UK Market Notes
Closures, Cutbacks and Clawing Back: The sense of encouragement that one might have experienced from recent surveys suggesting that, no matter what, most Brits remain stubbornly determined to enjoy their holidays, was doused somewhat in the last two weeks by a steady stream of news that, overall, the UK’s travel and tourism industry, both inbound and outbound, is going through its worst period ever—worse than the shock and aftershock of 9/11, and worse than the Great Recession of 2008-2009.
First, the Closures and Cutbacks: Furloughs, layoffs and terminations of workers have been matched by bankruptcies and a lack of sufficient capital or assistance to help smaller businesses survive until we get to the other side—whenever and whatever that is. Following is a sampler of some of the more notable news items that have chronicled a near-daily stream of depressing news.
—UKinbound, whose members bring in over 50 percent of all international visitors, to the country, said that 60 percent of businesses will be forced to make further redundancies as early as next month when the a job retention program fades away and some 88 percent of businesses are expect to lay off between 25 percent and 100 percent of their staff. And in a survey of its members, UKinbound indicated that 53 percent of its members said they expect their businesses to last no more than six months.
—Funway Holidays is to cease trading on September 30 after 27 years. The tour operator, which specialized in the U.S. and Caribbean product, said it had made the “difficult decision” to close Funway Holidays International because of the ongoing impact of COVID-19. New bookings and re-bookings stopped beginning July 7. All bookings departing on or after September 1 have been cancelled. As well as Fleetway Travel, it traded under names including Exclusive Luxury Breaks, Explorer’s Collection, Late Bargains, Luxury Holiday Collection, Phone & Fly, Sail Away, Silversurfers Holidays and Travelsmart.
—The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), has ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy following the collapse of business travel events due to COVID-19. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, the organization issued a statement confirming it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the United States, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic and cancellation of its Asia conference in Hong Kong. The statement said that recent spikes in COVID-19 infection rates had “made investors and partners justifiably pessimistic around the viability of event-based organizations.” ACTE was set up 33 years ago and operated globally organizing and partnering on events for the corporate travel sector and representing its interests.
—The bad news is not all that bad. Yes, Q2 was lowest on record for M&A activity, says Henry Wells, managing director of M&A at Duff & Phelps. He told a recent Travel Weekly webcast that that total M&A deals across Europe for businesses under £200 million ($252 million) were down about two-thirds between April and June compared to the same quarter in 2019. “There’s about a third of the volume than there was last year,” he said.
However, Wells noted, that although he expected much of the activity to be “distressed or opportunistic,” he was optimistic of an eventual return to pre-COVID levels over the course of the coming two to three years. As reported in TW, Wells said: “You’ve got trade buyers with strong balance sheets that want to access or execute some sort of strategy. They wanted to do that pre-COVID and they still want to do that so we’re working with them as to how to how to best execute.”
He added, ““In 2019, there was £110 billion ($138.4 billion) of what’s called ‘dry powder’ (across all sectors), which is money that was raised in that year, but not invested. That means there’s £110 billion that needs to be invested.”
—And some good news: Virgin Atlantic bailed out. Virgin Atlantic, a key player in the inbound leisure market for the U.S., has secured refinancing package worth £1.2 billion ($1.51 billion) and declared the measure “a big step forward” in securing the carrier’s future. The restructuring is based on a five-year business plan which envisages the carrier returning to profitability from 2022.
The refinancing includes cost savings of about £280 million ($352.2 million) a year and £880 million ($1.11 billion) in re-phasing and financing of aircraft deliveries over the next five years.
In a statement announcing the package, Virgin Atlantic said shareholders Virgin Group, which owns 51 percent of the carrier, and Delta Air Lines (49 percent) will provide £600 million ($755 million) in support, including a £200 million ($252 million) investment by Virgin Group and £400 million ($503 million) in shareholder deferrals and waivers of payments. U.S. hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management will provide £170 million ($214 million) in financing.
Virgin Atlantic has grown to be a major presence in the USA’s inbound tourism market from the UK. It provides service from the UK to Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Also, Virgin Atlantic, while not a part of a formal airline alliance, has several partners, including Delta Air Lines.
