CHINA MARKET NOTES
Chinese Students, U.S. Universities breathe a sigh of relief as Chinese vaccine is now accepted by key academic institutions in the United States. Several famous U.S. universities, including Harvard and Columbia, have recognized the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinopharm (a state-owned company) following the May 7th approval of the vaccine’s emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). Chinese experts said that the notice, which was issued by the Chinese Consulate in New York City, will facilitate travel and academic exchanges between the two countries. Chinese students who have already taken the Sinopharm vaccine no longer need to take COVID-19 shots in the US when they arrive on campus, said the notice.
According to a Global Times article by Fan Anqi and Wan Lin, China experts predicted that other sectors such as commerce and trade in the U.S. will also gradually accept Chinese vaccines amid growing demand to resume personnel exchanges.
The schools that have recognized Sinopharm’s vaccine are Harvard University, Columbia University, New York University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, the University of Rochester and Lafayette College, according to the announcement. As more schools are expected to follow these seven universities, the new policy has come as relief to Chinese students who plan to return to campus in the U.S. this fall and were inoculated with Sinopharm’s vaccine.
A Chinese student surnamed Chen, who has been admitted to an MBA program at the University of Dartmouth this year and plans to leave for the US in September, told the Global Times that she took the Sinopharm vaccine in March and was disappointed by the school’s policy at that time, when she was informed that Sinopharm shots could not be accepted. According to the updated policy of Chen’s university, students are considered fully vaccinated if they are injected with FDA-approved vaccines or vaccines that have received Emergency Use Listing by the WHO, which means Sinopharm is included.
Normally, other U.S. universities will follow the lead of top schools, Liu Shuangtao, CEO of Perfecting Education, an educational consulting agency for students in the U.S., told the Global Times.
Beyond the actual vaccination-related issues at hand, the actions on the part of the U.S. universities and the Chinese government signal a change from the tone of the Administration of U.S. President Donald Trump who, in banning Chinese travelers from the United States during the early stages of the global pandemic, had an attitude toward the country that Chinese government officials and students interpreted as hostile and antagonistic.
Of the 1.075 million foreign students enrolled in U.S. schools, Chinese students represent 35 percent of the total (for the 2019-2020 school year)—or 373,000 students. Were they counted as their own country, Chinese students would be in the Top 25 countries for overseas tourism to the United States.
Although the uncertainty of the epidemic remains, for Chinese students in the U.S., resuming offline classes can definitely be foreseen in the fall term, Liu said, noting that the agency has seen an increasing number of appointments after the US Embassy and consulates opened visa applications for Chinese students.
Just as the last issue of the INBOUND Report was issued, The Global Times learned from Chinese online flight booking platform Ctrip.com that ticket prices for direct flights from Shanghai to San Francisco in July and August, the peak season for students returning to school, skyrocketed from 6,000 yuan ($931) to 28,000 yuan ($4,348).
Data showed that fares and demand for China-US air routes surged fivefold just one day after the US eased travel bans on Chinese students. Some direct flights from China’s major cities to the US during the peak season are already sold out.
The U.S. Embassy and consulates in China opened visa appointments for Chinese students on May 4, after the U.S. announced easing of travel restrictions for foreign students. In late April, US authorities eased travel bans for Chinese students, announcing that those with academic programs beginning August 1 or later can enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic activities. (Click here for the complete Global Times article.)
⦁ Fosun Tourism’s Thomas Cook Sanya Destination Management Company (DMC) officially on April 20, began integrating its destination resources into Fosun Tourism. Its brands provide one-stop travel services for tourists and enterprises coming to Sanya, Hainan. Thomas Cook, Fosun points out, is an international travel brand with a history of nearly 180 years and the originator of global travel agencies. Fosun acquired the brand in December 2019, three months after Thomas Cook went into bankruptcy and ceased trading on Sept. 23, 2019. Since entering China, Thomas Cook has been committed to win-win cooperation with many “brother brands” under Fosun Travel, including Club Med and Atlantis Sanya.
⦁ May Day increase in domestic travel bodes well for international travel, says Trip.com: Trip.com Group, the mega-travel company and the largest in China has released has released its 2021 May Day Results and Travel Trends, which reveal a strong recovery in China’s domestic travel market during the May Day Holiday (May 1-5). The oft-stated hope of tourism industry leaders in China was that the holiday would kick off a genuine recovery for the Chinese industry.
