Air Transat UK & Ireland commercial director Adrian Keating has been promoted to lead a wider range of markets in the Americas and across Europe. Keating, who will retain his leadership role for the Canadian carrier in the UK and Ireland, will assume revenue responsibility for a range of other markets. Keating has considerable experience in the airline sector; before joining Air Transat three years ago, he served in senior management positions at Malaysia, Etihad Airways and easyJet.
Stefan Merkl is joining the global trade sales team at Go City® (formerly the Leisure Pass Group) as vice president of trade sales, Americas, responsible for new business development. Merkl is knowledgeable about the product. While operating his own consulting business for more than five years prior to joining Go City, he was a contractor who was responsible for new business development at the Leisure Pass Group. He also did contract work for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority; Tower Tours LCC; the Flyer San Francisco and Unlimited Biking. Prior to operating a consultancy, Merkl was senior international tourism sales manager, Asia Pacific & Middle East, for the Philadelphia CVB. Before that, he was vice president, sales and marketing, for the Red and White Fleet, San Francisco.
David Whitaker has been named as the incoming president & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau following a six-month nationwide search process. Whitaker will formally take over effective Aug. 16, 2021 when his one-time boss, Bill Talbert who has led the Miami CVB DMO since 1990 (for nine years as chief operating officer and then as president and CEO) moves into a supporting role prior to a one-year consultancy beginning in October. Whitaker had been with Miami for 17 years (1990-2007) lastly as executive vice president. most recently as EVP and CMO. Whitaker then served as president and CEO of Destination Toronto (2007-2015) and chief marketing officer for Brand USA (2015-2016) before his tenure at Choose Chicago.
Yi Louis Lu has left his position as senior manager, global trade development for Brand USA, and moved to Baidu Inc., where he will work on the Corporate Strategy-Mobile Ecosystem Group. Before his tenure at Brand USA, he was international sales manager at Destination DC.
Timothy Wolfe has been named director of the Colorado Tourism office, effective Aug. 23. Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade announced Wolfe’s appointment Tuesday after a three-month search for a replacement for longtime director Cathy Ritter, who left the position in April. During the interim, deputy director Jill Corbin has served as the interim director. Wolfe’s appointment came after a three-month search for a replacement for longtime director Cathy Ritter, who abruptly left the position in April. Deputy Director Jill Corbin served as the interim director. Previously, Wolfe, who operated his own consultancy recently, was the general manager for the historic, 241-room Brown Palace in downtown Denver and its sister property Holiday Inn Express Denver Downtown. He also served as the general manager for The Antlers, now a Wyndham Hotel, from 2011 to 2014 when it was part of the Pyramid Hotel Group.
Kathy Formosa has been named senior contract manager at WebBeds, working out of the company’s Orlando headquarters. Previously, she was product manager at AmericanTours International, where she served for more than six-and-a-half years. Prior to that, she was director of escorted tours at Team America.
Sam Lacy has taken over as the full-time executive director of the Bourbon Capital Community Alliance (BCCA) in Bardstown, Kentucky. The BCCA is a nonprofit organization tasked with driving the bourbon industry forward here in Bardstown / Nelson County, KY. It is an organization that Lacy had been running on a part time basis since March of 2019. Lacy’s full time job had been as director of marketing & bourbon experiences at Visit Bardstown. Before his tenure at Visit Bardstown, he was director of marketing & communications for Travel South USA.
The Brazilian tour operator Primetour has announced the hiring of executive Claudia del Valle as its new commercial head. She will take care of the operator’s operational and sales areas, focusing on luxury products for travel agencies and Primetours’ independent consultants. Claudia del Valle has more than 35 years of experience in tourism, always dedicated to the areas of Operations and Sales. Much of her management duties took place at Queensberry and Costa Cruises.
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism has announced the promotion Todd Mitsuhata to director of global business development. Mitsuhata joined the organization in 2016 as manager, Asia Pacific & Latin America, and was subsequently promoted to his most recent position as senior global business development manager. In his new role as director of global business development, Mitsuhata will further position Santa Monica within the international markets in this recovery period by leveraging his knowledge and understanding of the global industry, first-hand experience working with top travel retailers and operators, building co-op campaigns with major companies like United Airlines, and leading the launch of in-market activations such as Pier One at Sydney Harbour in Australia.