NEW & INTERESTING PRODUCT
On your next holiday, take your shrink along, sort of … INBOUND is not sure if there is yet a product line that affects travel to the USA, but the concept is interesting—holiday insurance that covers psychological assistance to travelers. April Brasil Seguro Viagem (Travel Insurance) explains that a client is entitled, for every 15 days contracted, to an appointment with a psychologist, scheduled within 24 hours. In addition, it is possible to hire individual consultations or a four-session package. A company official says that psychological care for clients meets market demand and strengthens the company’s products and differentials, adding, “We have no doubt that emotional support brings a complement and essential care to all the profiles of travelers we serve in the four corners of the world.” For more information, visit April Brasil at: www.aprilbrasil.com.br/
New Canadian airline OWG looks to launch: In what would seem like the worst possible time to launch a new airline, that’s exactly what the Canadian company Nolinor—it has offered charter transportation services to clients which, for the most part, gone to the country’s Far North. Now, Nolinor has launched a new airline called OWG (“Off we go!”), which is scheduled to take off at the beginning of August in Quebec, offering flights to southern destinations. This new initiative is the fruit of Nolinor Aviation’s continued expansion into a new market.
For the past 27 years, Nolinor has offered charter transportation solutions, mainly to the Far North, with its fleet of some ten Boeing 737s. According to a news release announcing the new service, the Nolinor Aviation team has been secretly working since 2018 to create a new airline that will position them in the tourist flight market. The company invested more than $1 million in a think tank to reinvent the way things are done in this industry. They analyzed the best airlines in the world to establish the values and mission behind the new OWG brand, which will offer regular flights to some destinations in the Caribbean with its fleet of Boeing 737-400s that can accommodate 158 passengers. For additional details, visit https://owg.com/.
Houston Hip-Hop Museum Planned: While still largely in the conceptual stage of development, the HTX Hip-Hop Museum is on a mission to help educate the public on Houston’s history and culture in the music industry. HTX Hip-Hop Museum, says founder Shelby Stewart, is a creative house focused on showcasing art + music. Founded by native Houstonian Shelby Stewart, who went to Dillard University in New Orleans and who has two degrees in communication, the planned HTX Hip-Hop Museum, its website tells visitors, “is an expression of Houston and what can be done,” adding that it will be “able to present unique spaces that provide global eccentric experiences – for whoever, wherever.” HTX Hip-Hop Museum (HHHM) is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Supporters can back the planned attraction through financial and in-kind contributions, and will help ensure the museum will be sustained for future generations to enjoy. For information on becoming an Individual donor or corporate sponsorships, please contact [email protected].
Airline & Travel Industry Polls Not Kind
Is Confidence in Air Travel Diminishing? One-third of travelers say they will avoid flying for both leisure and busines in the future due to fears of catching COVID-19, according to a survey by IATA (International Air Transport Association). Other key findings from the 11-country survey, whose results were recently released, include the following:
When asked to rank the top three measures that would make them feel safer, IATA heard this:
—37 percent said Covid-19 screening at departure airports;
—34 percent agreed with the mandatory wearing of facemasks; a
—33 percent said social distancing measures on aircraft.
—45 percent of passengers surveyed indicated the they would return to travel within a few months of the pandemic subsiding—a significant drop from the 61 percent recorded in IATA’s earlier April survey.
—The biggest worry of travelers was sitting next to someone on the plane who might be infected.
—Other concerns raised by passengers include travelling on an over-crowded bus or train on the way to the aircraft, queueing at the airport, using toilet facilities at the airport and on the plane and ‘breathing the air on the plane’.
“This crisis could have a very long shadow,” said IATA’s director general Alexandre de Juniac. “Passengers are telling us that it will take time before they return to their old travel habits. Many airlines are not planning for demand to return to 2019 levels until 2023 or 2024. “Numerous governments have responded with financial lifelines and other relief measures at the height of the crisis. As some parts of the world are starting the long road to recovery, it is critical that governments stay engaged.”
In this study, 4,700 panel members from eleven countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, UAE, UK and USA) who traveled since July 2019 took part in the survey.