The Trip.com numbers seem to suggest that the hope became reality. As Trip.com put it, the five-day holiday “unleashed the customer demand for long-distance domestic travel.” According to the data, the total number of bookings for the May Day Holiday showed an increase of 30-plus percent compared to the same period in 2019, and represented a year-on-year increase vs. 2020 of approximately 270 percent.
Trip.com Group accompanied the data on travel volume with a short paper in which it identified the following key trends from China’s May Holiday data which are likely to be indicative of international travel trends once restrictions are lifted:
1. China market sees high-end hotel travel boom: After being cooped up at home during lockdown, many travelers will have found themselves with more disposable income to treat themselves to a luxury trip. While outbound travel is restricted and the consumption stays inbound, high-end leisure travel during the May Day holiday has gained popularity, most evident through hotels with high star ratings and exclusive private tours. According to the data, high star-rated hotels accounted for 40 percent of all the hotel bookings, while beachfront hotels, suburban vacation resorts and theme park hotels became consumers’ favorites.
2. Automobile travel (road trips) is on the rise: Under the country-wide policy for toll-free express-ways during the holiday, the car rental market has seen a significant boom demonstrating that more travelers are looking to explore China via a road trip. Trip.com Group’s car rental peak daily growth reached 330 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
3. Whistle-stop tours record volume of single-day tickets booked: Compared to 2019 records, Trip.com Group’s single-day ticket booking volume, peak daily growth rate, reached 449 percent. Moreover, on May 1st, single-day ticket GMV surge reached new record, followed by another new record set on May 2 nd. Both single-day ticket booking volume and travel transaction volume reached a new high, doubling the historical peak.
4. Increased demand for private tours: Travelers are seeking a safe way to travel in their ‘bubble’ of close family and friends. As a result, private tours have performed well during the May Day holiday, with orders increased by about 230 percent compared to the same period in 2019. Among the destinations, Beijing, Guilin, Guiyang, Sanya, Hohhot, Xi’an, Yinchuan, Zhangjiajie, Lijiang, and Xiamen were the top ten destinations for private tours.
5. Travelers seek diversified experiences: In addition to the above trends, experienced local guides can bring many new perspectives and is why travelers are seeking local travel experiences that help enrich their lives while supporting both local communities and businesses. In the Chinese province of Shaanxi, guided tours helped visitors discover the Terracotta warriors, unveiling first-hand stories of exploration; in Hunan, guides recommend travelers visit the “Baihutang” (White Tiger Sanctum) where only local insiders would previously venture; and in Dunhuang, guides lead the way to camping in the desert.
As of May 4, 2021, the number of local guide bookings during May Day holiday increased by 120 percent compared to the same period in 2019. The top 10 destinations were:
Bo Sun, chief marketing officer at Trip.com Group commented said: “This year’s May Golden Week has been the most popular public holiday in the tourism market since the outbreak of the pandemic, representing the pent-up demand for travel. With the accelerated vaccination rate in the country, the tourism market is anticipated to maintain a strong momentum. It is believed the domestic tourism economy will reignite further in the upcoming summer and National Day holiday in October. We are confident that these Chinese travel trends will be indicative of wider international travel patterns once travel resumes worldwide and we are feeling positive about the safe return and recovery of global travel. (Click here for the complete news release.)
⦁ Know More about live streaming in China: The viewers of a livestream might not be your target audience, and nine other truths brands should know about livestreaming in China. Though the focus of this piece put together by is on luxury retail products, this article by JING DAILY notes some facts that are applicable to the travel sector as well, such as “If the target audience hasn’t heard of the brand before the livestream, there’s only a low chance that they will buy the goods in three minutes, especially for luxury goods with relatively high prices.” Learn more here.
Hope is on the Horizon, Says Expedia
Its Q1 Travel Recovery Trend Report identifies trends in consumer behavior as the travel and tourism industry is on the road to recovery.
Expressions such as “pandemic,” “COVID-19,” “travel bubble” became a part of our vocabulary as travel and tourism struggle to cope with, and mitigate the impact of a virus that brought activity to a halt.
