Casandra Matej has been selected as the new president and CEO of Visit Orlando. She joins the organization from her post as president and CEO of Visit San Antonio, where she has served for more than nine-and-a-half years. Prior to her tenure in San Antonio, Matej was senior vice president, sales and services, at Visit Dallas for nearly seven years. In Orlando, she succeeds George Aguel, who announced his retirement from the position last August. In San Antonio, Dave Krupinski, the current chief operating officer of Visit San Antonio, has been named interim director. A nationwide search to replace Matej will be conducted in the coming months.
In China, Zhang Tingting has been appointed executive president of market of Ctrip Group, the country’s largest travel company. Zhang will continue to serve as chairman and CEO of Ctrip Financial Information Service Company Limited, reporting to Ctrip Group’s CMO, Sun Bo. Zhang will continue to be responsible for the management of Ctrip’s foreign exchange and shopping businesses, while leading the business integration of global shopping and membership store. Zhang joined Ctrip in 2000 and is a member of the founding team of Ctrip.
Paul Beirnes is the newly appointed deputy director of tourism the for Naples, Marco Island and Everglades CVB. Beirnes joins the team at Florida’s Paradise Coast with over 30 years of destination marketing experience that includes leadership roles at such well-known brands as Hilton Worldwide, Visit Orlando and Disney. In this role, Beirnes will oversee the sales functions of the bureau and assist executive director, Jack Wert, with day-to-day Bureau operations.
David Goodman has been named as the new chief commercial and marketing officer at Lindblad Expeditions Holdings. In his new role, he’ll oversee all revenue production and will lead marketing, sales, digital product development and strategic partnerships. Goodman, who will be based at the New York headquarters of Lindblad, whose USA product consists primarily of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Goodman most recently served as executive vice president, marketing and digital for Sotheby. Prior to that, he was president, entertainment/production for the Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation.
Air Canada recently announced promotions for a number of familiar faces. Nino Montagnese, (top left) previously managing director, Air Canada Vacations becomes vice president, Air Canada Vacations. Lisa Pierce, previously managing director, Canada and USA sales, becomes vice president, Canada and USA sales. And Virgilio Russi, previously managing director, international sales becomes Vice President, International Sales. “As we approach the end of a tumultuous year, and look forward to a brighter future in 2021, we continue to take steps to best position ourselves for recovery from the devastating repercussions of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu, who will step down next year.
In Brazil, Amanda De Rousset has been named is the new LATAM operations manager for Latin America for TBO Holidays. She is based in São Paulo; Previously, she worked for the tour operator TREND Viagens nearly seven years, first as leisure general manager, then as operations manager.
UK-based Charitable Travel has appointed Alison Nicholls to the role of head of partnerships. In her new role, Nicholls will reinforce existing partnerships and develop new relationships with tourism offices, tour operators, hotels, airlines, and cruise lines to help Charitable Travel’s mission to raise money for good causes. Previously, Nicholls was with NBC Universal for more than eight years as senior business development manager. Before that, she held a partnerships role at British Airways, managing new route launches and leisure marketing campaigns. Nicholls previously worked with Charitable Travel chief executive and founder Melissa Tilling in 2002 when they were both at AsiaWorld.