Oscar Perez Laffargue has been named market manager, sourcing, rest of the West and Hawaii for global bedbank Hotelbeds. He had previously served as contract manager, sourcing, Canada after joining the company in 2019. Prior to joining the company, he was president of Portland-Maine based Creative Travel. He was also director of product contracting for Tourco.
Liz Gilbert has stepped down as senior director of Hornblower Cruises and Events. She had been with the company (and its previous brands) for 20 years. While she is transitioning to the next chapter of her career, she told friends and colleagues online to “stay tuned for the next adventure.”
Diane Selby has been appointed as trade partnerships director for ITC Travel Group. She will lead the agency sales team and work with chief operating officer Lisa Smith to develop the luxury tour operator’s trade strategy. Selby joins from Virgin Atlantic, where she was business development manager for more than six years. Her 30-plus years’ experiences in the travel industry also includes commercial and relationship management roles at Etihad, British Airways and American Airlines.
Eric David has been appointed director of affinity partnerships at Panorama Travel Solutions, which marks a significant market expansion for the company. The new travel services business offers global discount travel membership clubs and custom travel technology solutions to B2B affinity partners including large employers, banks & retailers, trade associations and others via their operations in the U.S., Mexico, Asia and Europe. David joins the venture from his own consulting business. Previously, he was vice president and general manager at Expedia Group, where he served for nearly eight years.
Charles Harris has been named president and CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. Harris comes to the position from Visit Anaheim, where he was chief marketing officer and executive vice president, public affairs. He had served at Visit Anaheim since early 2014.
Katie Thomas is joining the SITU team (UK-based SITU is a global serviced accommodation business) as the senior global product manager. She will continue to drive SITU’s efforts to make finding and booking serviced accommodation effortless. Thomas has more than 20 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry. She comes to SITU from a role as the head of technology product management at the Flight Centre Travel Group.
The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau has appointed Michelle Conway as interim president/CEO. The appointment took effect Oct. 12. Conway, the bureau’s director of marketing, will take on the role upon the departure of Jennifer Wesselhoff, who announced her appointment as President/CEO of the Park City, Utah Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau last month. Wesselhoff’s last day at the Sedona Chamber was Oct. 9. Conway has been with the Sedona bureau since 2009.
Timothy Bush has been named chief tourism development officers for OneSpartanburg Inc. in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It is the state’s first such consolidated business, economic and tourism development organization. Bush joins the organization from his post as president and CEO of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, the tourism board for Lafourche Parish, where he had served since March 2015.
Bodo Thielmann is the new CEO of Cologne-based Destination Solutions and, as a result, becomes a member of the management board of its parent HRS Group. He was previously at Belvilla, a holiday residence rental firm. He has also held senior management positions at OYO Vacation Homes and Axel Springer, the global media and tech company. Thielmann succeeds Timo Beyer, who is leaving the HRS group.
Bertrand Godinot has been appointed CEO of easyJet airlines for France and the Netherlands. easyJet airlines is part of the EasyGroup, whose brands include a tour operator that sells extensive North American product. Godinot replaces François Bacchetta, former easyJet director for France and Italy for 15 years who was appointed CEO of Easyhotel last spring. Paris-based Godinot was previously Apple country director for France. He was with Apple for almost 12 years.
James J. Palmieri has been promoted to the post of executive vice president at American Queen Steamboat Company & Victory Cruise Lines, which are part of the Hornblower Group. Previously, Palmieri served as principal and co-founder of Shore Excursions of North America.
Alexandre Bruno, manager for Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo for the tour operator Trend (it is a CVC brand) has just left the company, where he spent just over a year, and is looking for new opportunities. Bruno has over 20 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, including nearly 14 years with CVC.
Kevin Bate, former senior director of business development for Simpleview, has been promoted to the position of vice president of global sales for the company. During his 15-year tenure at Tempe-based Simpleview, a company that provides marketing and other tools for DMOs, Bate has been an integral part of the new business team, working to generate business on six different continents and build an international sales team. In this new position, he will focus on further expanding the organization’s global footprint in Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Joe Ponte is replacing Paul Carter as chief executive of Hotelplan UK. Carter is stepping down at the end of October for personal reasons. Carter has been CEO of Hotelplan UK since the spring of 2017. Joe Ponte will start his new role as CEO of Hotelplan UK on 1 Nov. 1, when he will also become part of the Hotelplan Group’s executive management team. He joins the team from Explore Worldwide after 2½ years as managing director. Explore’s deputy managing director, John Telfer, will take charge until a longer-term successor is found.
After unveiling a revamped corporate operating structure, CWT has announced key leadership roles for its RoomIt & commercial business unit, the newly created TMC arm overseeing areas including supplier management, products and solutions, as well as CWT’s RoomIt hotel distribution division.
Effective immediately, the core leadership team of the RoomIt & Commercial unit will be comprised of:
—Erica Antony, who will head the strategy and marketing of CWT’s products and overall business proposition
—Vince Chirico, who will head up supply chain partnerships, including identifying new partners.
—Brian Mogler, who will oversee all trade air, ground and hotel supplier relationships, along with CWT’s travel management, data and air solutions.
—Derek Sharp, who assumes responsibility for the RoomIt business and CWT’s hotel solutions
—Julian Walker, who will lead external market communications and brand management, including brand development, industry events and sponsorships.
All members of the new unit’s leadership team currently serve in leadership roles with CWT.