Europe Remains the Top Overseas Market
The latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) for overseas visitors—they appear in the tables below–continue to make it look like 2019 will end its run as a flat-to-little-growth year, complete with a decline in traffic from China for the second year in a row. And the U.S. share of global long-hall traffic continues to decline.
Still, if you are searching for positive figures to put into a report you are preparing, consider this: seven of the top overseas country markets for the U.S. are from Europe and the range of year-to-date traffic through November 2019 goes from a seven percent increase for Spain to a low of three-tenths of a one percent decline (statistically speaking, it rounds to a zero) for Germany.
And despite a consensus view among the UK news media through much of the year that was pessimistic about the impact of Brexit on British travelers, it appears that, no matter what, the Brits have shown that they are taking their overseas holidays. All of these factors seem validate Brand USA’s new strategy for the future of regarding Europe as a single market.
A note: the tables below do not include arrivals from Canada and Mexico, which are determined differently than the overseas figures that NTTO counts. Overseas arrivals account about half of all international visitors to the USA.
Brand USA Lives on
In another example of deft and ginger lobbying midst the closing days of a U.S. Congress, the U.S. Travel Association and its partners were able to secure both House and Senate backing for reauthorization of Brand USA through Fiscal Year 2027. Two days after the House of Representatives voted for the measure, which had been incorporated into a massive $1.4 trillion funding bill to keep the U.S. government operating for another fiscal year, the Senate approved it on Dec. 19, not long before adjourning for 2019, and while most attention in the nation’s capital was focused on votes by the House to impeach President Donald Trump.
The action was uncannily similar to the maneuvering of US Travel in December 2015, when Congress approved an extension of Brand USA (it is still officially known as the Corporation for Travel Promotion), which was created with the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, by quietly dropping the language reauthorizing Brand USA into a measure that funded the U.S. Capitol police as part of the Omnibus Government Appropriations in a bill that was approved by the Senate late on a Saturday, December 13, 2014—the last day of the 113th Congress.
The reauthorization contains some changes in way in which the money collected to operate the public-private sector agency is allocated, but it will continue to function essentially as is. (The U.S. government collects funds through a fee levied on travelers to the United States from Visa Waiver countries using ESTA—the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It matches funds that are raised by the private sector.)
US Travel President and CEO Roger Dow, who played a lead role in shepherding through Congress the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, which created Brand USA, said of the legislation extending the life of the organization through Fiscal Year 2017, “By approving Brand USA, Congress sends a clear message to the American people: smart, bipartisan policymaking that generates economic value and jobs is alive and well in Washington. Brand USA’s work to boost international visitation is absolutely essential to the U.S. trade balance, and the fact that it operates without sending American taxpayers a bill make it a model public-private partnership that delivers proven results. Congress should be widely applauded for this move by anyone who cares about the U.S. economy and trade.”
One of the reasons that the travel and tourism industry has been able to garner support for Brand USA is that US Travel and other industry organizations lobbying for the agency have created bipartisan support for it. This was evident as Dow singled out for praise the co-sponsors of Brand USA reauthorization in the Senate and House—Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and U.S. Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Dina Titus (D-NV) and Greg Walden (R-OR).
A Good Sign for European Outbound Traffic?
During the first eight months of 2019 outbound trips from Europe rose by 2.5 per cent, with outbound trips from Eastern Europe recording a higher growth rate than those from Western Europe.
So says the latest research from the Munich-based research and marketing firm, IPK, in its World Travel Monitor forecast, * which also predicts higher growth in outbound trips from Europe for 2020
Other key highlights from the report include the following:
—Growth, yes, but at a weaker level than past year. After a strong rise by five per cent last year, during the first eight months of 2019 outbound trips from Europe increased by 2.5 per cent, a weaker figure than last year and below the global average of 3.9 per cent.