UK Travel Companies Get Their Knuckles Rapped for Handling of Refunds—the 70 Best and Worst Firms for Travel Refunds. A new survey by MoneySavingExpert—MoneySavingExpert.com is a popular British consumer finance information and discussion website—put Virgin and Loveholidays near Ryanair near the bottom of its list for their rating in the way that they have handled refunds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Three big names did particularly poorly,” said MSE, noting that “Ryanair continues to live up to its customer service reputation, scoring the worst of the major brands at a net score of -89 percent (worked out as the 1 percent who rated it ‘great’ minus the 90 percent who deemed it ‘poor’). It’s now joined by Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays on -88 percent and Loveholidays on -81 percent.”
(See the methodology discussed following the two tables below.)
“Unsurprisingly,” said MSE “these three firms were also among the worst at refunding people, with 4 percent or less of their customers saying they’d had a refund to date. A majority of Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair customers also said they’d been waiting more than two months for a refund since first asking”.
MSE cautioned that, “While not a statistical random sample of the UK public, this huge survey does paint a strong picture of what’s going on in travel refunds. Here are the detailed results.” Below, INBOUND has tables of the Top Ten and Last Ten of MSE’s ranking of 70 travel companies.
The survey ran between Tuesday 30 June and Monday 6 July and had 77,101 individual responses about travel firms. The aim was to find out how people felt about their “refund experience” by asking them to rate it as “great,” “OK” or “poor,” and whether they actually got one.
Net score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents who rated their experience as ‘poor’ from the percentage who rated their experience as “great.” The number who rated their experience as “OK” is not factored in.
MSE allowed users to include firms that weren’t in our initial list of options and have put them in the table if we received more than 100 responses for that particular firm. The 100-response threshold is why most of the firms included are national brands, rather than smaller, independent companies.
*Asterisks denote firms that weren’t included in MSE’s initial lists.
How Will the Industry Come out of the Shutdown?
More than 200 people clicked through to be a part of Connect Travel’s recently convened “Staying Connected” roundtable webinar featuring a brisk-paced discussion between Will Seccombe, president of Connect Travel, and Josh Collins, director of destination activations and marketing for Streetsense. The question they addressed was “Coming out of the Shutdown: There will be winners and losers. Where will you land?”
| Top Takeaways |
1. Disruption=reinvention. So, let’s focus on 2021 and think long-term. Let’s have destination-focused conversations now and set new goals. We must all re-define success because the numbers game is over.
2. Remember, short-term gains will produce short-term results that will not drive us to meet long-term goals.
3. Use this time to ask difficult questions and to wisely re-frame your WHY. Borrow a tip from business-oriented visionaries to ask: Who is my ideal target consumer? Beyond identifying your audience, build your audience like a new business would. Discuss purpose of visit, seasonality, length of stay, spending patterns, etc. to build a long-term approach.
4. Dig deeper into the soil of the destination; look beyond having a product that’s widely available or offering ‘great deals,’ because that won’t motivate anybody. Look at intent to travel: purpose, people, experiences, stories that resonate, community sentiment.
5. We’re approaching 2021 with an empty funnel. SInce everyone now recognizes the value of tourism and can see how tourism will lead us out of recession, this is a great opportunity to put aside debates about funding and build a private/public coalition around what we have in common.
6. Building strong partnerships in tough times will benefit the destination in good times to come. It’s a critical time to: Identify allies in public sector leadership and to build lasting regional partnerships around themes (like country music) that work well for those ‘great road trips of 2020.’
7. Think ahead, think long-term, tread carefully and with purpose. When you know where you want to go, you will figure out a way to get there.
Will Seccombe: “Pretty much any destination in the country last year had a press release at some point that said that they had record visitation. We’ve we had an incredible 10-year run of record visitation to pretty much every destination around the country. As a result, all of our businesses are optimized through that kind of high growth environment by the very nature of everybody having had record visitation. But, for half of those destinations, while their visitor volume was increasing, they were actually losing market share. The question now is: Are you growing just right? Along with the rising tide are you actually growing markets here?
Josh Collins: “In recent years, we ended the year going ‘Yeah!’ and patting ourselves on the back We can’t wait till the annual report comes out in the middle of next year when we can put the press release out there and celebrate and do all that. And then 2020 comes in and now we’re all scrambling. We are having to ask hard questions that, because we probably have been so comfortable with success, that we’ve not had to before.”
