five boroughs from these key visitor markets, reporting to Reginald Charlot, managing director, tourism development for established markets and working together with the organization’s travel trade representatives in Toronto. A lifelong New Yorker, Marshall joins NYC & Company with more than a decade of industry experience at Top of the Rock Observation Deck, where he advanced from customer care representative to sales manager.
Anaja “AJ” Sander has been appointed director of community engagement for Explore St. Louis. She joins the organization following service at the Greater St. Lois Area Council, Boy Scouts of America in a number of leadership positions, including those of district director and district executive.
Karen Riordan has been named president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, which markets Myrtle Beach. She had been president and CEO of the Greater Williamsburg (Va.) Chamber and Tourism Alliance. Riordan succeeds Brad Dean, who left the organization in March in order to become president and CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.
Premier Holidays has appointed Karen Milward as its new business development sales manager. She joined the tour operator on July 30. Previously, she worked at Wendy Wu Tours.
David Côté has been appointed by Air Canada Vacations as general manager sales, Quebec and Atlantic.
He has been with the Air Canada Vacations for the past 13 years. During this time, Côté has been a key player in forging relationships, and supporting our suppliers and B2B partners. He will report to Dana Gain and will be based in the company’s Montreal office.
Simon Eaton has been named the new head of Ireland for TUI. He succeeds Belinda Vazquez, who was promoted to retail director for TUI UK & Ireland. Eaton is currently commercial director of TUI-owned Crystal Ski Holidays. Eaton joined TUI as a rep 14 years ago and has worked in various roles in France and in commercial roles in the UK.
Sharry Sun has joined Travelzoo as global head of brand. In her new position, Sun will direct and oversee Travelzoo’s brand strategy, brand communications, and consumer journey enhancement for Travelzoo members in the newly created executive position. Sun previously served as the head of AEG China at Electrolux, and as a portfolio management executive at Bain Capital Asia. She is based in Travelzoo’s Tokyo office
Janice Bennett for 24 years at New York Cruise Lines, Inc.
Victor Belucci for 6 years as USA director at Abreu Tours
Malcom Smith for 9 years at U.S. Travel Association
Cheryl Kilday for 8 years at Visit Spokane
Roseangel Olivo for 5 years at GTA
Keri Hanson for 5 years at Macy’s
Chelsea Hoff for 5 years at Discover Los Angeles
June Fallo for 3 years at Edgar Degas House, Museum, Studio, Courtyard and Inn