IPW 2020 Strives for More of Everything
INBOUND’s managing editor attended his first IPW in June 1986 in Phoenix. Over the years, the team at our publication has had various objectives in attending what is the most important business exchange and trade show for the U.S. inbound tourism industry as it continued to evolve—adding, disposing of, or changing different elements of the event through its 51st edition last year in Anaheim, California.
Now, however, the tour and travel industry in the USA and in the 70 nations which will send delegates to IPW on May 30-June 3 in Las Vegas are about to experience an expansion of activity, content and opportunity that delegates—especially U.S. suppliers—have never before known. This is INBOUND’s assessment following a recent, lengthy conversation and exchange of communications with the U.S. Travel Association’s Malcom Smith, senior vice president of business development and general manager of IPW.
“We want this event to be a vibrant tool for our participants,” said Smith, as he went on to outline a series of new or revised components to this year’s IPW, most of which are the result of meetings of and input from an industry task force, as well as focus-group sessions and in-person interviews. Following are some of the key changes and additions to IPW in Las Vegas:
• IPW Focus
Apparent to every IPW veteran entering the exhibit hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center will be IPW Focus, an educational program that will provide a free value add-on for delegates.
“The idea for this started a lot with hotels and attractions, who wanted more of an emphasis on education,” Smith explained. “Chief marketing officers in the discussions also wanted a place where their staff could take advantage of the experience. Open to everyone at IPW, including buyers and suppliers, Smith noted that delegates will have the option to participate in focus’ educational sessions on an array of topics—from technology and innovation to research and insights, presented by thought leaders and innovators from around the industry and beyond.
Held in IPW’s Marketing Pavilion, the focus sessions, said Smith, “will provide a great opportunity for delegates who want to watch and listen, but still don’t want to be taken from the show flow. Now, they’ll be able to learn about technology, distribution and education in 20-minute periods nearby.”
Also, Smith told us, IPW will be making available more information on research and market insights from speakers invited by U.S. Travel. And all of this will be a parallel event taking place at the same time as business sessions.
• Something for a DMO’s Smaller Members and for Smaller DMOs: Express Booths
This change will involve a new pavilion aimed at first-timers and DMOs who do not or cannot accommodate their members who are unable to have their own booth, but would still like to establish a brand presence rather than attend IPW in a booth-sharing arrangement. “We wanted to make it more accessible for these delegates.”
Hence, the Express Booth.
“It’s a quad, with four mini-stations, but still with a brand presence,” Smith noted. “A delegate will have 22 (out of 44) pre-scheduled appointments, but will have the opportunity to schedule another 22 manually prior to the event.” And an Express Booth space will be priced at one-third less than a regular booth.
Registration for Express Booths opens in February
• Pop-up Nevada
The experiment at IPW last year which included an outdoor “pop-up” California trade show that, located outside the Anaheim Convention Center featured destinations and themes from throughout the state, proved to be singularly popular with everyone, Smith told INBOUND, largely because “there is a huge appetite for networking off or outside the exhibit floor and IPW social functions.” (Below, the California Plaza outside the Anaheim Convention Center at last year’s IPW.)
Smith indicated that U.S. Travel is working with Visit Nevada with a goal of adding more attractions, as well as meeting space to the feature, which will be situated in a pavilion inside—not outside—the Las Vegas Convention Center. One objective is to create “a whole look and feel” of Nevada, which will include elements of the famous Burning Man Festival, which takes place every year in late summer in Black Rock City—about 90 miles north of Reno.
Western entertainment, artists and other attractions and travel experiences will also be featured, as U.S. Travel works at developing a model for states that help host IPW cities in the future.
• Less Noise, More Chat Time at Lunch
After the IPW task force, along with focus group results, made their recommendations, U.S. Travel decided to “ventilate” the schedule for luncheons and luncheon events. This year, explained Smith, “IPW is expanding the beginning of the luncheon program to allow attendees to meet in an environment that is conducive for networking, visiting and creating memorable moments.”