—Trips to America and Europe are more popular than
travel to Asia
As regards destination choices, during the first eight months of 2019 trips to Europe performed better (plus three per cent) than to Asia (two per cent). Long-haul trips by Europeans to America, which in recent years had risen only slightly, were on the increase again (plus three per cent).
—City breaks continue to grow. Overall, holiday trips increased by three per cent during the first eight months of 2019. At seven per cent, city breaks were the biggest growth driver in the holiday market, followed by countryside holidays and cruises, which both grew by five per cent. Sun and beach holidays, still the most popular holiday type, registered two per cent growth over the same period. Round trips, after increasing significantly last year, rose by only one per cent so far this year.
—Higher growth expected for 2020. IPK International forecasts that in 2020 outbound trips by Europeans will increase by three to four per cent, thus a higher growth rate than in 2019 will be expected. This forecast is based on the findings of the “World Travel Confidence Index” of IPK International, which is part of World Travel Monitor polls people’s travel intentions for the next 12 months.
*The World Travel Monitor is based on the results of representative interviews with more than 500,000 people in over 60 countries worldwide. It has been compiled for more than 20 years and is recognized as the most widescale continuous survey of global travel trends.
Resilient UK Holiday-Makers Buoy British Trade Outlook for 2020
“They are committed to their holidays.” There must be have been a reason beyond or beneath the survey results that, for the past year, have resulted in the optimistic outlook for travel to the United States from the UK by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO). Year-on-Year, the number of visitors from the UK, which is the largest overseas source market for the U.S. inbound tourism industry, is expected to increase by 4 percent, once 2019 is history. In fact, overall, UK vacations at home and abroad reached their highest level in almost a decade. And NTTO is forecasting a 2 percent increase in visitation from British travelers in 2020. Why?
The answer seems to be simple: Because they are committed to their holidays.
The researchers and writers of the ABTA’s Travel Trends Report 2020, which was recently released, explained it this way: “2019 proved to be a resilient year for holiday-taking. ABTA’s own research, along with other industry data, shows that despite the gloomy political and economic indicators, the vast majority of people still went on holiday–nearly nine in ten of us, in fact.” The report stated, “in spite of these factors, people have remained committed to their holidays. ABTA research shows that 88 percent of people took a holiday in the 12 months to the end of July 2019, either at home or abroad, up slightly from 86 percent last year and the highest number since 2011.”
ABTA, which is by far the number one trade organization for travel agents in the UK, makes it clear in its assessment of the situation that “the enduring appeal of the package holiday is part of the reason for this, particularly as it evolves and adapts to appeal to new generations of holidaymakers.” Also encouraging, the report notes, is that “travel professionals are adapting to the changing needs of customers, a trend we think will continue.”
Here are some of the other featured points noted in the ABTA Trends report:
• 2019 saw the biggest company failure in UK travel industry history, with the collapse of Thomas Cook, while the Brexit crisis that has dominated UK politics for several years continued.
• Holidays abroad, particularly longer holidays of seven nights or more, proved especially popular. The number of foreign holidays of seven plus nights increased to an average of 1.1 per person in 2019, up from 1.0 in 2018 and 0.7 in 2016. More than six in ten Brits (64 percent) took a foreign holiday in the 12 months to July 2019, up from 60% the previous year, and the highest figure since 2011.
• According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, the package holiday market has enjoyed five consecutive years of growth since 2014. (ONS data show 2018 overseas package holiday visits of 18,172,000, up from 17,539,000 in 2017; 17,456,000 (2016); 16,676,000 (2015); and 15,868,000 in 2014).
• Looking at consumer sentiment, the mood appears to be fairly positive when it comes to holidays. ABTA’s research shows that travel is still a spending priority for the year ahead as over a quarter of people (27 percent) plan to spend more on their holiday, up from 25 percent who said the same last year.
• The number of people who plan to spend less (14 percent) is consistent with the past two years.
• Seven in ten people (70 percent) are planning a trip abroad. Europe remains the number one destination people plan to visit, with 57 percent saying they plan to take a trip there. The UK is the second most popular option at 56 percent.