By tapping into more than 300 petabytes of Expedia Group traveler intent and demand data (One petabyte holds 1024 terabytes or 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes), Expedia shares what it calls a snapshot of the latest quarterly trends we are seeing through its exclusive access to Expedia Group first-party data and custom research. The Travel Recovery Trend Report starts with five trends statements.
—Global Vaccine Rollouts Spur the Return of Travel: After a turbulent year for the travel industry in 2020, the start of 2021 saw travel turn a corner with monthly search volumes showing strong growth throughout Q1. The increase in searches and traveler demand is linked with growing momentum for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and travel guidelines.
—Global Search Window Remains Short: Continuing a trend seen throughout much of last year, the majority of global Q1 2021 searches fell within the 0 to 21 days search window, as uncertainty around global travel saw travelers opt for more opportunistic, short-term trips, often close to home. This trend seems to be strengthening for domestic trips, while longer search windows for international trips appear to be growing.
—Making Up for Lost Time with Longer Trips: To make up for lost time, travelers are finally using their full vacation days and taking advantage of more flexible working conditions with “flexcations” – a longer stay mixing work and play. This is resulting in longer trips, as well as a strong increase in vacation rental demand quarter-over-quarter. Travelers are booking more stays of at least seven nights at Vrbo vacation homes this summer, exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
—Domestic Travel Here for the Foreseeable Future: Even with COVID-19 vaccine distribution ramping up, many travelers are continuing to take trips closer to home – opting for beach and city destinations – and choosing car travel as their preferred mode of transportation. As travelers look ahead to late spring and summer travel, road trips will continue to eclipse air travel and other transportation methods.
—Health & Hygiene Expectations Continue to Evolve: Since the start of the pandemic, health and hygiene-related factors have grown in importance for travelers. However, as consumer confidence continues to grow, there are signs that travelers are prioritizing more traditional decision-making drivers, such as cost and convenience.
Selected notes from the rest of the 2021 first quarter Travel Recovery Trend Report by Expedia Group Media Solutions:
⦁ After a sluggish start in January, 2021 turned a corner on 2020 with stronger monthly search volumes in February. March saw even higher volumes of at least 20 percent month-over-month in some cases. The increase in searches and traveler demand is linked with growing momentum for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and travel guidelines around the world, as well as travel “bubbles” and corridors for safer air travel between countries.
⦁ As confidence from American travelers built throughout the quarter, monthly search volumes continued to trend upward in Q1 2021.
⦁ In week-over-week searches, the week of March 15 saw the largest spike in searches – an increase of 30 percent – following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) release of guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. Interestingly, the U.S.-based guidance also drove spikes in traveler searches in other regions, following a similar trend line.
⦁ According to the recent Expedia Group Travel Outlook, the CDC news made 43% of Americans feel more comfortable traveling — or drove them to book an upcoming trip.
⦁ Around 55 percent of married couples and city dwellers are more willing to travel as soon as vaccines are widely available (Expedia Group 2021 Trends Report).
⦁ Widespread vaccine rollout in the U.S. is also spurring vaccine vacations: 1 in 3 Americans plan to or have already taken a vacation to celebrate getting vaccinated.
⦁ Continuing a trend seen throughout much of last year, the majority of global searches fell within the 0 to 21 days search window, as uncertainty around global travel saw travelers opt for more opportunistic, short-term trips, closer to home.
⦁ A growing momentum toward booking travel further out dovetails with pent-up consumer demand and an increasing desire to make up for lost time, resulting in “revenge shopping.” Whether domestic or international, or planning for an immediate or future trip, travelers are ready for new experiences.
⦁ Around six in ten travelers had a planned leisure trip cancelled due to COVID-19 last year (See Traveler Sentiment & Influences).
⦁ Many travelers are making up for lost time this year by taking longer trips, planning to fully use vacation days and continuing to work remotely while traveling with “flexcations” – that is longer stays that include work and play. Sixty-seven percent of families in the U.S. who took a “flexcation” would take a similar trip again (See Vrbo 2021 Travel Trends Report), so … expect to see this trend throughout the year.
⦁ Travelers continue to prioritize domestic over international travel, though we are starting to see international search demand begin to return. Travel shoppers are currently showing preference to travel domestically, indicated by our first party Expedia Group data and custom research, however, there are some variances in consumer sentiment around travel based on country/region.