• A Tighter, More Compact Press Conference Schedule
INBOUND can attest to the fact that the schedule of IPW press conferences—an extremely popular venue for the communications staff of U.S. Travel members—had become, well, maybe a little too popular. As the photo below of Cathy Reynolds—she’s U.S. Travel’s manager, media relations and lead manager, IPW press operations—at last year’s IPW in Anaheim shows, the schedule sometimes is busy “wire-to-wire” with press conferences and presentations all day on Tuesday. Not much room to for one-on-one interaction with speakers and their staffs.
So, IPW is making its press conferences go faster, shortening their length to 20 minutes from 45 minutes (“Say it fresh and fast,” Smith said with a chuckle) and also allowing journalists to have access to the IPW exhibit hall on Tuesday and Wednesday. As of last year, journalists could not go on to the IPW exhibit floor until late Tuesday afternoon, after the 2:00 p.m. press conference.
• However, It’s Still about Business
“Selling the USA travel experience is still the Number One reason for IPW,” concluded Smith, “but delegates are seeking to get more out of it. They want to meet people outside their booth and they want to network.”
The New Top 25 UK Tour Operators
UK Operators in the Post-Thomas Cook Era: In its latest report on the matter, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had settled more than 95 percent of all the claims it had received to date following the Sept. 23, 2019 collapse of Thomas Cook, once the oldest tour operator in the UK. This equates to 320,000 claims settled at a value of over £310 million ($404 million) in ATOL* (Air Travel Organizers License) payments. This is the largest amount ever paid out by the program since its creation in 1973.
In addition to the 320,000 claims already settled, there were approximately 10,000 claims remaining and these were being processed as a matter of urgency. In most cases, these claims had taken longer to process because the details entered online did not exactly match Thomas Cook’s booking records, in some cases due to Thomas Cook’s incomplete or inaccurate data, making it more difficult for the claims team to identify bookings as quickly as CAA would like.
One factor that apparently threw a wrench into the mix was that the failure of Thomas Cook came just before the end of the period in which tour operators seek (and, for the most part, receive) renewal of their ATOL, along with the number of passengers it anticipates carrying in a rolling 12-month period. CAA usually stops accepting renewal requests at the beginning of April and at the beginning of October. But with the Cook collapse coming just a week before the close of renewal requests, the deadline was moved back to late October.
What INBOUND has done below is compare the Top 25 operators based on the number of passengers they are authorized to carry. One finds that, among the top ten operators, some larger players (British Airways, easyJet, Jet2holidays, Travel Bravo and Travel Republic) increased their allotment from last April, while TUI and Expedia decreased theirs.
As of a couple of weeks ago, the Civil Aviation Authority
said 1,182 of the 1,283 ATOLs that expired on September 30 had been granted. Of
the remaining 101, 51 did not reapply and 50 had not yet been renewed.
In the tables below, you will see how the rank of tour operators has changed—the largest change, of course, being the disappearance from the list of Thomas Cook.
*A Note: ATOL was first introduced in 1973, as the popularity of overseas holidays grew, and after number of high-profile travel business failures left people stranded overseas while vacationing. The UK Government realized that consumers required protection when their travel providers fell into difficulties. ATOL currently protects around 20 million holidaymakers and travelers each year. ATOL is run by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). It is able to provide assistance by requiring ATOL holders to pay a fee of £2.50 ($3.25) for each traveler, which is held in a fund managed by the Air Travel Trust.
The World’s 25 Best Cities—2020
More than a third of the Top 25 are U.S. Cities: What are the key factors that determine where one chooses a city to live in and a city to visit? Following a major research and analytical work in 2018 that focused on the United States and its best cities, the Resonance Consultancy hopes it has answered these questions through a just released a work that ranks the world’s top cities.
