Let’s Get People to Trust in Travel
Travelport study says 46 percent of people prioritize trust over everything else when selecting a travel provider; this is one of the key findings from a major survey conducted with the a leading global authority on trust, Edelman Data & Intelligence, to take the pulse on consumer trust in travel. The answer to the key question is, Travelport tells us, by embracing and building on modern retailing standards.
To get to the above answer, the Travelport/Edelman study takes the reader through a series of differences in attitudes toward different economic sectors, as well as different components of the travel and tourism industry. The survey base included 10,000 people across 10 countries, asking them questions on different elements of trust. INBOUND uses the report’s own language as we take you through the key points of the survey.
Trust Hinges on Expectation: Major tech companies like Amazon, Alibaba, Netflix, and Spotify changed consumer expectations forever. Truly modern retailers, these companies are there for customers all the time, any time, on every channel, with a little UX magic thrown in just for fun. When you shop them, you use their tools, you access advice from other customers, you compare costs and brands with ease. If travel retailing falls short of these standards, people notice. So, we need to get in step.
Trust Sells: We asked respondents whether they felt they could trust travel companies to do the right thing. Travel is inherently a leap of faith. Because when we travel, we’re taking a journey into the unknown. Trust underpins the entire experience, and that starts with a booking. And for businesses, being trusted enables success.
We’ve Got Work to Do: As an industry we’re not quite bottom of the class (that accolade goes to Financial Services, while Healthcare scores high in the year of the vaccine). But Edelman’s research shows we’re still scoring low:
Trust in Travel Agencies: Agencies could do better: people have relatively low levels of trust in travel agencies, depending on type.
—Trust In Airlines: Trust varies by carrier type
—Trust Major International and regional airlines: ˃50 percent
—Trust low-cost carriers: 40 percent
—Hotels are the most trusted: 57 percent
Factors Influencing Trust
1. Price Transparency: People hate ‘hidden’ costs. They expect transparency and personalization, with a clear fee structure and a product tailored to their needs. Price transparency is more important to travelers than anything. That’s not an exaggeration—along with fully flexible or refundable products, people ranked it 16 percent more influential on trust than an airline’s long-term safety record.
2. Performance During COVID-19: Travelers are raring to get back on the move, and they give the industry reasonably high marks for reacting to COVID-19. They may forgive past negative experiences if we prove trustworthy now.
Some sectors have fared better than others. Major international hotels were some of the first businesses in the sector to reopen, regaining consumer trust through clear, consistent safety measures and transparent cancellation policies. Beyond COVID-19, hotels build trust by prioritizing the traveler experience in ways airlines often do not. A simple example is the mindset of welcoming ‘guests’ not “passengers.”
Travelers are also still wary about some measures like air filtration, social distancing, and managed boarding being fully implemented, and need more reassurance around refund/exchange flexibility.
3. Privacy: People value their privacy — that’s not new. Travelers have higher trust in companies using information shared voluntarily with them rather than from elsewhere. The most trusted sources include one-to-one conversations, while the lowest form is through tracking their social media activity.
4. Negative Experiences: Other people’s opinions matter to travelers. Reviews have been democratized by platforms like TripAdvisor, Instagram, and Facebook, and consumers have the power and confidence to use them to vent or resolve a grievance. When travelers say trust is the most important factor when buying, negative word of mouth is costly.
5. Trusted Sources for Trip Planning—Nobody Trusts Shills: People generally don’t trust celebs’ or influencers’ word for planning a trip. That doesn’t mean famous travel aficionados and legit expert bloggers don’t know their stuff. The point is, consumers know the difference between paid partnerships and genuine recommendations that are unmotivated by financial or personal gain. Like we said, people value transparency, which may be why celebs and influencers score lowest on trust, at 25-30 percent.
It’s the same story when it comes to types of information. People value the opinions or insights of other travelers more than travel companies or paid third parties.