Will Seccombe: “Tourism marketers, in times of challenge. are going to shrink up and have a smaller footprint. So, what might be a really good short-term strategy could be a very dangerous long-term strategy. To me, targeting rather than just shrinking my footprint as a destination is a better strategy. How about just targeting any Amex platinum card holders? They’re probably more likely to travel. And an Amex campaign is going to bring in higher yield visitors than or Visa regional traffic. So, a I think really playing through how you can identify and target the kind of visitors that you want that, that are going to fit your community and support the businesses in your community and not just people that are taking advantage of the destination.”
Josh Collins: “There are tons of research that we do about who and what’s our visitor profile and who are the visitors coming to our destination and what do they look like. and what do they spend and all this kind of stuff. But the interesting thing that I have seen is that very rarely have I heard or experienced teams actually going ‘Okay. Is that who we want?’ ‘What’s our ideal buyer?’ ‘Who’s our ideal customer? … so that they can tailor and shape their messaging.’’ To listen to and watch the webinar, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYhfZWHKp6Y
German Trade Still Has Hope—If Little Else
Perhaps the best measure of the state of the tour and travel industry in German is to review the latest data on sales/revenues. And the most recent numbers for the month of June are, at first glance, disheartening, but—following the absolute shock of a shutdown of travel that lasted four months of the lockdown of virtually all travel business activity in the wake of initial spread of the COVID-19—the industry is hopeful that it might see some upward direction of the figures.
This hopeful outlook is driven by the lifting of land border checks between European countries. And then there was the beginning this month of a lifting of the EU travel ban inbound ban allowing many non-Europeans to visit Germany. But, yes, the numbers are still weak, very weak.
According to data from Frankfurt-based TATS (Travel Agency Technologies & Services), which provides automation, accounting, and data services for travel companies, leisure travel sales (including cruises) actually worsened last month. There was a year-on-year decline of 83 percent. Cruise bookings were down by nearly 78 percent in June, compared at a slightly better figure of -65 percent in May.
German Travel Agent Sales
June 2020 vs. June 2019
|Sector||Performance vs. June 2019|
|Tourism (including cruises)||-83.2%|
|Rail, Cars & Others||-76%|
Source: TATS (Travel Agency Technologies & Services),
The Outlook: According to the TATs figures, the outlook for the near-term future is not encouraging. Advance leisure travel bookings were 156 percent lower in June compared to the same month last year, leaving a cumulative 164 percent decline in bookings with departures up to October.
Connect ReConnects with Domestic Tour Ops
A little earlier this month, Connect Travel, as a part of its ongoing “Connect with …” series of virtual roundtable webinars, revisited a panel discussion of domestic tour operators through a “Connect & ReConnect with Domestic Tour Operators.” It proved to be just as popular as the first iteration of the subject, attracting some 300 viewers. Shari Bailey, vice president, Connect Travel, general manager, (Photo) Connect Travel Events, served as moderator of a panel that included Bob Cline, president and CEO, US Tours; Jane Julian, owner/CEO, Jane’s Journeys; and Belinda Grace-Leonard, owner, New England Coach.
1. Regulations: The need for updated regulations & guidelines will continue to be paramount. Tour operators would like to receive updates on new openings, regulations, safety, or quarantine guidelines. As this information is ever changing, be sure to provide consistent and transparent updates on your products.
2. Product Development: All travel professionals are reviewing existing itineraries and tweaking as needed. This opens the door for new products. (i.e. outdoor activities, hotel, vacation home, or villa product, unique dining options) Acquaint yourself with the theme of tours coming to or around your area and create unique offerings that align with them. Be creative!
3. Sell, Sell, Sell: Tour operators are actively selling their programs. They have fine-tuned their products during this time. 2021 and 2022 schedules are being finalized. 2023 is in the planning stages. They are looking for unique products and the partners that provide them with consistency – no surprises. Now is the time to get your information in front of the operators.
4. Market, Market, Market: Tour operators are rolling out marketing campaigns and actively engaging with their loyal clientele. Now is the time to create campaigns and partner with tour operators to sell your products. While incentives are nice, travel professionals lean towards preferring consistent, good, quality product offerings. Contact your tour operator clients directly to get involved.