• Just over half of people (51 percent) say they are concerned about the impact Brexit will have on the cost of their holiday. However, this has fallen since last year when 54 percent said that they were concerned.
• Value for money looks set to be a strong driver of holiday choices in 2020, as was the case last year. 21 percent of people say they plan to take an all-inclusive in the year ahead.
• Trends across the industry include: The rise of “slow travel,” in which the experience of getting to destination has become a more important part of travel, hence the popularity of two-and-three week train trips and other kinds of trekking; increased and improved digital customer service; new types of flexible and immersive travel products; the move toward “electronic aviation” as airlines move ahead with plans to fly low-noise, electric passengers jets; and an increased focus on the environmental aspects of tourism.
Germany Finishing the Year Strong
Shutdown of Thomas Cook Did not Hurt: Tour operators increased their revenues by 2 percent in the tourism year ending October 31, 2019, the DRV announced at its annual conference in Hamburg this week. This included a slight 1 percent rise in revenues for summer 2019. The figures are based on monthly surveys of travel agency and online sales of tour operator holidays, conducted by the Nuremberg-based market researcher firm Travel Data & Analytics (TDA) ©Travel Intelligence. They were announced at the recent conference of the German Travel Association (DRV).
In addition to the wealth of mostly good news about the retail sector, it was announced that a beneficiary of the strong performance among long-haul destinations was the USA (+7 percent) and along with Mexico (+10 percent).
From the TDA Report: At the end of October 2019, the 2019 summer season and the 2018/19 tourism year were completed.
—On the “home straight,” travel sales in Germany managed to turn both balance sheets into positive figures: The 2019 summer season ends with a small growth in sales of one percent, the 2018/19 tourism year ended with a plus of two percent. In particular, the new 2019/20 winter season can improve significantly on the previous month.
—Only the early bookers for the coming summer 2020 are lagging behind the previous year (-10 percent), so that the booking month of October closed with an overall increase in turnover of only three per cent.
—With a sales increase of one percent, the 2019 summer season will not only be able to maintain the high growth level of the previous year’s season, but will even slightly exceed it: The summer of 2018 ended with a plus of ten percent. In stationary travel sales, this year’s summer balance is somewhat weaker (-1 percent) than in online travel sales (+7 percent). In the final result for the tourism year, stationary sales reached the break even, while online sales grew by nine per cent in terms of turnover.
—Thanks to last minute growth of 33 percent, the travel month of October 2019 can improve to 8.5 percent more turnover (previous month: 6.7 percent). The allegedly high last-minute traffic only accounts for a small share of the overall seasonal result. After all, it has turned out to be sufficiently high to be able to still increase summer 2019 to rounded plus one percent.
—In the last booking month of the season, 10.5 percent of booking revenues were generated in the summer season, which has now ended. This represents an increase of 2.4 percentage points year-on-year.
—The 10 percent increase in sales for the new winter season is much more significant: cumulated to the current booking level, it now shows only a slight minus of one percent. A month ago, it was still minus four percent.
Summer Ends in Plus; Winter Improves Significantly
—The increasing demand for winter holidays has primarily benefited travel agencies: With them the increase amounts to 12 percent in comparison to only plus three percent in on-line selling.
—A not inconsiderable part of these bookings is probably attributable to those affected by the Thomas Cook bankruptcy, who have booked replacements for their cancelled trips. What might distort the overall picture in the current seasonal balance sheets—summer and winter—are the Thomas Cook cancellations, which are missing for reasons of insolvency law.
—Most of the winter turnover achieved so far (53 percent) is attributable to the early travel months of November (+8.0 percent) and December (+0.2 percent). The sales balance for the travel month of February (+1.9 per cent) has now also turned positive in relation to the current booking status. Although all others were able to improve compared to the previous month, they are still in the minus, which for the later travel months of March and April 2020 is even double-digit. The demand for Easter holidays, which is already visibly increasing in most cases at this time, is lacking.