Gen Z Are Wary of … Everyone. Misinformation is a huge part of the zeitgeist for Gen Z, and it’s made them suspicious consumers. Gen Z just about trust their friends and family but are skeptical of those with agendas misaligned with theirs.
Compared to Millennials at 48 percent (the second youngest consumer demographic), that’s on decline. This indicates a worrying trend on the horizon among the biggest economic driving force.
Generation Z don’t trust travel companies. Only 38 percent do, the lowest score of all age groups.
Ways To Rebuild Trust
1. Let’s be clear. Price transparency is essential to building trust. During the pandemic, it was obvious how important clear cancellation/refund policies are. This now extends to eliminating hidden fees, so expectations are set from booking. Communication is key, whether you’re a travel agency or supplier.
2. Now it’s personal. Travelers are overwhelmed by too much choice. Agencies can build trust by taking a curatorial approach, using the right content and tools to reduce the list of options to something manageable and personal. The caveat is getting the balance right between using your own and external data to inform that personalization.
3. Authenticity, always. Consumers are more and more mistrustful of anything claiming to be genuine endorsements but smell like paid sponsorships (that’s why #ad is a thing). Travel businesses should avoid using influencers to rebuild trust. Eschew what looks like schilling, and your customers will have confidence that you’re the real deal.
4. Get the youth vote. Prioritize Gen Z as if the next 20 years depends on it (it does). These are the consumers most likely to bail on their jobs to travel the world, and are now a major (and growing) economic force. You need to understand them and meet their needs — even ones that feel new and alien.
5. Experience is paramount. Experience makes or breaks trust. Travel businesses need to keep delivering on quality, but close the gap between your interest and consumers’. When travelers are happy, everybody wins. We need to enable customer reviews and ratings, so they can share positive experiences far and wide.
In sum—How can we improve customer trust in travel? The answer to the three trillion-dollar question is: by embracing and building on modern retailing standards.
Read the complete report here: https://www.travelport.com/trust
© 2021 Travelport. All Rights Reserved
When a 53,000% Increase is Meaningless
Or, How NTTO Makes Market Sense Out of Overseas Travel Numbers: In the latest monthly quick release from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) of data having to do with the number of overseas visitors who came to the United States in the month of May 2021, one cannot read much beyond the first without gathering one’s senses and trying to create some context or understanding of the figures of the top seven countries on the list of the Top 15 for the month. Those seven countries had year-on-year increases for the month of May 2021 ranging from more than 53 thousand percent (Colombia) to 19 thousand percent (Dominican Republic).
It is easy to appreciate why almost no one, except for those people who are charged with gathering and analyzing the data for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NTTO, have a true grasp on this endeavor. But, we at INBOUND are grateful that they do.
Mercifully, NTTO released a couple of simple, easy-to-read charts that explain the charts. First, the yellow bar chart below indicates that May 2021 was only 19.2 percent of the volume of May 2019 and that the overseas visitor recovery experienced a bit of growth in May 2021.
NTTO, aware that there are some in the industry whose job it is to know how to provide a context for the monthly data, releases information such as that above with tables (four of them are below), realizing that anyone who has been a part of the travel and tourism industry for the past year-and-a-half knows that every single major source market for overseas tourism to the USA has sent virtually no tourism traffic to our country because of closed borders and other restrictions on international travel were put into place in March and April of 2020. The bar chart below illustrates what has happened and, by assigning a base month for 2019 (it is the last year when there were no pandemic-related constraints on travel), we can better see and understand the pace of recovery for the industry.
In sum, we seem to be at the precipice of a weak—very weak—recovery. Undocumented, but usually accurate forecasts about such matters tell us, then, not to expect much of a recovery for 2021—especially since, as of this writing, there is negligible traffic from key overseas source markets (such as China, Japan, the UK, Germany and Australia, to name a few) and not much of a chance that the largest international source market for the USA, Canada, will recover in time to make a difference.