5. Stay Connected: Budgets and schedules are being created now; stay visible with the operators. Tour operators want to remind you that the group travel industry is resilient and feel this market will rebound faster than most.
Bob Cline: “The world has begun to spin again. We spent two months with nothing happening—other than writing refund checks. Now, we’re starting to get calls for new products. We’re getting bookings for the future. We’re starting to put a couple of trips on the road. It’s a beginning—almost like a new business—but it’s a beginning.”
Jane Julian: “We haven’t had many (COVID-19) cases at all, in Southern Illinois. It’s very rural. And now we are. Starting after July 4. Now, we’re having a lot of cases. Now people are starting to get more afraid—just because we had 14 new cases in our county just yesterday—we hadn’t even had 14, period. That’s made a difference. Also, children are telling their parents they shouldn’t be traveling. I’ve had that with some of the people canceling—because their kids have said, ‘No, you’re not going anywhere this morning.’”
Belinda Grace-Leonard: “We’re fortunate that we’re in New Hampshire. Our numbers are very good … I think that we have a little bit more confidence in our groups. They are people that are willing to travel. We’ve kind of always had that confidence. Even during the worst of days. We had people–if we called and said that we can’t plan on this trip—they were booking something for next year. We’ve done very few refund checks. We did lots of credits and lots of forwarding that payment towards other trips … We have been fortunate as far as people being still willing to travel with us. They just don’t have a place to go right now, which is a big problem.”
Will Industry Jobs Numbers Worsen?
From the U.S. Hospitality, Tourism, Travel and Activities (HTTA) Recovery Registry, Jonathan Elkoubi, CCO at VisitorTix, who is managing founder of the organization, has released the results of two HTTA surveys which, together, show its growth, as well as some small but meaningful numbers. While the base of respondents is likely to represent a fair number of respondents from the New York City metropolitan area, the fact that more than 1,400 individuals were motivated enough to respond to a survey is impressive. As for its statistical significance, that is another matter, although the number of respondents—more than 1,400 for the second survey—is sizable by any standard.
Perhaps the most disturbing change in the data from June to July results is the increase in the number of those in the “Unemployed/Laid Off/Job Eliminated” category—from 19 percent to 25 percent. The U.S. government’s Payroll Protection Program (an SBA loan designed to help businesses keep their workforces employed during the coronavirus crisis), which was extended late last month through August 8, is generally regarded as one that has helped tourism business employees keep a job. The expiration of PPP could very well result in more individuals ending up in the “Unemployed/Laid Off/Job Eliminated” category. Stay tuned for next month’s results.
Visit Philadelphia has Job Search Tool: In the meantime, HTTA is planning to expand the range of its activities with the development of a live industry job board, a continuous education resource center, and a recovery information repository. While that process takes place, Elkoubi pointed to a new program at Visit Philadelphia that could be a model for other DMOs who wish to play a more active role in help ex-employees find employment in the industry– https://www.visitphilly.com/jobs/.
In explaining the site to a local news station, Jeff Guaracino, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia, said that before the creation of the site, job seekers would have to visit more than 50 different hotel websites to see what position may be available.
“It wasn’t easy to find and was time-consuming,” he added. “Our hope is that this new job section at visitphilly.com will make it quicker and easier for people to see all of the open positions that are currently open, and then down the line to find other positions that might up become available.”
Chinese Want to Travel. But to the USA?
China Market Notes, Part One: When one contemplates the riddle of the Visit USA Chinese travel market, one learns that it is an exasperating riddle. One part of the riddle is that tour and travel professionals in both the USA and China would like to see travel to the USA grow again. And on the other part is that, for the governments involved, it doesn’t seem to matter that both sides want such travel.
Why? INBOUND cannot say it doesn’t matter why. Right now, public opinion in the United States probably believe that the Chinese government has antagonized and upset American sensibilities with the way it did away with any form of self-rule in Hong Kong. There is more. And Chinese opinion probably believes that the U.S. is unjustly accusing it of exporting COVID-19. There is more.