—The early bookers for the next summer holiday in 2020 are also cautious at the current booking status: the early summer bookings are ten percent below the previous year in terms of turnover, while in the booking month of October 2019 they already account for 39.5 percent of the total turnover in proportion to turnover – however, this is 5.7 percentage points less than in the same month last year. Possible explanations for the reluctance to book beyond the winter months could be general uncertainty among travelers due to the insolvency of one of Germany’s largest tour operators as well as the summer catalogues of other major tour operators which will be published later.
NYC Falls out of Euromonitor International’s Top 10
Asian Destinations Dominate Euromonitor’s International Ranking: The widely publicized and cited Top 100 City Destinations, 2019 edition, which was recently released by Euromonitor International, has New York City falling out of the Top 10 Cities (destinations) worldwide. It is now Number 11. This fact was emphasized in most of the coverage of the release; however, a closer reading of the list will show another fact: There has been a general strengthening of the position of Asian cities across the Top 100, as well as in the Top 10. In fact, 43 of the top 100 cities are in the Americas; 43 are in Asia, while just 13 are in the Americas. (See explanation of report’s methodology at end of article. *)
In slightly changing the tabular format used by Euromonitor in its presentation of the list, INBOUND has assembled a Top 15 list which shows that almost 7 cities from Asia are included. No other regional market comes close.
The current ranking used by INBOUND differs slightly from that of Euromonitor because rank is based on 2019 data that are estimated arrivals figures based on part-year data—not on actual arrival figures for 2018. Euromonitor international includes over 400 cities in its research.
Meanwhile, back in the USA: Following are the figures from the Top 100 for the Top Ten Cities of the Americas. One will see that, based on the downward change in rank (despite increases in annual visitor counts) most of the top cities of the Americas—despite increases in annual visitor counts—are falling behind as Asian cities grow stronger.
* Methodology and Definitions: Euromonitor International’s city arrivals research covers over 400 cities. The report highlights the top 100 cities based on 2018 international arrivals. International arrivals by city includes visitors from abroad who arrive at the city under review as their first point of entry, also including visitors to the city who arrived in the country via a different point of entry, but then go on to visit the city in question during their trip.
Arrivals are defined as international tourists, i.e. any person visiting another country for at least 24 hours, for a period not exceeding 12 months, and staying in paid or unpaid, collective or private accommodation. Each arrival is counted separately and includes people travelling more than once a year and people visiting several cities during one trip. Arrivals encompasses all purposes of visit, such as business, leisure and visiting friends and relatives.
Arrivals excludes domestic visitors, same-day visitors, people in transit and cruise passengers as this can distort arrivals figures at important border crossings and cruise destinations, respectively. It also excludes those in paid employment abroad. Students that stay in a country for a period of more than 12 months are excluded and are considered as temporary residents. Military personnel and transportation crew are excluded, along with displaced people because of war or natural disasters. The ranking focuses on city hubs and tends to exclude beach and ski resorts that may enjoy high volumes of international visitors.
The ranking tables in the complete white paper provide 2017, 2018 and forecast 2019 arrivals data, as well as rank movements. 2013–18 rank movement indicates the change in rank between 2013 and 2018 of each city based on the arrivals in 2013 and 2018. 2018–19 rank movement indicates the change in rank between 2018 and 2019, where 2019 data is an estimated arrivals figure based on part-year data. The cities included in the current Top 100 ranking might not have been or will not be in the ranking in 2013 or 2018.
China Travel Notes
• Thomas Cook Brand to be Re-Booted: The Shanghai-based Fosun Tourism Group that owns the Thomas Cook brand name is going to relaunch it in the near future—although the resuscitated company will have a reduced and more focused target market. Fosun, which had an 18 percent interest in Thomas Cook prior to the latter’s collapse last September 23rd, plans to use the UK tour operator’s brand on a travel platform targeting European customers.