Also, to those who try to analyze the following data, be aware that some external factors are at work in the marketplace and don’t readily appear in standard analyses. For instance, when one looks at the performance of Colombia in the midst of the pandemic, one might ask: How is it that Colombia is sending more visitors to the United States than any other country in the world, as it did in May? It is possible that because of a very unstable in Colombia is causing people to leave the country for Florida, where there are about a million people with ties to the country?
Also, be aware of the fact that a 53 thousand percent increase in the travel market isn’t what it used to be.
From the Land of Jogo de Cintura
Quick takes on the country known for its savviness in dealing with tough situations—Brazil:
● Is it possible for Brazilians not to be upbeat? A new survey from BRAZTOA (Brazilian Association of Tour Operators) told us that people in the tourism industry have an expectation that there will be an improvement in the business environment in the second half of 2021—even if current travel bookings are turning over at about 25 percent of what they were in the pre-pandemic environment. Several findings from the survey:
—71 percent of operators reported that they were contacted by vaccinated tourists, with 29 percent of trips marketed to this public taking place in July and 47 percent are scheduled for the second half of this year;
—82 percent of operators believe that the approval of the CoronaVac vaccine by the WHO will bring positive effects for tourism in the second half of 2021; and
—The tour operator Schultz operator last week celebrated its best sales month (June) since the beginning of the pandemic. The operator reported that it had achieved 60 percent of the sales volume registered for the same month in 2019 was.
● Itching to Travel? Just as the first half of the year ended, the Brazilian trade publication Diário do Turismo published an item indicating that the country’s people are itching to spend—generally, a positive sign for leisure travel, which depends disposable income. Said the article:
“Brazilians once again showed willingness to consume, albeit timidly, following a June increase in the indicator of household consumption intentions—as calculated by the National Confederation of Commerce of Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC), rose 2.1 percent in June,” the article stated, adding, “the indicator was 67.5 points, still the lowest level since August 2020.“ However, despite the improvement, it was the worst June in the historical series (2010) and there was a 2.6 percent retraction compared to the same period in 2020.
Commenting on the report, CNC President José Roberto Tadros observed, “This is another indicator captured by the Confederation that shows how the population cannot and does not want to stop consuming. In June, we have an important date for the retail and services sector, which is Valentine’s Day, which this year is again heated, even with affected circulation. We believe that, with the advance of vaccination in the country, we can reach a much more prosperous scenario at the end of the year”
● “Brazilians want to travel,” says José Guilherme Alcorta emphatically. In a message to readers of the latest Brazilian Overview Monthly Report.* Alcorta, who is CEO of PANROTAS, cites a recent survey by Booking.com which shows that traveling has now become more important than before the pandemic for 63 percent of Brazilians.
“And Brazilians do not mind following protocols and safety measures,” he noted, pointing out that, 70 percent claim that they would accept to prove that they were vaccinated in order to travel.” Here are some of the key points and developments that Alcorta spelled out:
—Less visited and less crowded destinations continue to be preferred, as there are many people seeking alternative and more isolated accommodations, where the family can stay together.
—The great expectation now is related to trips to the United States, Europe, Argentina and Chile. In other words, the main destinations for Brazilians abroad are still closed. Check out some good news for travel recovery in Brazil below:
—Brazil should reach high rates of vaccination in the second half of the year, and the forecast is that the process is ended between October and December. In São Paulo, all adults are expected to have received at least the first vaccine dose by September.
—Amidst the pandemic, the country is gained a new airline, ITA, belonging to the Itapemirim travel group. Domestic routes will connect the main capitals and touristic cities in Brazil. The first flights took place last week.
—Aviation is experiencing the strength of the pandemic recovery. National airlines should arrive in December with a 100 percent recovered offering domestic flights.
—Vaccine tourism is a reality and is successful in the country. Not wanting to wait until the end of the year to vaccinate the youngest members of the family, several Brazilians have gone to Mexico, the Bahamas or the Dominican Republic to quarantine for 15 nights and later have entered the United States for vaccination.