And if you believe that, maybe, just maybe, if political leaders in both countries would only take a step back, take a deep breath and resolve to “zip it” for a while and allow the blameless advocates of travel to do their work and buy and sell the U.S. travel experience, things would get better, you are probably wrong.
Why? To give you an idea of the kind of rhetoric that is being deployed in Chinese media channels these days, consider the following four headlines on the July 16 home page of Global Times, a de facto, semi-official daily tabloid newspaper that operates under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper:
—“China’s Q2 GDP Growth crushes Washington’s lies: Global Times editorial”
—“Why US democratic system can’t prevent extreme China policy.”
—“American elites fail to accept UA losing dominant position.”
—“US anti-China hawks sanctioned by China keep meddling in various global issues.”
*Last month, the United States Department of State designated Global Times as a “foreign mission.
China Market Notes, Part Two: Chinese really do want to travel and, if it were not for the disincentive that the news articles above represent, they would likely want to resume and grow their visits to the United States.
Articles headlined along the lines of “More than 80% of Chinese travelers plan to travel in the Second Half of 2020,” have received widespread attention in the global travel news media. The part about the “more than 80%” is not wishful thinking. It and other attention-grabbing points of interest are based on real survey results. Some of the items noted include the following:
—Chinese travelers have a strong desire to resume travel this year, with most preferring to travel domestically further afield due to uncertainty around the pandemic overseas, according to a recent Ctrip survey. The “2H2020 Travel Sentiment Survey” by Ctrip’s Tourism Big Data Lab, which polled several thousand Ctrip.com users hailing from more than 50 cities across China, showed that 82.6 per cent of respondents are keen to travel in 2H2020. Of these, 80 per cent showed a preference for longer-distance travel between provinces.
—In a recent study by the China Tourism Academy (CTA), 80.2 percent of study participants said they intend to travel in 3Q2020, marking a recovery of approximately 90 per cent compared to 2019 figures.
—A press release from Ctrip’s Tourism Big Data Lab quoted a researcher who said that pent-up market demand in 1H2020 will be progressively released in 2H2020, should the pandemic die out and cross-province travel open up. Added CTA, the travel market is likely to have a U-shaped recovery this year.
—This bodes well for tourism companies and employees, especially as summer vacation and holidays such as Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day week (October 1-7)
—57.1 per cent of those surveyed indicated that they would contemplate going on more domestic trips if outbound travel does not recover in the rest of 2020.
—In line with summer holidays and the National Day holiday, results indicated that the peak travel periods will be July, October and August; with 43.1 per cent, 42.6 per cent and 41.9 per cent of respondents preferring these months, respectively.
—For domestic travel, particularly longer-distance travel within the country, most travelers (61.5 percent) preferred FIT trips or group tours (51.6 per cent). Meanwhile, 25.6 per cent and 19.4 per cent of respondents indicated interest in customized tours and self-drive trips, respectively.
—These preferences were also reflected in Ctrip’s recent bookings, with the three most popular product types being FIT, intra-province group travel, and customized tours.
—A substantial majority (70 per cent) of respondents said they intended to increase or maintain their travel expenditure levels.
—Nearly 40 per cent of respondents indicated that they would set aside 5,000 yuan ($711) to 10,000 yuan per trip, making it the most popular travel budget range in the survey. This was followed by a budget of more than 10,000 yuan for about 30 per cent of respondents.
—Although OTAs were the most popular travel booking channel among survey respondents (45.3 per cent said they would make bookings via OTAs), 43 per cent of respondents said they would make travel reservations through traditional brick-and-mortar agencies.
—Meanwhile, booking via offline retail presence of OTAs has emerged as a significant trend in recent years. This was reflected in the survey, with 41.9 per cent of respondents saying they would book through this channel.
Hodge Podge: Appointments & Changes
Jackie Ennis was recently promoted from her post as senior director, global trade development at Brand USA to become its new vice president of global trade development. She succeeds Cathy Domanico, who had been with the organization since March 2016 when she joined from Choose Chicago. Ennis began her association with Brand USA as a consultant for its global trade team. Previously, she was responsible for international marketing strategy for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. She was also executive director of Discover New England.
Christ Tait was recently appointed tourism manager for Klahoose Coastal Adventures, which is based in Squirrel Cove, BC, Canada. He joins the company from Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours, where he was director of marketing and sales. Previously, he was product manager, Canada and Alaska for Discover Holidays.