Fosun Tourism Group, the Shanghai-based company that bought Thomas Cook’s trademark following its dramatic collapse on September 23rd, will debut the platform in the first half of next year, al Khaleej Today recently reported. Ultimately, it seems, Fosun Group’s new Thomas Cook will target travelers, especially those in Europe who are already familiar with the Thomas Cook name—to the company’s resorts around the world a source told the publication. One of Fosun’s properties is the resort group Club Med. Fosun was able to acquire the Thomas Cook trademark last month for about $14 million. The “new” Thomas Cook from Hong Kong is not to be confused with Thomas Cook India, which was acquired in 2012 by Fairfax Financial Holdings, which is based in Toronto, Canada, but which has connected interests in India.
• Chinese Travelers Are Diversifying, Trying New Destinations: According to the results of a recent survey by online travel giant Ctrip.com, Chinese tourists will travel to more overseas destinations during the Spring Festival holiday in 2020, which kicks off with the seven-day Chinese New Year celebration that begins on January 24.
The report, issued earlier this month, indicated that Chinese tourists have booked trips to 419 overseas cities in over 100 countries and regions during the seven-day holiday; both figures are new highs.
Warm weather has made Australia and New Zealand are among the most popular destinations, and trips to Italy, Britain, Spain, Russia, France and the United Arab Emirates are also bestsellers, according to the report. And 90 percent of Trip.com users have chosen high-quality travel products and services. Private travel groups with tour guides and flexible schedules have also been favored by tourists.
The fact that Chinese are willing to spend more money and time on traveling shows their growing incomes and higher living standards, said Peng Liang, a researcher with the tourist data research center of Trip.com Group. Chinese travelers made 6.3 million outbound trips during the Spring Festival holiday in 2019, up 12.48 percent year on year vs. 2018.
• What Happens as Museums Try to Chat with WeChat Users: After reviewing the just issued Jing Museum Index/Jing Travel WeChat Index for November 2019, one is inclined to conclude that some of the world’s major museums could do better in communicating their message to the billion-plus WeChat users who use the app to see and read what the museums are saying. Without having a flow chart readily available to compare data sets to those of other months, quarters and years, it is difficult to make sense of the Index but, nonetheless, here it is
Hornblower Cruises & Events Expands Portfolio to the UK
Acquisition of market-leading City Cruises signals confidence in European on-the-water business, introducing dining and sightseeing experiences in London, Poole and York: Hornblower Cruises & Events, North America’s premier provider of water-based dining, sightseeing, private charter and transportation experiences, has completed its purchase of City Cruises, the UK’s biggest tour boat operator.
This deal – the company’s fourth major investment in a year – represents another exciting milestone for Hornblower, extending its international footprint into the highly desirable UK market for the first time. It also follows its recent Canadian expansion, and purchase of Boston Harbor Cruises last month, further solidifying the company’s industry expertise and leadership in the segment, where it now offers unrivalled choice in America, Canada, and the UK, with an expansive portfolio of experiences available across 22 coveted destinations serving 9.8 million guests each year.
“We are incredibly excited to acquire City Cruises, which we believe to be the best leisure cruise operator in Europe today. We have long had the ambition to enter the European market, and it makes perfect sense to start our journey in one of the most iconic cities in the world,” commented Terry MacRae, CEO of Hornblower. “Under the expert stewardship of Gary and Rita Beckwith, City Cruises has earned an enviable reputation, and we are honored to build on their legacy in 2020 and beyond.”
Founded in 1985, City Cruises is recognized as the UK’s largest tour boat operator, carrying three million guests each year. A fleet of 20 vessels offer dining, sightseeing and charter cruises, alongside speedboat rides, as well as cruise experiences on the River Ouse in York and Poole on the south coast. Gary Beckwith, OBE, City Cruises founder and CEO commented: “We believe the sale of City Cruises to Hornblower will take the brand to the next level of success. We have always been at the forefront of change and believe our growth and success over the years is testament to our commitment to embracing innovation, constantly investing in our vessels and our customer experiences, and our dedication to providing outstanding customer service every day of the year. We have been honored to be at the helm of City Cruises and believe the business we started will further flourish and grow under Hornblower’s ownership.”