—Eastern Airlines announced the hiring of a country manager. The company is just waiting for the borders to open in order to fly from Belo Horizonte to Boston, Miami and New York.
—Famtours for travel agents are also back: in Brazil and abroad. Destinations, such as Egypt and Mexico, have been chosen by operators and DMCs to show tourism professionals in Brazil that traveling safely is possible.
—There is good news, but the scenario is still worrying and recovery will take a few years. Brazil still has a high rate of unemployment, and the dollar, although less valued, is still too high for mass international travel.
* The PANROTAS partner in the Overview is FecomércioSP, a São Paulo-based business research organization. You can contact Alcorta at: [email protected]
Brits Giving up on International Travel?
Seems like one step forward, two steps backward: Just when there was spark of hope that began to illuminate the near-term outlook for outbound tourism from the UK so that the tourism industry could benefit from a truncated peak holiday period this month and next, there was this late last week, as put succinctly by Travel Weekly (UK): “Officials involved in discussions over a US-UK travel corridor … suggested that it was increasingly unlikely a conclusion would be reached by the end of next month.
“Talks are now expected to be extended into August and even September, according to the Financial Times, citing a combination of the spike of the delta variant in the UK, complexities in the US political system and uncertainty over the status of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
There have been recriminations back and forth about who-did-what-to-whom to get the place we’re in now. But it makes no difference, except that—according to the surveys—more Brits than usual are giving up on the idea of a traditional summer holiday this year.
In fact, they seem to have felt that way when they spoke to pollsters in a May survey—one whose results were recently released by Travel Weekly.
Results from the survey—it was conducted by Service Science and Kantar—showed that two-thirds of UK adults report they are unlikely to take an overseas holiday this year, with barely one in six believing they will have a holiday abroad. When the same researchers asked UK consumers in late October 2020 whether they were likely to take an overseas holiday in 2021, 50 percent said it was not likely and in a pre-pandemic survey in October 2019 just 30 percent thought it unlikely.
The survey conveys a high degree of caution among consumers even before the British government announced a limited list of “green” destinations, insisted people ‘should not travel’ to amber countries and then removed Portugal from the green list of countries. (A UK “traffic light” system, includes a green, amber and red list of countries, with each color meaning different rules around testing and quarantining.)
Specific poll results showed the following:
—Two-thirds (67 percent) of adults were “unlikely to take an overseas holiday” in 2021, with more than half of respondents agreeing strongly (54 percent). One in six (17 percent) were unsure and about one sixth (16 percent) disagree. Just seven percent disagreed strongly—meaning they expect to take a holiday abroad this year.
—Two-thirds or more of adults aged 25 and above believed it unlikely they would have an overseas holiday, with only the under-25s (56 percent) thought it unlikely.
—Younger adults were more uncertain, with one out of five (22 percent) of 16-44-year-olds unsure whether they would have a holiday compared with one in 10 (12 percent) among those 55 and older.
—Older adults, aged 55 and above, were more likely to show confidence in going away with one in 10 disagreeing strongly with the idea they would not have a holiday abroad compared with one in 20 (5%) among those under 55.
—Just 13 percent of those aged 25‑54 expected to go abroad this year and only five percent thought so “strongly.”
—There was little variation in confidence by region or between parents with children at home and other adults. However, one in five parents (21 percent) appeared unsure whether they would have an overseas holiday and only one in 20 (5 percent) confident enough to disagree “strongly” with the idea they would not. An additional 8 percent disagreed “slightly.”
—In October 2020, the proportion expecting not to have a holiday also varied sharply by age, from 34 percent among younger adults (aged 25-34) and parents with children to 59 percent among adults aged 55 and above.
—By contrast, in October 2019, just one in five consumers under 35 (22 percent) anticipated not having a holiday abroad and one in four (25 percent) aged 35-44. Only above the age of 54 did a significant proportion, two in five (38 percent), not expect to have a holiday.