⦁ Along with the vacation rental market, road trips appear to be another beneficiary of the domestic travel trend. Insights from Expedia Group’s recent Traveler Sentiment Study further highlight the car travel trend. The research found that for both domestic and international travel to a neighboring country during April to September 2021, travelers consider driving their own car or a rental car safer than other modes of transportation. 62 Sixty-two percent of global travelers took, or would be willing to take, a road trip during the pandemic.
⦁ Analysis of Expedia Group guest review data from the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 shows a steep spike in the percentage of guests mentioning cleanliness in their reviews. Since then, roughly over a third of all guest reviews mention cleanliness.
⦁ This trend is reinforced by recent Expedia Group research, which reveals that 4 out of 5 travelers expect to make accommodation decisions based on implemented pandemic measures.
⦁ While Expedia research indicated that aggregated annual data were dominated by health- and hygiene-focused considerations such as overall safety, cleanliness and crowding, it notes that in the last quarter, “we saw these topics drop from the top of the list and replaced with more prosaic considerations, such as cost and the ability to change flights, indicating that travelers are becoming less focused on health and hygiene related issues, and more focused on financial peace of mind and convenience.”
Click here to read the entire report.
⦁ Australia Closed to International visitors till mid-2022: In a move that stunned the tourism industry in Australia, the Australian government has apparently decided not to open its borders to international traffic until the middle of 2022. Announced via government budgeting channels two weeks ago, it seemed to catch industry leaders by surprise. Qantas—the nation’s top air carrier—announced that it will was once again postponing the resumption of international passenger services at the end of October to the end of December. Qantas also issued a statement that said: “We are still optimistic that once Australia is fully vaccinated, it will establish a travel bubble with more countries, but at this stage it is difficult to predict which countries will experience travel bubbles. Bubbles. And as time goes by and the situation develops, we will continue to review these plans.” There has been a great deal of scrambling back and forth between the industry and the government since the border announcement, but the anticipated policy has not been reversed.
⦁ In Germany “Suddenly the mood changes.” That’s what Detlef Schroer, sales manager for, Schauinsland-Reisen, told the German travel trade publication touristic aktuell last week. Like others in the German tourism industry, Schroer is now very positive about the summer—especially compared to just one month ago.
One cannot speak of a boom yet—but definitely of a new start: Since Easter, the number of bookings throughout the industry has been increasing, touristic aktuell reported. Schauinsland-Reisen is right at the forefront. “You have the feeling that every time a travel warning is no longer received, there is a new boost,” said Detlef Schroer, head of sales for the Duisburg-based Schauinsland. According to him, the bookings received by the company in May are at the level of 2019.
⦁ The National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative (BTT) working in partnership with the Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism, Inc. (CHAT), a Black-owned receptive tour operator based in Miami, FL, is launching the Black Cultural Heritage Road Trip on May 30. The Black Cultural Heritage Tours (BCHT) team will travel throughout the United States curating local, immersive Black cultural heritage tour itineraries and experiences through connections with the people and places that have shaped Black communities from the past to the present. “As the only Black-owned receptive tour operator in the U.S., our mission is to create inclusion and engagement of local Black cultural heritage community assets in the multibillion-dollar tourism industry, spurring economic growth and sustainability for small businesses and cultural institutions in underserved Black communities,” said Stephanie Jones, president of CHAT and founder of BTT. Learn more at www.experienceblackculture.com
⦁ An agreement between representatives of the travel and tourism industry and the Brazilian government will provide some relief from the 25 percent remittance levy on services performed outside of the country—an especially hard hit on tourism activity. A reduction to six percent took effect immediately. The rate will increase to 7 percent in 2023; 8 percent in 2024; and 9 percent in 2025—plus a revision in two years, which can change upwards or downwards.
In commenting on the measure, Roberto Haro Nedelciu, president of the Brazilian Tour Operators Association (BRAZTOA) told the Brazilian trade publication PANROTAS, “the government cannot give up because of the fiscal situation. In this case, however, reducing from 25 percent to 6 percent there will be a change in the budget. The government knows that it is an undue tax and that 6 percent is better on real remittances than 25 percentage on nothing.” It is a victory,” he added, “but the struggle continues to eliminate this tax.”