Of particular not to travel and tourism leaders is the report’s assertion that, today, “the experiential quality of a place is increasingly determining where talent, capital and tourism flow.” But how does one go about measuring the quality of one place versus another?
In 2018, the New York City-based Resonance Consultancy partnered with global research firm Ipsos to conduct a survey of the U.S. population to determine the factors people consider most important in choosing a city to live in and choosing a city to visit. The group also conducted a survey of business decision makers to determine the factors they considered important in choosing a city in which to do business or invest. In addition, it conducted an analysis to determine which of these perception-shaping factors survey respondents told us were important showed a positive correlation with factors such as GDP, employment, company formation and visitor arrivals.
The 2020 World’s Best Cities ranks the world’s cities (principal cities of metropolitan areas with populations of more than one million) by using a combination of statistical performance and qualitative evaluations by locals and visitors in 22 areas grouped into six core categories. Principal cities are defined as the largest city in each metropolitan statistical area.
The Six Core Categories:
Place—The most layered category quantifies a city’s physical sense of place. To score a city within our Place category, we evaluate the perceived quality of its natural and built environments. From how often the sun shines to the safety of the streets, several readily measurable, oft-cited factors influence our perceptions.
Weather: Average number of sunny days (National Climatic Data Center, Weatherbase)
Safety: Homicide rate (Office for National Statistics, Office for Regional Statistics, Office on Drugs and Crime, Eurostat)
Neighborhoods & Landmarks: Number of quality neighborhoods and landmarks recommended by locals and visitors (TripAdvisor.com)
Outdoors Number of quality parks and outdoor activities recommended by locals and visitors (TripAdvisor.com)
Product—This is a ranking of the “hardware” of a city—often the most difficult metric for cities to get right. Our product category studies a city’s key institutions, attractions and infrastructure. A city’s infrastructure and institutions shape its identity via the quantity, quality and reputation of these “products.” Expensive and difficult to develop and maintain, exceptional, recognizable products are often found only in large, cosmopolitan cities.
Airport Connectivity: Number of direct destinations served by the city’s airports (Google Flights)
Attractions: Number of quality attractions recommended by locals and visitors (TripAdvisor.com)
Museums: Number of quality museums and arts institutions recommended by locals and visitors (TripAdvisor.com)
University: Ranking of the top local university (U.S. News & World Report, Best Global Universities)
Convention Center: Size of the largest convention center (Official Convention Center Website).
People—The more diverse a city’s population, the more it produces global ideas… on a local scale. Human capital is often a city’s most valuable resource. To evaluate the relative strength of human capital from one city to the next, one considers the diversity of the city’s population—something of proven importance when it comes to attracting talent.
Diversity: Percentage of foreign-born residents (UK Office for National Statistics, Office for Regional Statistics, Eurostat, The World Bank–United Nations Population Division)
Educational Attainment Percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher (Office for National Statistics, Office for Regional Statistics, Eurostat, The World Bank – UNESCO Institute for Statistics).
Prosperity—A well-paid, economically secure citizenry facilitates stewardship and innovation. In general, beliefs about the wealth and prosperity of a city are shaped by statistics such as the income of citizens, the standard of living and by the presence or absence of large, recognizable corporations—despite the fact that start-ups and innovation increasingly drive a city’s development and economic growth.
Global 500: Number of Global 500 corporate headquarters (Fortune.com)
GDP per capita: GDP per capita (in U.S. dollars), (McKinsey Urban World)
Programming—This category measures the experiential pillars of a great visit: food, shows, shopping and nightlife. If our Product category is the “hardware” of cities and destinations, the mosaic of cultural programming and lifestyle experiences they offer is the “software” that makes them run—including the subcategories of Shopping, Culture, Dining and Nightlife. While such programming initiatives are individually insignificant, their sum fosters a community’s connection to place.