Staycations, day trips favored over international travel: A recent study by YouGov tells us that Only 1 in 10 Brits feel confident about an overseas holiday this year. The market research company polled more than 4,250 adults and found three-quarters were not confident about an overseas holiday, while just 8 percent already had a booking.
This sentiment was reinforced by qualitative findings from UserTesting, a provider of on-demand human insights, which gathered in-depth video evidence from 30 men and women to measure the mood of Brits towards traveling.
It revealed that most travelers are exercising caution, with 93 percent of women and 86 percent of men planning day trips, while 86 percent of women and 60 percent of men consider staycations as a preferred option.
When it comes to overseas travel, 73 percent felt moderately cautious to very cautious about overseas travel, with 33 percent of women and 40 percent of men stating that they have no plans for international travel this year.
Consumer sentiment findings conducted by Visit Britain are much the same, as the nation’s official tourism board, has also reported a surge in staycations and day trips. It found 18 percent of Brits will take more UK holidays now compared to just 12 percent in June 2020, while 31 percent said their UK holidays would be about the same, compared to 25 percent in June last year.
Visit Britain also found only 5 percent of people expect to take more overseas holidays in 2021 than they did in 2020, while 40 percent expect less overseas holidays compared to 46 percent in June last year.
When asked what would make someone cancel a trip, UserTesting respondents’ answers included the possibility of a spike in COVID, country lockdowns, and if required quarantines were put back in place. Respondents were also concerned about the possibility of potential financial impact on travel cost losses if they had to postpone or cancel trips for any of these reasons.
About the Methodology: The UserTesting survey was conducted in mid-May with 15 women and 15 men that participated in the video think-aloud survey. The participants were required to be between the ages of 25 and 50, living in the United Kingdom.
Trade Talk: Is Poaching Employees Next?
● Brother, Can You Spare a Job (Seeker)? Until the 2020-21 global pandemic came along, the tour and travel industry didn’t seem to have a problem re-hiring workers who lost their jobs in a crisis. Now, with a number of nations having entered the pandemic crisis, the industry is having to face an absence of a labor pool—a situation made worse for those selling Visit USA product because of declining birth rates in major source markets. And it’s not just small or mid-level businesses that are affected. Proof of this was the move announced last week by the global travel agency Group Flight Centre that it is using the lure of free shares in the company will be rewarded with staff loyalty.
Flight Centre plans to offer 250 shares to workers if they remain with the company until at least December 31, 2022. Based on current share price, the offer is worth than (US) $3,000. Flight Centre has laid off thousands since the start of the pandemic and many have left for more stable employment in other industries. Flight Centre is one of the world’s largest travel groups, with more than 30 brands and major centers of operations in four areas, including: Australia/New Zealand; the Americas—U.S. Canada and Mexico; EMEA markets; and Asia.
● Private Equity Firm Acquires Attraction World: The global ticket seller of attractions, tours and travel experiences, UK-based Attraction World, has been acquired by Ten Oceans Private Equity for an undisclosed sum. Ten Oceans, which is headquartered in NYC, said it had purchased the experiences provider after an earlier investment in Prioticket, a strategic partner of Attraction World. During the pandemic, Attraction World and Prioticket worked together to offer a range of in-destination experiences, with API connections to companies including Walt Disney World Resort Florida, Universal Orlando Resort Florida, City Sightseeing Worldwide, Hornblower, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and The Travel Corporation. Dutch entrepreneur Lara Timmerman, founder of Ten Oceans Private Equity, said: “I see a lot of synergies across the two businesses and we will continue to review other investment opportunities across the industry where we feel there are complementary partnerships.”