In Nashville, the National Museum of African American Music has hired Tuwisha D. Rogers-Simpson as vice president of brand and partnerships, where she will lead all marketing and branding initiatives for the museum, which is slated to open in September. Rogers-Simpson most recently served as vice president of Strategic Partnerships at Urban One, where she oversaw a dedicated team that was responsible for over $70 million in media revenue and partnership management with brands such as Walmart, AT&T, and Prudential. She has also served as an executive producer on several award-winning campaigns.
Craig Davidson, general manager of trade sales at Jet2holidays, the UK’s second-largest tour operator, has left the company. Davidson had been with the operator for four years. Davidson joined Jet2holidays in 2016 as the operator expanded its operations to Birmingham and Stansted airports. Before that he was director of sales for Holiday Malta Company, which included Belleair Holidays.
Megan Istvanek has been appointed as sales manager, tour & travel, for Andretti Indoor Karting and Games, an Orlando attraction. She joins the company from iFly Indoor Skydiving, where she spent nearly nine years in sales.
Jerre Fuqua is the new president of Holiday Vacations, reporting to Andrew Todd, CEO, Holiday Vacations and President and CEO of Xanterra Travel Collection, the holding company of Holiday Vacations. Holiday Vacations is based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Jerre is a respected veteran of the industry. Most recently, Jerre was the senior vice president of global travel products and services with Rovia, LLC, a Texas- based Virtuoso travel agency and tour operations business. In that role, Jerre was responsible for company growth, new product development and financial performance. Before joining Rovia, Fuqua held senior roles in sales, marketing and operations, including many years with TUI.
In Brazil, Sete Mares Turismo (Seven Seas Tourism) has hired a new director of marketing and Products, Guilherme Ishikawa, who has more than 18 years of experience in the communication industry, in companies such as Momentum Worldwide (IPG Group), Aktuellmix and Mondo Entertainment, serving clients such as Petrobras, Bradesco, Cielo, Hersheys and Mastercard. In Tourism he started in the TTW group where he stayed until September 2019, as sales and marketing director.
Nate Glissmeyer, the chief product officer & chief technology officer of HolidayCheck Group, is leaving the management board of the company before the end of his full term at his own request on July 31st. Glissmeyer joined the company at the beginning of 2017. The announcement of his departure noted that he is leaving the company on the best of terms with the Supervisory Board. Before joining HolidayCheck, Glissmeyer was director of product development for Kindle for Amazon in Seattle, Washington. He spent more than a dozen years at Amazon.
Saga Travel has announced the appointment of Jason Kemp as a regional sales manager. Kemp joins Saga Travel after a six-year spell with Balkan Holidays, where he was a regional Sales Manager. Well-known in the UK tour and travel industry, Kemp’s 20-year career includes tenures with Globespan and TUI.
Massimo Prioreschi has been named CEO of global adventure travel operator MT Sobek, which is based in the San Francisco Bay area. For Prioreschi, it is a return to the company after serving as the vice president of sales and marketing for another Bay Area travel company, Backroad, where he served for more than 17 years. Before his long tenure at Backroads, Prioreschi served in key executive roles at MT Sobek. During his four years at the company, he worked as the Director of Information Services & Direct Marketing, expanding direct marketing and implementing key information systems.
Posted Industry Jobs
Posted Industry Jobs
From SearchWide Global:
—The Explore Ashville Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a new president and CEO. For more information, click here.
—The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau, Florida’s Paradise Coast, is looking for a new deputy director. For more details, visit here.
—The Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority is searching for a new chief executive officer. For more details, click here.
—The Park City Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau is looking for a new president. Click here for more information.
—The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau has an opening for a senior national account director for the Chicago Metro Area. For more information, click here.
—Visit Santa Clara is searching for a president and CEO. Click here for more information.
—Destination Ann Arbor is looking to hire a vice president of sales. For more information, visit here.
—The Port Aransas & Mustang Island Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce is searching for a president & CEO. For more information, click here.
—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 tourism development officer. Visit here for more information.
—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.
—The Saugatuck Douglas Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a new executive director. Click here for more information.