⦁ Controversy over the pros and cons of consulting fees continues. From FVW / Trade Talk: How much is the advice worth to vacationers? Some tourism groups are introducing consulting fees in their travel agencies. The chairman of the Association of Independent Travel Agencies (VUSR), Marija Linnhoff, considers this to be the “wrong signal”, especially in times of crisis.”
⦁ Major UK Online Brands are Merging: Palatine Private Equity has reached an agreement that will combine Icelolly Marketing Limited, which operates as Icelolly.com with Moneysupermarket.com Group’s TravelSupermarket (TSM), to enable stronger and broader travel comparison services across both brands.
Icelolly.com is an online package holidays travel intermediary founded in 2005 and specializing in price comparison and deals, and is described in the deal as complementing TSM’s comparison services. Palatine has backed the business since 2013. Following the merger, both brands will be maintained, with each benefiting from revenue diversification, shared commercial expertise and greater audience reach.
⦁ No Remote? Then, no work: Complicating the journey to and through economic recovery is an apparent change in the attitudes of workers. After up to a year a more in which they’ve done much of their work remotely, a recent study by the staffing firm of Robert Half revealed that a third of professionals (34 percent) currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if require4d to be in the office full time.
Nearly half of all those employees surveyed (49 percent) said they prefer a hybrid work arrangement, where they can divide time between the office and another location. Even if given the opportunity to be fully remote, professionals expressed the following concerns in doing so:
1. Relationships with coworkers could suffer: 28 percent
2. Decreased productivity while at home: 26 percent
3. Fewer career advancement opportunities due to a lack of visibility: 20 percent.
Click here for a complete article on this subject.
⦁ TTC offers its DMC services to other companies. The Travel Corporation, which has 12 destination management companies across Africa, Europe, the Americas and the South Pacific, is making its DMC portfolio available to other travel companies to use. In explaining the move, Gavin Tollman, president of TTC, told the trade publication Travel Pulse: “During the uncertainty of the pandemic, we spoke to a number of our partners who were looking for an operational solution with the quality, knowledge, infrastructure, consistency and financial resilience to deliver on the ground in a new post-pandemic world – but they were hitherto unaware of the depth and breadth of TTC’s Destination Management portfolio.”
TTC owns 40 travel brands including tour operators, hotels and transportation companies. Some of the better-known brands include: Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Contiki, Uniworld, Old-Town and Thompsons. The company, which is wholly owned by members of the Tollman family. It traces its history to a small hotel outside Cape Town, South Africa in the early 1900s.
In Brazil, It’s All About the Vaccine
BOM sees a BOOM? “Here in Brazil, our mantra is ‘vaccination, vaccination, vaccination,’” said José Guilherme Alcorta, CEO of PANROTAS, which is generally regarded as the authoritative travel trade publication in Brazil,” adding that the nation’s tour and travel industry is “looking forward to return to the skies (and railroads, seas, trails and roads) and the May edition of the Brazilian Overview Monthly (BOM) Report brings some good news. We are almost there.”
Alcorta made his remark as he introduced the May 2021 edition of the BOM Report, which has become a must-read publication for those in the international tourism industry, as well those who study and follow it as a key index of the nation’s economic condition. The PANROTAS partner in the Overview is FecomércioSP, a São Paulo-based business research organization.
No Recession Here: A normal view of the economic landscape in Brazil might focus on the overall economy. But not here—even though the latest data show that the country is recovering from a debilitating recession last year that coincided with the impact of the global pandemic that was brought on by the COVID-19 virus. Brazil’s gross domestic product contracted 4.1 percent in 2020, the biggest annual recession since the series began in 1996.
And yet, this month, some of the world’s top banks this month projected an increase in GDP of 4.5 percent. But, the May BOM Report, since it does have a focus on the travel and tourism economy, focused on the vaccination issue.
—There are two reasons for this. First, Brazil government and its attendant apparatus, have been well behind other major nations of the world in vaccinating its people against the COVID virus. As of this writing, Brazil’s adult population is expected to be vaccinated in the second half of the year—between September and October, if there are no delays. But there is resistance to the most readily available vaccine in Brazil. As one account described the situation: “Politicization, transparency issues and some incomplete trial data in Brazil contributed to a lack of trust in CoronaVac there.”