● “Ongoing Uncertainty” Causes TUI to Cancel Traffic to Major Destinations till Later: Europe’s largest tour operator, TUI, last week cancelled more than 20 destinations until July 22nd. The move was a major blow to the continent’s hopes for launching a post-Pandemic comeback for the travel and tourism industry. Holidaymakers who were booked on packages to destinations including mainland Spain, La Palma, Cyprus, several Greek resorts, as well as the operator’s entire Lakes & Mountains program on the UK, were notified on June 29th of the cancellations.
While these cancellations had no direct impact on US-UK traffic, which has been at a standstill because of coronavirus-related restrictions, those who might have found a way to travel to the USA through some circumlocutory route were also affected, as TUI also cancelled holidays on third-party airlines to long-haul destinations, such as Canada and the U.S.
● Bedsonline upgrades “The Compass”: Hotelbeds’ Bedsonline, a leading global provider of online accommodation and ancillary products exclusively for travel agents, has launched the latest, upgraded version of The Compass, its market intelligence platform. This latest upgrade, which is available in all Bedsonline markets, comes with a refreshed design and new functionality including:
—Automatic translation with information related to each destination now displayed in the client’s default language.
—More data including information on hotels and destinations not currently booked.
—The inclusion of destination and hotels proof points meaning that from now on, travel agents will be able to see, in real time, data related to the destination and hotels based on what they buy and how much they buy so that the information is fully tailored to each and every Bedsonline client. Since its launch in August 2020, The Compass has managed over 80,000 visits for Bedsonline clients.
● Arkansas Establishes Office of Outdoor Recreation: Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced the creation of the Arkansas Office of Outdoor Recreation and the expansion of outdoor recreation in the state that includes an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service. The Office of Outdoor Recreation will be within the Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism and directly report to Secretary Stacy Hurst. Responsibilities will include coordinating the state’s stewardship, investments and marketing of “the great outdoors so it will be available in an expanded way to all of Arkansas.” The office will also help the state recognize what Arkansas’ outdoor opportunities means to the nation as well as the economic opportunities it brings to the state, Hutchinson said.
The office is created by an executive order of the governor. Hutchinson also is creating a 10-person Outdoor Recreation Advisory Board, that will help guide the office. To date, 16 states in the U.S. have created an office of outdoor recreation or a task force to work toward growing the outdoor recreation economy in their state, Hurst said. Arkansas is one of the first states in the U.S. South to do so.
● Travel Weekly’s Power List Resets till Next Year: Every year the travel trade publication Travel Weekly (TW) lists the travel agencies that report $100 million or more in travel sales. The result, the Power List, is regarded as an industry standard, consulted by everyone and anyone in the travel and tourism industry. “But what should a Power List look like in a pandemic year?” TW asked recently when it released its 2021 list.
The answer? Said TW: “We made an early call to freeze the 2021 Power List rankings. With the exception only of 2020 merger and acquisition activity among agencies, the rankings you’ll see on this year’s list are otherwise the same as was compiled by Travel Weekly last June.” That list was based on gross travel sales in 2019.
Why freeze the rankings? TW tells us, “We knew 2020 reported sales would be anomalous, to say the least. We wondered how many agencies would even be able to meet the traditional minimum sales threshold to be considered for inclusion.” There is more, here, in the TW special article on this year’s Power List. And here, with no frills, is the list:
1. Expedia Group; 2. Booking Holdings; 3. American Express Business Travel; 4. BCD Travel; 5. CWT; 6. Flight Centre Travel Group USA; 7. Internova Travel Group; 8. American Express Travel; 9. Direct Travel; 10. Fareportal; 11. ctm; 12. AAA; 13. Frosch; 14. Ovation Travel Group; 15. Omega World Travel; 16. World Travel Holdings; 17. World Travel; 18. Arrivia (formerly International Cruise and Excursions); 19. ATG; 20. Travel Edge; 21. Christopherson Andavo Travel; 22. Adelman; 23. Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative; 24. Adtrav Travel Management; 25. Fox World Travel; 26. Key Travel; 27. Travelstore; 28. Shorts Travel Management; 29. Avoya Travel; 30. TravelExperts; 31. Global Crew Logistics; 32. Travel Planners International; 33. Atlas Travel & Technology Group; 34. OutsideAgents.com; 35. Valerie Wilson Travel; 36. TAG; 37. Gant Travel; 37. Kintetsu International Express; 39. KHM Travel Group; 40. Balboa Travel; 41. AmTrav; 42. Global Marine Travel; UniglobeTravel Partners; 44. Travelink American Express; 45. Conlin Travel. 46. Cain Travel; 47. Hess Corporate Travel; 48. Executive Travel; 49. World Travel Service; 50. Covington Trave; 51. Small World Vacations.