Culture: Number of quality performing arts and cultural experiences recommended by locals and visitors (TripAdvisor.com)
Nightlife: Number of quality nightlife experiences recommended by locals and visitors (TripAdvisor.com)
Dining: Number of quality restaurants and culinary experiences recommended by locals and visitors (TripAdvisor.com)
Shopping: Number of quality shopping experiences recommended by locals and visitors (TripAdvisor.com)
Promotion— A city’s ability to tell its story (and help others do the same) depends on how it incentivizes and rewards sharing of experiences by locals and visitors. The number and frequency of media coverage, online articles, references and place-based recommendations influence our perception of cities, whether the news is good or bad. Today, residents, businesses and visitors promote a city to the world more than city marketers or chambers of commerce. Resonance ranks a city’s Promotion performance based on the number of stories, references and recommendations shared online about that city.
Facebook Check-ins: Number of Facebook check-ins (Facebook.com)
Google Searches: Number of Google search results (Google.com)
TripAdvisor Reviews: Number of TripAdvisor reviews (TripAdvisor.com)
Instagram Hashtags: Most Instagrammed city (Instagram.com)
Google Trends: Popularity on Google Trends in the past 12 months (Google.com)
In Trend Reversal, Brits Booking Sooner Rather than Later
For several years now, the travel and tourism trade has heard and read of survey after survey indicating that British travelers were shifting to last-minute. No more, it seems, as bargain booking site Travelzoo reported last week that nearly three out of every four (72 percent) of its members are planning to book over three months before the travel date. This, said James Clarke—he’s the UK-based general manager for Travelzoo—shows that its members appear to be optimistic about 2020.
Clarke described the above finding as a “dramatic increase” and he ascribed it to the possibility that people are feeling more financially secure and wanting to secure their holiday. He added, however, that it remained to be seen whether a lastminute trend reappears in May and June, particularly for operators with committed stock.
The 72 percent number is just one of the upbeat notes resulting from recent consumers research conducted by Travelzoo. Some other signs that Clarke pointed to in his report on the survey during a presentation at a Travelzoo travel trends event in London included the following:
—Well over half (57 percent) of the portion of Travelzoo’s five million UK members who were polled, expected to be better off in 2020, and 30 percent had greater confidence in the economy.
—In terms of members looking to book their holidays further in advance, Travelzoo found 72% are planning to book over three months before the travel date.
—Survey respondents were asked about what destinations they are looking to travel to in 2020 with 94 percent saying they were keen to try somewhere new.
—Of destinations mentioned, Japan figured highly, as did Canada, possibly due, Clarke said, to the recent royal connection with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Norway also figured highly.
—More adventurous destinations like Uzbekistan and the Galapagos also featured highly, indicating an increasing desire for experiential trips among Travelzoo members.
—Travelzoo members were also found to be seeking greater value, but want to holiday in luxury, looking for five-star hotels at three-star prices.
—This year the survey also asked about attitudes towards sustainability to assess whether the rising profile of climate and global warming is having an impact on buying behavior. It found just 18% are actually considering their carbon footprint when they are choosing and planning their holidays.
Overall, Clarke summed up survey results thus: “This is hopefully the first signs we are seeing of certainty in the marketplace and improved confidence in the travel market,” Clarke said.
2020 Industry Outlook for Germany is Stable
As the German travel and tourism industry machinery—the long-haul market included—launches into 2020, all the instruments seem to agree that it is going to be a strong and stable year. Just after the last issue of INBOUND was published, ReiseAnalyse came out with its much-awaited annual report, “Vacation Travel Trends, 2020.”
And though it looks like the overall industry, both domestic, inbound and outbound will be “stable and strong,” it will still be about the same as it was as far as visitor traffic to the U.S. is concerned. This concurs with the most recent edition of the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office’s (NTTO) long-term forecast indicating that total outbound travel should total about 2,080 German visits, which is almost identical to what the number was in 2018 and 2019.
But, as one mines the information in the ReiseAnalyse report, one will come across nuanced data supporting such findings as one that that says many Germans (more than 40 percent, in fact) are itching to try a new destination in their travels this year. Could this mean that some travelers will opt for a different long-haul destination besides the USA?