—So, second, even if the pace picks up, other nations might not recognize the CoronaVac vaccine, because there has been some question as to CoronaVac’s efficacy. As the website nature.com put it: “Data on CoronaVac from clinical trials and national vaccination campaigns have also emerged, with mixed results. Trials from Brazil and Turkey have revealed efficacy figures of 50.7 percent and 83.5 percent, respectively.”
Vaccination Tourism: One impact of the muddled vaccination situation has been an apparent increase in the number of Brazilians who are going abroad for their COVID vaccinations—although there are no hard data on the situation. Meanwhile …
—International flights to and from Brazil, which are an integral component to tourism’s economic impact in the nation, are increasing by small numbers. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are still below pre-pandemic levels, while United reached 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels in May.
—CVC Corp, leading travel group in Brazil, predicts a sales boom from September on, and announced block seats in airlines to international destinations such as Tueky, Egypt and Dubai. Domestic travel, including cruises by the Brazilian coast, are the higher bets.
—A recent Pulso Turismo survey conducted by TRVL LAB* showed that Brazilians will only travel abroad and even in Brazil after being vaccinated. The survey was carried out with 369 travelers from Brazil, and there are high rates of people who will not travel or take part in events until they are vaccinated (For this research, an online panel was conducted with 369 Brazilian travelers from all regions of Brazil who made at least one trip in the last 24 months.): 76 percent answered that they totally or partially agree with the statement in the case of events for 100 people or more; the rate remains high for international travel (70 percent will only do it after vaccinated) and it is also valid for domestic travel (64 percent).
* TRVL LAB is a travel market intelligence laboratory. Through conducting and disseminating research qualitative and quantitative aspects of the tourism market, creates and transmits relevant knowledge to generate initiatives and the positive transformation of the industry. It is an initiative of PANROTAS and MAPIE, which share the same purpose of constantly investigating tourism and contributing to its development. TRVL LAB—a new analytical project launched last year by PANROTAS and MAPIE, a hospitality and travel consulting firm which is based in Paraná, Curitaba, about 250 miles south of São Paulo.
Have something you want to share with PANROTAS? Then contact José Guilherme Alcorta here: [email protected]
TourOperatorLand.com Partner of the Week: Visit Fort Worth
Urban Cowboy—The Best of Both Worlds in Fort Worth and Dallas. Fort Worth and Dallas are two distinct cities, only 45 minutes apart & completely different from each other. The beauty of our geography provides many advantages to our visitors. Instead of spending hours driving to far destinations, spend that time learning how to be a cowboy or shopping-for example! We have it all here: Western Heritage, Ranches, Sophistication, Arts and even Tax Free Shopping! We are different and authentic and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Ideas for First-Time Visitors:
—Bass Performance Hall
—Fort Worth Cattle Herd
—Kimbell Art Museum
—A Texas steak at Del Frisco’s Steakhouse
—Amon Carter Museum of American Art
—Fort Worth Botanic Garden
—Log Cabin Village
Ideas for Repeat Visitors:
—Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
—Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible: Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures
—Bureau of Engraving and Printing
—Fort Worth Water Gardens
—Texas Civil War Museum
—Fort Worth Zoo
Following is a sampler of some of Visit Fort Worth’s royalty free photos available at TourOperatorLand.com.
HODGE PODGE: Changes, Openings & Appointments
Ron Price has been named president and CEO of Visit Phoenix. A 25-year veteran of the travel and tourism industry, Price most recently served as president and CEO of the Arlington (Texas) CVB. He has also served as the assistant executive director of Visit San Antonio and worked more than 12 years as an executive at Marriott International. Price succeeds longtime Visit Phoenix CEO Steve Moore, who late last year announced his plans to retire.
Samantha Fuller has joined Go City / Leisure Pass Group in London as trade marketing executive. Previously, Fuller was a marketing executive for the City of London Corporation. Prior to that, she was senior marketing manager for The Original Tour in London.
After 47 years in “this crazy wonderful industry,” Mark Ehrli says that he is finally retiring to start a second career selling real estate in New Smyrna Beach Florida. Eherli spent a good part of his career—some 30 years—with Planet Hollywood. He leaves as general manager at Planet Hollywood International in Orlando, Florida.