Click here to read the complete Travel Weekly article.
HODGE PODGE: Changes, Openings & Appointments
Norwegian Air has announced the resignation of Chief Executive Jacob Schram, who led the company’s restructuring process, following a board vote last Sunday (20). “The board’s decision to fire me was a big surprise,” Schram told a press interviewer. His replacement will be Geir Karlsen, the airline’s chief financial officer since 2018. For six months in 2019, Karlsen was interim CEO of the airline, which is recovering from bankruptcy protection due to COVID-19 crisis.
Sheryl Lang has been named president & CEO at Visit Greenville SC. Lang joins the organization from her job as chief strategy officer at The LJS Group, a hospitality consulting agency in Arlington, Virginia. Previously, she was senior vice president of sales and marketing-Lifestyle Hotels, at Crescent Hotels & Resorts, where she served for almost six years.
Michelle McKinney Frymire is the new CEO of CWT, taking over from Kurt Ekert, who left the position to take on a senior consultant role at the company. Frymire joined the company in 2019 and has over 20 years of experience in the travel industry. Her career has spanned a range of roles with leadership roles such as CFO of Starwood Vacation Ownership and Delta Technology, as well as Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
The entire team of Free Spirit Vacations in Scottsdale, Arizona shut down their offices on July 1 and traveled to Laughlin along with guests to celebrate the new ownership of the company. Suzanne Hagberg has taken over the reins of the tour operator from Sue Arko, who had spent 25 years running her company, which Hagberg acquired in a move announced last summer. Before taking over at Free Spirit, Hagberg was vice president of DETOURS. Before that, she was director of marketing for the Desert Belle Tour Boat.
Lisa Wyskowski has joined the Southwestern Travel Group in the sales and marketing department as a group travel consultant. She joins from a long tenure of nearly 18 years as a vendor relations specialist/trip coordinator at Educational Tours Inc.
The relatively new Eastern Airlines has announced the hiring of Nelson de Oliveira as its country manager for Brazil. The company is just waiting for the borders to open to fly from Belo Horizonte to Boston, Miami and New York. Prior to joining Eastern, de Oliveira had tenures with Alitalia, CW, Alatur JTB and South African Airways, where he served for almost 25 years.
Denise Bosmans has been named a senior director of sales for Visit Spokane, working out of the agency’s Washington, D.C. satellite office. A veteran of more than 20 years in the travel and tourism industry, she has served as an association meeting planner, media representative for a tourism DMC representing the Mid-Atlantic and has worked in hotel and destination convention sales for Reno Tahoe.
Ann Marie Maher, previously director of tourism at Visit Prince William, has been promoted to Acting Deputy Director for the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism – Prince William County Government, Virginia. Her DMO experience includes tenures at Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board and Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Ryan Hauck has been named executive director of the Park County Travel Council in Wyoming. (Park County The county has over 53 percent of Yellowstone National Park’s land area.) Hauck will be taking over from Claudia Wade, who held the position for more than 30 years. Hauck worked most recently as director of sales with Western Leisure, a tour development and services company, and has also worked with Visit Casper. He grew up in Casper and graduated from the University of Wyoming.