Steven De Blois has been managing director of StudentUniverse—it’s the Flight Centre Travel Group’s online travel booking platform for students—replacing Mike Cleary, who spent nearly 10 years at the company, the last four as managing director. De Blois was most recently managing director and head of product at Umapped, the itinerary platform owned by Flight Centre. He has also held senior-level positions at Air Canada and Expedia. In his new post, de Blois will be responsible for leading all aspects of StudentUniverse in the four countries where it operates: the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK.
Hays Travel, the largest independent travel agency in the UK, has promoted divisional manager Natasha Marson to head up its Independence Group as the agency continues to grow the division. Marson joined Hays Travel in 2019, after several years at TUI, and became divisional manager for Wales and the Midlands.
Trade Show News Network (TSNN) has announced the appointment of Lorry Tenny as editorial director. She is an award-winning editor, writer and strategist who has worked in publishing for more than 25 years, 16 of which have been spent covering the meetings and events industry. In her new role, Tenny will be overseeing TSNN, the No. 1 online news source for the trade show industry, and Corporate Event News, an online news publication for corporate event planners and professionals. Tenny has also held editorial roles at travel trade publications Travel Weekly and TravelAge West.
Phillipa Standley has been promoted to head of product at Attraction World. With the promotion will also join the attraction ticket specialist’s leadership team. Attraction World chief executive Olly Nicholls said Standley, who joined the business in 2009, has played a “pivotal” role in the firm’s efforts to negotiate the COVID-19 crisis.
Zoran Jelkic has been appointed senior vice president, long-haul for Air France-KLM. The announcement was part of the reorganization of its sales teams around the world. As part of the group’s transformation, the geographic zones will be reduced from 8 to 4—two domestic markets, France and Benelux, and two international zones: Europe and long-haul. A long-time veteran of Air France, Jelkic joined the airline more than 24 years ago.
Jean Paul Zapata has joined Sonoma County Tourism as its new director of business development. Zapata has experience in the destination marketing sector, having most recently served as the director of public relations for Visit Oakland, and prior to that, as the media relations manager for Visit Greater Palm Springs.
VisitNorfolk and the Norfolk Tourism Foundation have announced that Angela Blackwell Carter has been named the foundation’s director. A native of the Hampton Roads area, she has served in several leadership roles capacities throughout the region. Most recently, she served at the vice president for leadership programs at Hampton Roads Chamber.
David Fudge of North Platte, Nebraska has been elected to a second term president of the Nebraska Travel Association. Fudge has served on the NETA board since 2017 and was president in 2018-19. Fudge has been involved with Nebraskaland Days in North Platte since 2005. The purpose of the organization is to produce Nebraska’s Officials State Celebration He spent six years on its board of directors prior to being retained as the executive director in 2011.
Gisel Vidals has been promoted to the position of head of North America business development at Headout. She joined the company in January of this year, responsible for business development in the USA. Previously, Vidals was vice president of global sales for Big Bus Tours. Before that, she held senior management positions with Skyline Sightseeing and for the Super Shuttle collection of brands.
It was a fortuitous sequence of events. First, Randy Fiveash retired in April as director of tourism for the State of Connecticut ago after serving in the position for almost 13 years. Then, not many days later, his wife, Shari Fiveash, accepted the position of president and CEO of the Greater Fayetteville (N.C.) Chamber of Commerce, he followed her to North Carolina. Just days later, on May 5, city and county officials took advantage of the situation and tapped Randy Fiveash to get back into the tourism industry, this time as interim president and CEO of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Said Randy Fiveash: “I was retired for about 20 minutes.”
Visit Dallas, one of the Top 100 Places to Work in Dallas-Fort Worth, has the following job openings. For more details, click on the individual links: Administrative Assistant; Diversity & Inclusion Resource Manager; Event Manager; Sales Coordinator; and Site Coordinator.
From SearchWide Global:
—In Arlington, Texas, there is an opening for president and CEO of the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau. More details here.
—Freeman is searching for a vice president, national graphics. More details here.
—Visit Dallas has an opening for a new president/chief marketing officer. More details here.
—Visit Estes Park, about 90 miles north of Denver, is search for a director of finance & administration. More details here.
—Destination Door County (Wisconsin) is looking for a president and CEO. More details here.
—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.
—Visit Pittsburg has an opening for chief sales officer. More details here.
—Visit Carlsbad is searching 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.
—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 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.
—The Cedar Rapids Iowa tourism office has an opening for a director of communications & marketing. More details here.
—New York City & Company has an opening for a coordinator, tourism development. More details here.
—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.
—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.
—Visit Seattle is searching for a director, international tourism. More details here.
—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.
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