Hornblower Cruises & Events President, Kenneth Svendsen, leads the combined company. All staff will be retained, with founders Gary and Rita Beckwith assisting in the transition. “At Hornblower, we aim to always attract extraordinary brands, leadership and great product. In City Cruises we are honored to have found the trifecta! Together, we share a commitment to delivering amazing experiences to our guests and that makes this a very compelling opportunity. Gary and Rita Beckwith have created a talented team and respected operation that are a terrific addition to our portfolio,” said Svendsen. “As a European, I am thrilled to be able to expand our unparalleled guest experiences and range of products to several key UK locations, including the iconic River Thames.”
The acquisition reaffirms the company’s confidence in the marine hospitality sector, strengthened by continued investment to elevate the guest experience. In addition to expanding the company’s portfolio through mergers and acquisitions, over the past five years, Hornblower Cruises & Events has invested $50 million in guest experiences, innovation and technology, while adding new builds to the fleet alongside a program of innovative fleet enhancements and upgrades in a drive to become even more guest centric.
With the completion of this acquisition, Hornblower Cruises & Events now operates a fleet of 157 vessels offering dining cruises, sightseeing, private charter, water taxi and ferry brands in the US, Canada, and now the UK.
About City Cruises: City Cruises plc is the leading operator of passenger services on the River Thames, carrying in excess of three million passengers annually on our extensive sightseeing, entertainment and charter services.
2016 saw customer satisfaction levels at an all-time high with over 90 percent of customers very likely or rather likely to sail with City Cruises again. The company’s Net Promoter Score sits at 9.4 out of 10. City Cruises has been in operation since 1985. It has a fleet of 20 river vessels, operating on the Thames and river Ouse in York as sightseeing boats and in Poole as a coastal cruise operation. Visit: www.citycruises.com, www.thamesjet.com,www.citycruisesyork.com and www.citycruisespoole.com.
About Hornblower Cruises & Events
Hornblower Cruises & Events — which acquired Chicago-based Entertainment Cruises earlier this year — is North America’s largest and leading provider of water-based dining, sightseeing, private charter and transportation experiences. 22 coveted destinations are offered in the US, Canada and the UK, where the company employs over 4,300 shipmates who operate a fleet of 157 vessels serving upwards of 9.8 million guests each year. Hornblower Cruises & Events is a division of Hornblower Group which operates the official ferry boat service to Alcatraz Island, the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Memorial Museum on behalf of the National Park Service as well as the New York NYC Ferry, American Queen Steamboat Company, Hornblower Niagara Cruises, Victory Cruises Lines and HMS Global Maritime. The expansive portfolio reflects almost a century of sector expertise and innovation – from pioneering the earliest river sightseeing tours and dining cruises to developing the revolutionary Hornblower Hybrid, a vessel powered by wind, solar and battery electricity. For more information visit www.hornblower.com
Contact: Liz Gilbert, Sr Director, National Sales, [email protected], 312-396-2252
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HODGE PODGE: Shifts, Shakeups and Occasional Shaftings in the Tour and Travel Industry
Greg Marshall, the senior vice president/director of marketing for Visit Rochester, has formally announced that he is leaving the service of Visit Rochester, which he joined in September 1978, although he will be connected to Visit Rochester’s full network for the next several months. His 41-plus years with the DMO of the destination in which he was born and raised is some kind of record in the travel and tourism industry, where portability is a defining attribute. But Marshall, of whom it has been said, “he knows every blade of grass in Rochester,” is singular. He is not leaving the industry per se; rather, he is following a decision he made more than a year ago so that he could pursue “other ventures and adventures that had been long delayed.”