The Mindset of the German Travelers: Although Dr. Martin Lohmann, the long-time scientific advisor to ReiseAnalyse, did not use the term “mindset,” he alluded to the point that it is important to take into account how German consumers assess their own economic condition is when considering and analyzing travel-driven data. (The numbers cited below come from ReiseAnalyse research and surveys.)
Lohmann noted that “the indicators for tourism demand in 2020 show (again) a positive starting position. As for German consumers, he said, “With regard to their own situation, they are in a positive mood, albeit somewhat more subdued than last year.” For instance, nearly 80 percent of Germans expect their personal economic situation to state the same or improve (57 percent and 22 percent, respectively), while the other 22 percent—the figures are rounded, so do not add up to 100—fear deterioration.
Conclusion? “The overall individual economic situation is perceived as stable (which) is an important prerequisite for holiday tourism 2020.”
They’re planning early: Four out of five Germans (78 percent) have already thought about vacation trips in 2020. Whether someone actually starts a trip is then a question of ability (time and money?)
The desire for vacation is evident, with 57 percent indicating a slightly increased desire, with important factors time (66 percent) and money (62 percent).
Overall, these results express a positive holiday mood and signal good starting conditions for 2020 on the demand side.
What Will This Year’s Vacations Look Like? The overall picture of vacation trips will hardly differ from 2020, both at the travel destinations as well as the types of travel. The preferences expressed in surveys speak to this. That is why 2020 holiday trips in Germany will be in first place with around 30 percent with Spain, Italy, Turkey and Austria following.
The constant overall picture must not hide the individual flexibility and the tendency of holidaymakers to take turns: 42 percent plan to visit a destination this year, in which they have not yet been.
But it also becomes clear that holidaymakers are attracted to many of the numerous tourist offerings. They are multi-optional, and have more desires and interests than they are in one year into a trip. This basically secures demand, but increases competition in the industry and makes developments in detail difficult to predict.
Trends to Watch: Sustainability, “flight shame” and vacation travel sustainability has become an important topic in Germany and around the world, which always receives more attention, not least against the background of climate change. The tourism does not automatically look good here. On the one hand, certain offers are questionable because of their emissions or the resulting social burdens; on the other hand, the vacation area seems to be implicitly classified as something that is somehow unnecessary and that you could just leave it.
Operator News & Notes
—TUI Shutting Down Tour Operator Activities in Italy: Company employees were notified last week that, starting March 15, 2020, TUI Italy will cease its activities. “The traditional activity of tour operators is proving to be volatile for the entire sector and in the future, the activities of TUI Group tour operators in the various markets will have to be more harmonized and standardized,” said the letter sent to employees. “In this context,” the letter added, “the TUI group considered that there were no prerequisites for a positive and sustainable development of TUI Italia and therefore decided to voluntarily liquidate the company.” The company had been known as I Viaggi del Turchese before it was purchased by TUI in 2016, and was folded into a common TUI brand. The business employs about 50 people and had a turnover of €55 million ($61 million).
—Excite Holidays Ceases Trading: An Australia-based global wholesaler that was established in 2002 and grew large enough to have offices in Sydney, New Zealand, the U.S., Thailand, Singapore, Greece and the UK, the company suspended operations last week after two of the companies it operated, Global Travel Specialists Pty Limited and Global Travel Holdings Pty Limited, were placed into administration. KPMG has been appointed as administrator. A clue that something was going wrong came when Excite Holidays Europe posted on its Facebook page on December 30 that it was “experiencing system issues which have affected a number of our bookings and calls.” On its website, the company claimed to have an inventory of more than 400,000 hotels and apartments, 100,000+ activities worldwide, and 100+ countries with transfers.
