The recent announcement by Caesars Entertainment that it was cutting costs by laying off some of its corporate employees included among its victims Bruce Bommarito, who had served for the past six years as vice president of international marketing for the high profile Las Vegas-based company. In announcing the layoffs, Caesars said the move could save it $40 million per years. Before joining Caesars, Bommarito had operated his own consultancy for several years. Previously, Bommarito had served for five years (2006-2011) as executive vice president and chief operating officer at US Travel.
Pam Inman announced at the NTA tour operator retreat last week in Tucson that she will step down from her role as NTA president at the end of the year and, at the same time, Paul Larsen, chair of the NTA board of directors, announced that long time Executive Vice President Catherine Prather “will take the reins in 2020.” A long-time tour and travel industry leader Inman—she has served as NTA president for five years and, before that, she was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association for 10 years—said that, next year, she planned on doing “something entrepreneurial in this hospitality and tourism space where I’ve been working in since the early ’80s.” Prather has been with NTA for more than 25 years. (Above: Inman, left, and Prather at an event during IPW 2017 in Washington, D.C.)
The Madison Square Garden in New York City recently hired tour and travel sales specialist Dan Keller, who will be dedicated to group and FIT sales, with a specific focus on developing international partnerships. Keller will be offering inbound visitors access to tickets for all MSG properties including New York Knicks, New York Rangers, the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, as well as tours of both Madison Square Garden & Radio City Music Hall.
Zachary Holifield was recently named director of leisure business development at Coastal Mississippi. He joined the DMO from the Mississippi Development Authority, where he was international travel trade program manager.
Rachel Ferguson was recently appointed vice president, innovation & diverse marketing at Visit Philadelphia. She joined the organization from CBS New York, where she was director of communications and public affairs for nearly seven years. Prior to that, she was media relations for Visit Philadelphia, when it was known as the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.
Jerry Lepping (left) president and chief operating officer of Visit Bucks County, the county’s tourism promotion agency, is retiring from the post June 30th. Current vice president Paul Bencivengo has been tapped to replace him. Lepping joined the organization a dozen years ago. Bencivengo, meanwhile, has been a part of the agency for 10 years.
Brian Whitaker has been appointed director of sales for at CHICAGO CLASSIC COACH LLC. He joins the company from Windy City Limousine & Bus Worldwide, where he was part of the charter bus sales and operations team. Prior to that, he was vice president of Chicagoland Transportation Solutions.
Charlotte Dumesnil has been named managing director, France, for Vueling Airlines. Along liaison with David García, Vueling’s sales manager, she will lead the company’s activities in France. Prior to her appointment, Dumesnil spent most of her career in the Air France-KLM group, which she joined in 2004. Over the years, she held various positions within the group until becoming sales manager of Transavia in 2017.
Bedsonline has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of Tomeu Gili as director of sales for Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In this newly-created position, Gili will be responsible for supporting Bedsonline’s existing travel agency customers in the local markets to drive growth while further expanding and diversifying the number of agencies working with Bedsonline’s booking platform. He will be based in Dubai and lead a team of 70. Gili brings with him over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, where he was spent time in leadership positions for companies such as Destinations of the World, RTS and Gowaii Corp. Prior to these, Gili worked for Bedsonline in senior leadership roles for 12 years following the brand’s launch in 2003. This latest appointment follows Hotelbeds’ integration of both GTA and Bedsonline under the refreshed Bedsonline brand.
Online operator Ski.com has appointed Devra Glynn as its new director of travel agency sales. Glynn joins the company from Vail Resorts, where she served as leisure sales manager for seven years. Her tasks at Ski.com will include managing travel agency and consortia relationships.
Emerson Camilo is the new CEO of consolidator Sakuratur. A familiar figure in Brazil’s tour and travel industry, Camildo comes to the post with 25 years of experience in the industry, having served tenures with Dimension, Alitalia, Advance, Rextur Advance and Flytour Gapnet.