Walton County, Florida commissioners voted earlier this month to terminate the employment contract of Jay Tusa, executive director of the county’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) for the past five years. The brand name of the organization is Visit South Walton. The vote was 3 to 2. Based on the news coverage of the event, it was not readily clear why Tusa had been dismissed, although one commissioner contended that he had been having difficulty recently in setting up meetings with Tusa and the TDC staff. Prior to joining Visit South Walton, Tusa had served as director of communications and research at the Louisiana Office of Tourism. Previously, he was executive director at the River Parishes Tourist Commission in La Place, Louisiana.
Courtney Spiess has been named the new executive director of the Marietta (Georgia) Visitors Bureau, which counts among its attractions the Gone with the Wind Museum–named thus in order to commemorate one of the most popular movies ever made, “Gone with the Wind.” It was made in 1939. Spiess formerly served as the bureau’s marketing and public relations manager, first joining in 2018. She replaces Amanda Sutter, who left the organization in March.
Candace Hobson recently joined the Visit Aurora (Colorado), the Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is national sales manager. Prior to joining the organization, she served in senior sales positions at several different hotel companies in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain region.
After a nationwide search by the executive recruitment firm Searchwide Global, The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Stuart Butler chief marketing officer of the CVB. Butler, is a 20-year resident of Myrtle Beach and former chamber board member. Prior to joining the Myrtle Beach organization, Butler was chief operating officer at Fuel Travel, a Myrtle Beach-based online marketing agency. He was with the company more than 20 years.
Christopher Bloore has taken on the position of president & COO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. Bloore first joined the organization in March of last year, and was subsequently promoted to the president & COO post. Before joining TIAO, Bloore had worked in the British House of Commons for more than four years. He also served in local government in the UK—as a council member of the Worcester County Council.
Elo has just announced the arrival of Giancarlo Greco as CEO of the company. Elo is a Brazilian card association that offers financial services such as credit cards, debit cards and prepaid cars—all an integral part of the tourism industry’s financial infrastructure. Holder of an MBA from Duke University, Greco was previously at Accenture, where he worked for approximately four years, and has worked at Citibank, Deutsche Bank and American Express. For almost 20 years, he was a professor at Insper, teaching MBA courses in disciplines related to financial products and services.
Jane Clementino is the new Discover the World Director, Canada. She succeeds Joanne Lundy, who was Discover the World Director Canada for 28 years. Clementino is a well-known travel executive in Canada with 30 years of experience in aviation, corporate travel management, and retail travel. Clementino has extensive knowledge of the travel marketplace, distribution channels, and supplier relations, combined with strategic insights and business development capabilities. Clementino’s prior experience includes: global director of indirect sales for Westjet and Westjet Vacations; vice-president, client consulting services and sales for Navigant / CWT Canada where she created and implemented a global travel management operating framework and introduced value-based selling; director at the BottomLine Group (now Optimus SBR) consulting on T&E and travel programs for several Fortune 100 companies.
Luxury travel agency Virtuoso recently announced the appointment of Mary Beth Wressell as vice president, product marketing. In this newly created role, Wressell will focus on developing strategic product and brand marketing plans, shaping campaigns for Virtuoso’s numerous products, including travel inspiration site Virtuoso Wanderlist, Best of the Best hotels and resorts, events, professional development and more. Wressell brings more than 25 years of travel industry experience, including a previous six-year run with Virtuoso. Prior to rejoining the organization, Wressell served as vice president, marketing and public relations for Windstar Cruises. She served in a similar capacity as vice president, marketing communications for Holland America Line for 13 years.
The private sector Washington Tourism Alliance has announced the addition of Michelle Thana to the newly created role of director of marketing. Thana will lead the organization’s consumer marketing program, including strategic planning, consumer campaigns, advertising, direct marketing, social media and destination brand marketing and communications. Thana most recently served as Director of Marketing at Visit Vancouver USA. For two years she directed the organization’s marketing, creative and communications programs. From 2014 to 2019, Thana served on Travel Portland’s marketing team, first as marketing coordinator and then as marketing manager.