—In Brazil, Turnet Tries to Stave off Talk of its Closure: It’s hard to determine how it all happened, but rumors of the shutdown of Turnet, a tour operator in business since 1999, spread wildly heading into the second week of January. As of the time we file this item, it is still difficult to determine whether the company is closing or not. What we do know is that it has closed two of its three locations—one in Campinas and another in Rio de Janerio—conducting operations from its São Paulo location.
The Brazilian travel trade publication PANROTAS reported that, since Friday, January 10, its newsroom had been receiving calls, messages and emails from its readers asking if Turnet had closed. Through texts and other communications, Turnet’s CEO, Renato Carone, told the publication that, after making adjustments to the staff and deactivating the branches of Campinas and Rio de Janeiro, a series of “fake news took over the market.”
Early last week, Carone told PANROTAS, via e-mail, that he doesn’t know the size of the “consequences and impact on our image and reputation” now, so he had decided to suspend sales and operations until he resolves the whole situation, which includes serving traveling passengers and travel agents.
This episode makes for some interesting reading. Visit the Carone’s LinkedIn page, and you will see a Biblical passage right under his name: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” (Psalm 23). And, currently on Turner’s website is a statement explaining the current situation that concludes with “Lord, deliver me from lying lips and deceitful language.” (Psalm 120.2)
—Page & Moy Brand to be Re-launched. According to a report in Travel Weekly UK, the relaunch of Page & Moy is “imminent,” says owner Bruce Poon-Tip, who acquired the brand in a 2018 auction. Poon-Tip, owner of G Touring brands—besides Page & Moy, it also owns Travelsphere and Just You—told the publication: “We have been ready to go for some time and we’re excited about what we have. It’s not going to resemble anything Page & Moy was doing previously, other than in terms of quality and service.” G Touring research showed that awareness of the Page & Moy brand was still high and many thought it was still operating, even though the All Leisure Group, which owned the Page & Moy brand, shut down in January 2017.
—Operators Act on Global Climate: Launched on January 14, the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency Initiative has so far attracted support from 23 operators, including Explore, Intrepid and Responsible Travel, and six individuals. All of them have pledged to produce a plan within the next 12 months to cut their carbon emissions and those of their guests to try to arrest the damage caused by global warming within the next 10 years. The announcement follows the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit that was held this past September at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City.
On the same day, Explore, an adventure travel tour operator, became the first UK tour operator to offset all components of its trips, including flights. The cost of offsetting will be reflected in a slight increase in the cost of holidays.
The introduction of offsetting through its Climate Care initiative is part of a sustainability strategy that will see “look at everything we do overseas,” deputy managing director John Telfer told the Guardian, adding, “offsetting is a not a band-aid solution but there is a climate emergency and we wanted to look at what can we do in the short to medium term as the industry moves towards net-zero territory.”
Telfer explained calculations are based on a “worst-case scenario” for each trip, to ensure the amount offset is always over-calculated rather than under. For example, flight distances are based on an indirect flight to the furthest point in 15 geographic regions; all trips will be rounded up to seven or 14 days (a four-night trip will be counted as a week; 11 days as two weeks).
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HODGE PODGE: Shifts, Shakeups and Occasional Shaftings in the Tour and Travel Industry
The San Diego Tourism Authority’s board of directors has appointed Julie Coker as its new president and CEO. Coker, wo will be leaving her post as president and CEO of the Philadelphia CVB, succeeds Joe Terzi, who announced his retirement in 2019 after 10 years in his role with the tourism authority. Coker has served with the Philadelphia CVB since 2010. She was senior vice president of its convention division and executive vice president before becoming president and CEO in 2016. Coker has more than 30 years of hospitality industry experience, including 21 years with Hyatt Hotels, where she held general manager positions for properties in Philadelphia, Chicago and Oakbrook, Illinois.
