Robert Graff has been named vice president of sales and marketing for Las Vegas-based Bindlestiff Tours. He was previously vice president of marketing and international sales for the Papillon Group-Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters/Scenic Airlines, where he served for nearly 18 years. Prior to that, Graff was vice president of sales and marketing for Heli USA Airways.
Bruce Beckham received the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award at NTA’s Travel Exchange last week in Milwaukee. Currently vice president of the cruise & tour division at Quinwell Travel Service, Beckham was executive director of Tourism Cares, NTA’s official philanthropy wing, for 13 years (2000-2013). Prior to that he had his own tour company for 25 years and also worked as a professional speaker and workshop instructor working with DMOs and lodging companies. His first NTA convention was 1972 and he has since attended 48 consecutive meetings.
Luís Paulo Luppa, (left) who has headed the tour operator Grupo Trend since January 2010, is leaving the company soon, according to an announcement from its owner, CVC. Mauricio Favoretto,(right) formerly with Coca Cola, Campari and Nestle, will direct Trend after an orientation period during which Luppa will help prepare him for his new job. Luppa, known as a “Pitbull” salesman, was a Trend consultant for a few years and was invited by the then partners Jose Anjos and Washington Preti to take over the presidency in the new phase of the company in late 2009. The announcement of the purchase of Trend by CVC was made in May 2017, and the deal was completed at the end of last year.
Sonia Davies has been appointed CEO of luxury tour operator Scott Dunn. Former CEO Simon Russell will relocate to San Diego in the spring and take up the role of international director to further develop Scott Dunn’s global expansion. Davies joined the company as chief operating officer in January 2018 having previously worked in a number of different industries, including time at NetJets and Sysco. Most recently she managed the acquisition and integration of Asian-based tour operator Country Holidays, which now trades as Scott Dunn in Singapore and Hong Kong. In her new role, she is to continue the growth of the Scott Dunn and Imagine brands in the UK market and the accelerated growth of the Scott Dunn brand in the U.S. and Asia.
The Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced a number of new appointments this week. Colleen Pace joins the CVB from Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa as the organization’s new chief marketing officer. Dana Fury, who most recently worked for Universal Pictures, will serve as marketing manager, while Julie Sinclair, a former editor for a wide variety of lifestyle, travel and hospitality publications, will be the director of brand communications. Donna Sturgeon, a Palm Springs resident for over 20 years and former director of work-based learning for the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, will serve as the CVB’s new manager of the Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program, while Marissa Willman has been promoted to director of digital marketing. Also, Jean Paul Zapata has joined the CVB from Santa Monica PR agency Klick Communications as media relations manager.
In France, Claire Charrier has been appointed as a commercial manager for the tour operator National Tours. She’ll be responsible for overseeing activity at 18 different locations in the west of France. She joins the operator from Thomas Cook France.
Also from France, Christophe Silvin has been appointed director of operations at Travel Planet. He joins the company from France Cars, where he was director of operations from 2002 to 2010, when he became general director. The management of Travel Planet will now be organized around a management committee composed of, director of operations, Jean-Christophe Sabatier, business development and integration director and Cyprien Descheemaeker, R & D Director. The senior management will focus on the Group’s international development and new offerings.
After spending nearly 21 years with United Airlines in Brazil—the last four of them as country director, Lucimar Reis has moved on to the country’s largest tour operator/travel agent, CVC, where she has been named air supplier management director. Before her long career with United, Reis had been an account manager at VARIG, Brazil’s first airline, which shut down in 2006.
Terry Williamson has joined The Appointment Group as non-executive chairman of the board. A former CEO of JacTravel, Williamson has more than 30 years’ experience in travel and private equity, including senior roles at Thomas Cook, Cosmos and Monarch Travel Group, having started his career in finance.
Klaus-Ulrich Sperl, a longtime manager at Thomas Cook, is switching to DER Touristik as head of destination management activities. Sperl, currently commercial director for the whole Thomas Cook Group, will leave the company at the end of 2018 after nearly 19 years in different management positions. He held various jobs in Germany, the UK and in Western Europe during his career with DER Touristik, which Europe’s second-largest tourism company. TUI is No. 1. As group commercial director, he is responsible for Thomas Cook’s own product portfolio and hotel contracting.
Mike Gallagher for 22 years at CITYPASS
Klaus Ritter for 14 years at Starline Tours of Hollywood
Dana Higgins for 7 years at Visit Oceanside Conference and Visitors Bureau
Lois Stoltzfus for 5 years at Groups Galore
Kristen Jarnagin for 3 years at Discover Long Island
A REMINDER: The INBOUND Report will not publish next week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S. It will resume publishing the following week, with the Nov. 29, 2018 issue.