Michael R. Mullaney is the new CEO of Fraport USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, and a leading developer of airport retail, food and beverage concession programs. Michael Mullaney brings over 30 years of aviation experience, spanning concession development, airport operations, aviation consultancy and education. Most recently, Michael served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development for the Hudson Group, where throughout his 18-year tenure he led the company’s strategic direction, business development, governmental affairs and business diversity divisions. Mullaney succeeds Brett Kelly, Fraport USA’s acting CEO and senior vice president of Operations, who after many years of service will be leaving the company at the end of the month.
Barrhead Travel, one of the UK’s largest travel agencies,has permanently appointed former Thomas Cook head of retail Nicki Tempest-Mitchell as sales and marketing director. She takes over the new position after working as a consultant since 2019. The company said that Tempest-Mitchell played a “pivotal role” in the recruitment of many former Thomas Cook employees as Barrhead Travel began to grow its network following the September 2019 of Thomas Cook. Prior to her time at Thomas Cook, Tempest-Mitchell held senior positions with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.
Brad Niva is the new CEO of Montana’s Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and Visit Big Sky. He’ll take over on June 1. Niva hails from southern Oregon and brings an extensive background in the outdoor and tourism industry. Most recently, Niva served as the Executive Director of the visitor’s association Travel Southern Oregon. His resume also includes tenures as president & CEO at Rogue Wilderness Adventures and as senior executive at GlaxoSmithKline.
From SearchWide Global:
—Visit Carlsbad is searching for a president and CEO. More details here.
—Switch, An Experience Agency based in St. Louis whose product lines include digital marketing, business meetings and events, and trade shows, is looking for a president and CEO. More details here.
—There is an opening for a chief executive officer at Explore Skagit Valley in Washington State. More details here.
—Louisville Tourism is looking for a senior vice president of convention development. More details here.
—Travel Portland is searching for a vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion. More details here.
—The Pacific Hospitality Group has an opening for an area director of marketing. More details here.
—Visit Wichita is searching for a vice president of marketing. More details here.
—Visit Wichita has an opening for a vice president of sales. More details here.
—Destinations International is searching for a senior director, membership engagement. More details here.
—The tourism research and intelligence company Arrivalist has an opening for a chief sales officer. More details here.
—The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a new president and CEO. More details here.
—In Franklin, Tennessee, which is about 20 miles south of Nashville, the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau is searching for a president and CEO. More details here.
—Headquartered in Irving, Texas, the Promotional Products Association International, is searching for a president & chief executive officer. More details here.
—The Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority in Georgia is looking for a new executive director. More details here.
—Visit Florida is searching for a vice president of marketing. For more information, visit here.
—In the Charlotte/Concord area of North Carolina, Great Wolf Resorts has an opening for a director of sales and catering. For details, click here
—Georgia’s Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority is searching for a conference sales director. More details here.
From Indeed.com: We’ve taken a look at this site (click here) which says that it has hundreds of new jobs listed, including a fair number in the travel, tourism and related industries. A sampler of what to expect is below.
—Sesame Place, located in Langhorne, PA, not far from Philadelphia, has an opening for a public relations manager. More details here.
—The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is looking for a vice president of guest experience. The salary range is $130,000 – $157,000 a year: More details here.
—Hill + Knowlton Strategies is seeking a talented vice president or senior vice president to lead key consumer client engagements with a focus on travel and tourism. More details here.
—The American Queen Steamboat Company has a temporary, remote location opening for a shore excursions logistics manager. Location cited is in Easton, Pennsylvania. More details here.
—The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences museum in Los Angeles is searching for a group sales manager. More details here.
From LinkedIn Jobs: Known to many across the board in the travel and tourism industry, the LinkedIn list (click here) has numerous job opportunities posted. Following is a brief sample of some of those jobs currently listed.
—NYC & Company has an opening for a marketing coordinator. More details here.
—REI has an opening for an adventure travel program coordinator. More details here.
—Interdependence Public Relations is searching for a Managing Director to launch and build a travel, leisure and hospitality division at its rapidly growing PR firm. More details here.
—In Burbank, California, The Walt Disney Company is looking for a manager, communications. More details here.
—Ralph Lauren is search for a coordinator, brand activation (regional tourism – West). More details here.
Have a job to offer in the travel and tourism industry? Let us know and we’ll post your notice—no cost to you. Email [email protected].