Lori Harnois is leaving her post as executive director of the six-state Discover New England tourism promotion organization in order to take over Jan. 31 as the new director of New Hampshire’s Division of Travel and Tourism Development. Harnois was unanimously confirmed for the position earlier this month by the agency’s Executive Council. She succeeds Victoria Cimino, who was director of the division from 2014 until April 2019, when she became CEO of the Williamsburg (Va.) Tourism Council. Amy Bassett, state tourism deputy director, has served as acting director since April.
Luisa Mendoza, well known in the travel and tourism trade in the New York City area, has struck out on her own in founding Global Tourism Sports & Entertainment (GTSE). In doing so, she leaves BSE Global, where she was director of global tourism development, promoting the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, the Barclays Center and the NHL’s New York Islanders. Previously, Mendoza was senior director, tourism market development, Latina America-USA Hispanic market, for New York City & Company.
Tracy Harris recently joined the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority as tourism sales manager. She joins he agency from Eldorado Resorts, where she was national sales manager. Previously, she was general manager of Premium with Levy Restaurants Reno for four years.
Lori Timony has been promoted to the position of senior vice president, new market development, at Leisure Pass Group. Previously, she was senior vice of global trade sales for nearly three years. Prior to that she served Smart Destinations Inc. as vice president of channel sales and strategic accounts. She had been with Smart Destinations for more than 15 years.
Travel Nevada has named Juraj “George” Sojka its new international market manager, with responsibility for the organization’s efforts in Europe and the United Kingdom. He has approximately 10 years of sales, marketing and management experience; most he was with Aramark Lake Tahoe/Lake Mead, where he held a variety of positions since 2011, most recently senior sales and marketing manager. In that role, he oversaw lodging operations, dining and retail operations, as well as a marina, wedding services and a winter snowmobile operation.
Mike Sophia has been named vice president of sports business development at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. In his new role, Sophia will be leading the sports business development team’s efforts to attract professional, collegiate, amateur and recreational sporting events to Broward County, Florida. Sophia joins the bureau from the Sacramento Sports Commission, where he worked for almost seven years. Previously, he was CEO of the National Senior Games Association.
J.D. O’Hara has been appointed CEO of Travel Leaders Group, taking over for Ninan Chacko, who has resigned to pursue other opportunities. O’Hara has served as president of Travel Leaders Group for the past year, working closely with Chacko. During his time as president, O’Hara has been responsible for managing the company’s operating divisions, as well as mergers and acquisition activities and strategic planning. Prior to joining Travel Leaders Group in 2018, O’Hara was senior partner at Certares Management, LLC, owner of Travel Leaders Group. O’Hara has had a long association with Travel Leaders Group. He was part of the original management buyout of Carlson Leisure Group from Carlson Companies in January 2008 that eventually led to the formation of Travel Leaders Group.
Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold have announced that Michelle Suker will be appointed as the new director of field sales east for the U.S. Prior to joining Insight Vacations, Suker held multiple leadership, training, and development roles at AAA The Auto Club Group, including field manager, senior training consultant, and agency development manager.
Sindy Bohada has been appointed by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) as convention sales manager for the West Coast market for both corporate and association business. Bohada most recently served as sales manager for Hampton by Hilton Miami Beach.
Anastasia Mileham, most recently executive director of the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub, has been named executive director of Source Cincinnati,whichis the region’s national social and media relations initiative, funded by a regional business and civic coalition. Mileham replaces Susan Lomax, who was selected as executive director of Source Cincinnati at the beginning of 2019 after serving as interim executive director for six months. Lomax departed for a position with Celebrity Cruises as global brand communications director. She had been with Source Cincinnati for four years, taking the leadership position when Julie Calvert was named the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO in 2018.
Claire Brighton has been appointed account director of the Association of Touring and Adventure suppliers (Atas), an organization of more than 50 tour operators in the UK. She joins from the Advantage Travel Partnership, where she has spent nine years as commercial account manager and most recently senior commercial manager. Prior to Advantage, she worked for Thomas Cook TV and TV Travel Shop.
