Saga has appointed Michael Fleetwood product and purchasing manager for Europe and North Africa, while Emma-Jane Browning becomes senior destination services manager at the company. Fleetwood’s career started at TWA Getaway Vacations before a 10-year stint with Russian travel specialist Intourist. Most recently, he joined Cox & Kings as product manager with responsibility for Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Russian Federation. Browning previously spent 10 years with James Villa Holidays, including as a villa manager in Lanzarote. She also held roles including head of quality, overseas manager and head of customer experience.
Lorne Edwards has been promoted to senior vice president of sales and services for Visit Phoenix. Edwards who joined the agency in 2012 as director of sales, was promoted to the position of vice president in 2017.
Group travel brand Aventura World has named John Smith to the role of vice president of business development. Smith, who has spent time with companies such as The Globus Family of Brands, MSC Cruises USA, The Walt Disney Travel Company, and Carnival Corporation, will work with group planners, organizations, and businesses in the planning and delivery of all kinds of group travel programs.
The Greater Miami CVB has appointed Debra Lee as director of sales for the Southeast, Southwest, West and Caribbean markets. She has 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and public relations, with a specific concentration on the Caribbean and Latin American markets, having held roles with companies such as American Airlines, AA Vacations, Travelport and, most recently, the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Destination Niagara USA has named Lindsey Bowman its convention and meeting sales manager, putting her in charge of marketing and selling all convention and meeting business for the destination. She has been with Destination Niagara for more than six years, previously serving as its leisure group sales manager.
Destination Niagara USA has also contracted Alfredo Gonzalez of AG Hospitality Group to represent the destination in international travel trade markets. Alfredo has worked in the travel industry for over three decades and will focus on growing international visitation from the destination’s top markets. He founded AG Hospitality Group in 2017.
Explore has appointed Philippa Baines to its trade sales team as business development manager. Baines re-joins the adventure travel specialists with more than 25 years of travel industry experience. This is a return engagement for Baines, who previously worked at Explore for a number of years as trade sales manager until 2016, before moving to Wendy Wu Tours and, most recently, Intrepid Travel.
In her new role, Baines will report to Explore’s global head of sales, Ben Ittensohn.
Bob Buesing, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. tour and travel industry, has joined U S Tours, where he will focus on Product Development and work with Banks, Hospitals and Alumni Groups in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Buesing is the former owner of East Coast Touring and principal partner of Shore Excursions of America.
Martin Froggatt (left) Travelopia’s group chief sales officer and managing director adventures and events, is leaving the business. Beginning the June 1 (the first day of IPW in Anaheim), Sam Seward will join the Travelopia executive leadership team reporting directly to chief executive Andy Duncan as managing director, adventure. Seward will continue to lead the Exodus business. Froggatt’s departure comes just about two years after the acquisition of the business (it used to be known as the Specialist Holidays Group at TUI) by the New York-based private equity firm KKR.
Paul Upchurch has resigned as president and CEO of Visit Milwaukee after serving the organization for nine years. He is remaining on the job to help with expansion of the city’s new convention center and with transition work through December. Prior to joining Visit Milwaukee, Upchurch was chief operating officer for five years of TCA, a collection of upscale sports resorts and athletic clubs in the U.S. and Canada. Previously, he spent more than 20 years in senior management positions in the hotel industry.
Kontik Viagens has announced the appointment of Daniele Bernini as director of events and Incentives. A veteran of more than 20 years in the tour and travel industry, Bernini has experience in the in TMC, hotel and tour operator sectors.
Daniel Robb has been named chief marketing officer of Audley Travel. Robb, a former digital marketing boss for TUI, replaces director of digital and marketing Loic Robertson, who leaves the tour operator this month after 14 years. He is responsible for all digital and offline marketing as well as overseeing the company’s overall sales activity and brand strategy.
Marco Barros is stepping down from his post as head of the San Antonio Area Tourism Council. Barros, who has held the job for more than two decades (he started in the position in July 1997) is leaving to do consulting work for several businesses in the hospitality, transportation and food industries. His last day as CEO was May 31, and he will remain involved with the organization for several months to help search for a replacement.
Rory Davis has been named as the new senior manager, sports and entertainment sales, for the San Francisco Travel Association. He comes to the position from Giants Enterprises, where he worked for six years, most recently as marketing manager.
John Hutar has been appointed president and CEO of the San Mateo/Silicon Valley CVB. Hutar, who started in his new position on May 29, succeeded Anne LeClair, who retired after 19 years in the post. A veteran of more than two decades in the hotel industry, Hutar was previously vice president and general manager at Dinah’s Garden Hotel in Palo Alto, California.
Long-time tour and travel industry veteran Cheryl Hargrove has been promoted to the post of industry and partner relations at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Tourism Division. Cheryl started with the department more than five years ago as tourism project manager, The Coast. Her resume includes tenures with the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations and Travel South USA.
Paul Torres has been named head of strategic partnerships and trade accounts, Northeast USA, at Merlin Entertainments. Torres joins the company from Hornblower Cruises and Events, where he served for more than 11 years.
(INBOUND is a service of Connect Travel, which will be at booth 2235 at IPW in Anaheim. Stop by and pay us a visit!)