Catherine Prather, NTA’s long-time executive vice president, will take on the job as president of the organization at the start of 2020. Prather, who has been with the association for 26 years, will succeed the outgoing Pam Inman, who served as president since September 2014. Prather had served as interim president of NTA following the departure of Lisa Simon from the position and prior to Inman’s appointment.
Charlene Leiss, current presidents of Flight Centre Travel Group-Americas corporate brands, has been appointed president of the company, effective Jan. 1, 2020, succeeding Dean Smith, who will be retiring at the end of the company’s fiscal year on June 30, 2020. Smith will spend six months in a strategic global leisure role through to June 30, helping to transition the business through various leisure-related transformation initiatives that are currently underway. Leiss has been with Flight Centre since April 2015. Previously, she was vice president, sales, TMS USA, she and served there for more than 24 years.
Also at Flight Centre Travel Group Americas, John Beauvais, current president of the Flight Centre Travel Group Canadian business, will become president, corporate brands, America. He will be responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the company’s corporate brands, including FCM and Corporate Traveller in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and the company’s network throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Matt Johnson, a leader in the events industry for nearly 15 years, is the new president of BizBash, a trade media company for event and meeting planners. Connect purchased BizBash in December 2019. Johnson, currently executive vice president at Connect, will work to grow BizBash’s brand and further develop the company’s four premier events, which now fall under Connect’s portfolio umbrella. With this position, Johnson assumes a new challenge but remains part of the Connect family—which he has been a member of since 2005.
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (parent company of car rental companies Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent a Car) has announced that Chrissy Taylor, the company’s president and chief operating officer, has been promoted to chief executive officer, effective next month. Taylor becomes only the fourth CEO in the company’s more than 60-year history and the third generation of Taylor family CEO leadership, preceded as CEO by her father Andy Taylor and grandfather Jack Taylor. The position has been held since 2013 by Pam Nicholson, who will retire at the end of the year.
TUI’s last-minute holidays specialist L’Turhas, has named Benjamin Jacobi as its new managing director from October 1. The 37-year-old, who previously held various managerial roles at TUI, is currently responsible for products and finances. He replaces Marek Andryszak who will focus fully on his new role of CEO at TUI Germany.
Topdeck Travel and Blue-Roads Touring has promoted Vicki Ioannou-Theophilou to director of business development for the Americas. In her new role, Ioannou-Theophilou, who was previously business management manager for Eastern Canada, will oversee key distribution partners and develop, coordinate and implement new strategic plans to advance existing business and secure new sales opportunities. Prior to joining Top Deck/Blue Roads-Touring, she worked for GTA and TMR Holidays.
Eva Freissmuth recently joined the sales and marketing area at the German study and adventure travel specialist Icarus Tours. She takes on the responsibilities of Shirin Russ, who is on parental leave, and takes care of the travel agency’s concerns, among other things. After studying tourism at the Fresenius University in Idstein, Hesse, Freissmuth gained experience in marketing, most recently as a consultant with Thomas Cook in Oberursel.
Martim Diniz has been named director of business development, LATAM, for Universal Orlando. He joins from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment where he was manager of SeaWorld’s Sao Paulo branch. He had been with SeaWorld for nearly 10 years. Previously he was on the front desk and guest relations team at Walt Disney World.
Mollie Massari is the new president of the USA Luxury Shopping Consortium. She succeeds the departing Kathy Anderson, the consortium’s founder and president since its inception in 2017. The USA Luxury Shopping Consortium announced today that a new president and director will assume ownership of the organization in 2020. The Consortium’s founder and president since its inception in 2017, Anderson is retiring at the end of this year, but will remain active with the organization in an advisory capacity for the first year. The Consortium will now be based in San Antonio, Texas and led by Mollie Massari, an expert in the retail marketing industry. Massari was previously owner of her own consulting firm, specializing in strategic business planning, marketing and branding and public relations strategies.