Katie Elson, former head of marketing for Thomas Cook, has been recruited by APT to fill the newly created role of head of marketing transformation for the river cruise line and tour operator. She worked at Thomas Cook for more than a decade and held various roles including short haul product and commercial manager, brand manager and latterly head of marketing, creative and content.
Andrew Turner, head of industry sales for Intrepid, is leaving the company. He has been at Intrepid for eight years in various roles including those of business development manager and adventure sales specialist. EMEA boss Aaron Hocking would be redeployed as part of a shakeup of the business. The operator did away with its “northern hemisphere super region.” which merged the US and EMEA regions, reverting to a two-region model.
Red Label Vacations, which is owned by the Japanese tour operator, H.I.S., has announced that executives Nathalie Tanious (left) and Diane Lattavo have earned new titles. Tanious is officially RLV’s chief operating officer and Lattavo has been promoted to executive vice president. The two bring years of experience and expertise to their new roles. Tanious has extensive experience in the travel industry in various management roles, serving tenures for Air Canada Vacations, Thomas Cook and Intair. Lattavo also has 25 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry.
Frank Rejwan, managing director of Travel Republic, an OTA that is one of the Top Ten ATOL operators in the UK, has resigned from his role and is to leave the business in the spring. Rejwan was appointed by dnata to lead the company in July 2018, having previously worked at Abercrombie & Kent, Quintessentially and Ickenham Travel Group. Dnata Travel Europe chief executive John Bevan said: “I want to thank Frank for his hard work as managing director of Travel Republic … (we) will be working closely with him and dnata’s VP B2C retail & ecommerce, Antonio Fellino, to ensure a smooth transition and stability for the Kingston team in the coming months.”
At Leisure Pass Group, Jon Owen (left) is stepping up to CEO as Ted Stimpson, the current CEO, moves into the role of president. These leadership appointments took effect on January 1, 2020. Since 2017, Owen has overseen significant sales and profitability growth in Leisure Pass Group’s global businesses, across both direct-to-consumer and third-party channels. In his almost three years as CEO, Stimpson has led the successful integration and expansion of the three separate businesses that combined to become Leisure Pass Group. As president, he will help manage Leisure Pass Group’s senior industry and partner relationships, particularly those based in the United States.
A senior restructuring at Newmarket Holidays has Ian Dines joining the operator from Emirates Holidays as Newmarket increases its focus on the customer and sustainability. Existing directors David Sharman and Phil O’Sullivan have been promoted as part of the shake-up under chief executive Niel Alobaidi, who joined from Emirates Holidays last year. At Emirates, Dines was account director of global operations and customer experience. Previously he was at TUI. He will start at Newmarket at the end of February in the new role of chief customer officer.
In Brazil, Flavia Cruz is the new director of marketing and commercial sales at the tour operator New Age. With a degree in Tourism and a postgraduate degree in marketing, the Cruz has considerable experience in the travel and tourism industry, including stints at Diversa Turismo and MMT Gapnet, where she served for more than 10 years.
Posted Industry Jobs
From SearchWide Global:
—The Galesburg Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in Illinois is looking for an executive director. For more details, click here.
—The Spartanburg (S.C.) Convention & Visitors Bureau is seeking a chief development tourism officer. Visit here for more information.
—Travel Portland is searching for a vice president of community engagement & diversity, equity & inclusion. For additional details, click here.
—Visit Pittsburgh is searching for a new president and CEO. For more information, click here.
—Discover Lancaster is searching for a new president and CEO. Click here for more details.
—In Little Rock, Arkansas, the DMO there is searching for a senior sales director. For more information, visit here.
—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 Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau is searching for a senior vice president of convention sales. 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.
—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 searching for a tourism coordinator. For additional details, visit here.
—A well established and respected travel marketing and public relations company in London/South East is seeking a public relations manager. Additional details are here.
—An international premier 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.
—An events and MICE sales & marketing representation company in London/South East has an opening for a business development director. For more details, click here.