Insight Vacations recently welcomed guests on its first USA trip since the pandemic—Enchanting Canyonlands—introducing the new role of the wellbeing director in the person of Carol Kendrick. The trip was Insight Vacations’ first with a wellbeing director in place, a new role that has been created by the company to provide additional reassurance and logistical support for our guests in a post-pandemic world. This position is an addition to the travel director, who focuses entirely on delivering a seamless guest experience. Kendrick, who recently took on the role, has been with Insight since 2012.
German senior travel specialist Trendtours Touristik has recruited Karsten Fricke to help the company expand its beach holiday segment. The longtime Alltours manager and experienced hotel buyer is now in charge of the “Sun & Beach” division of the group tour operator. Fricke had been with Alltours Flugreisen since 2009, and since 2018 he had been the director of hotel purchasing for the organizer on medium-haul routes.
Karen Joyce is joining luxury global travel agency network Virtuoso as London-based EMEA general manager. She took up the role on July 1, overseeing a region the U.S.-headquartered group entered in 2014. Virtuoso now has more than 90 travel agency member locations in 24 countries in the region. It sells include North America product, with a current emphasis on self-drive road trips. Previously Joyce was general manager, New Zealand, for The AOT Group. Before that, was general manager of Austravel, where she worked for 16 years.
Anina Grasso has been promoted to the post of director, travel experiences development at Destination America (The Travel Corporation). She was previously product developer & contracting manager, Canada. Grasso joined the company as a product manager in early 2018. She was previously product manager at YMT Vacations. Prior to that, she was with New World Tours for five years.
Mecole “Cole” Brown is joining American Airlines as chief people officer. In this role, Brown will lead all aspects of global talent and recruitment, benefits and compensation, people operations and diversity, equity and inclusion. Brown most recently served as vice president, human resources for Amazon’s devices and services, corporate and business development, and advertising and entertainment business segments.
After 35 years at Frankfurt Airport, Susanne Schick has left Germany’s largest airport. She spent a large part of this time in the facility’s Aviation division, most recently as senior manager, among other things, responsible for sales communication for tourism. She was in close contact with travel agencies – and was a member of the jury for the Globus Awards from the trade publication touristik aktuell in 2018.
Melissa Cherry has been named chief diversity & inclusion officer and senior vice president at Miles Partnership, a widely known U.S. tourism marketing consulting firm. She officially starts her new position on August 23. She joins the company from Destinations International, where she was chief operating officer. Previously, Cherry was Senior Vice President for Marketing & Cultural Tourism at Choose Chicago. Her résumé includes a tenure as a project manager at the California Travel and Tourism Commission.
From SearchWide Global:
—In Oregon, the Josephine County Visitor Association’s Destination Marketing Organization, Experience Grants Pass, us searching for an executive director. More details here.
—Visit San Antonio has an opening for director of market strategy. More details here.
—The Oklahoma State Fair is seeking a president and CEO. More details here.
—The San Diego Tourism Authority is looking for a chief sales officer. More details here.
—Switch, a Saint Louis-based agency whose activities include product lines which include field marketing, digital marketing, business meetings, events and more, is searching for a president & CEO. More details here.
—Visit Pittsburg has an opening for chief sales officer. More details here.
—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.
—Visit Wichita is searching for a vice president of marketing. 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.
—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.
—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 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.
—American Classic Tours, Inc. in Grayslake, Illinois, has an opening for a tour manager. More details here.
—Visit Denver is searching for a cultural tourism programs manager. More details here.
—Jet Blue is searching for a manager of corporate communications, and his based in Long Island City N.Y. More details here.
—Interdependence Public Relations in Denver 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.
—Ralph Lauren is search for a coordinator, brand activation (regional tourism – West). 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.
—The Philadelphia office of Tiquets, the global ticket booking company for attractions, is looking for a U.S.-based supply coordinator (the company is headquartered in the Netherlands. More details here.
—Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City is looking for a manager of tourism and travel. 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.
—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.
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].