CWT has appointed Charlie Sullivan to the position of product
manager for its airline distribution team.
He will report and work in close collaboration with Erik Magnuson, vice president of air distribution capabilities at CWT. Previously, he was senior vice president and general manager of e-commerce at Worldspan.
Senior travel specialist Saga has appointed former Superdry boss Euan Sutherland as chief executive. He will replace Lance Batchelor, who is leaving Saga at the end of January. Sutherland recently resigned from the struggling clothing company Superdry last April after five years following a boardroom battle with co-founder Julian Dunkerton.
Michael O’Callaghan, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Detroit Metro CVB, is retiring at the end of this year. He helped lead the organization for 21 years, and now plans to travel and spend more time with family. A replacement hasn’t yet been determined. O’Callaghan began his career in the travel and tourism industry in 1975. Prior to joining the Detroit CVB, he held senior level positions at well-known hotel brands.
Simon Lloyd has been named chief marketing officer at the travel price comparison site icelolly.com. He replaces Ross Mathhews, who left the company to join Awaze UK’s Hoseasons brand. Lloyd, who starts his new position on January 6, has previously held the same position at Virgin Atlantic, from 2012 to 2013. He was most recently CMO at financial services company Auden, and he has also worked with the BBC, AXA and Superdry.
Tim Brady, who worked as the vice president of sales and marketing for the Charleston (West Virginia) Convention and Visitors Bureau for seven years, has been named as the next president and CEO of the organization. He’ll start his new job on January 1st. Before joining the Charleston bureau, Brady was executive director for four years of the Greater Bridgeport CVB in West Virginia
From SearchWide Global:
—Discover Lancaster is searching for a new president and CEO. Click here for more details.
—The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for a new president and CEO. More details here.
—Visit Pensacola is looking for a new president and CEO. For more information, visit here.
—Visit Salt Lake is searching for its next president and CEO. For more details, click here.
—Travel Marquette is searching for a group marketing sales manager. Click here for more information.
—Visit San Antonio is looking for a director of market strategy. For more details, click here.
—There is an opening for a director of sales and catering at Great Wolf Resorts. Click here for specifics.
—Visit Orlando has an opening for a director of visitor services. For more information, visit here.
—The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (Explore St. Louis) has an opening for a vice president of sales. Click here for more information
—The Evansville, Indiana Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a chief executive officer. For more details, visit here.
—The Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau is searching for a senior vice president of convention sales. For more information, visit here.
—The San Diego Tourism Authority is searching for a president and CEO. For more information, visit here.
—The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau is looking for a president and CEO. For more information, visit here.
—The Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for its next chief executive officer. For more details, click here.
—Brent Robinson Vacation Rentals on the Alabama Gulf Coast has an opening for a director of marketing. For additional details, click here.
—Crayola Experience is looking for a head of marketing at its Easton, Pa. location. For more information, click here.
—PRA Business Events has an opening for a reginal sales manager in Las Vegas. Click here for additional details.
—Apple Leisure Group is searching for a senior director of Supplier Strategy & Investment. For more details, click here.
—The El Paso Convention & Visitors Bureau has an opening for a director of convention development. Click here for more details.
—An international hotels & resorts company has an opening for a regional director of sales and marketing; the position is based in Vancouver, B.C. Visit here for details
—A hotel management company is searching for a remote director of revenue management for the Embassy Suites Brand who will oversee two recently renovated hotels. For more information, click here.
—The Saugatuck Douglas Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a new executive director. Click here for more information.
—The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau has an opening for a vice president of people strategies. Click here for more information.
From HARP wallen Global Executive Recruitment and Search:
—In the UK, a tourism/retail destination in Central London is searched for a tourism coordinator. For additional details, visit here.
—A global airline is looking for a key account manager for its leisure sales team. Should be able to work independently as well as part of a greater team. The role will be field/home based with occasional days in the office. Click here for more information.
—A retail tourist attraction based in Central London is looking for a tourism manager. Click here for more details.