Airlines Facing Daunting Challenges in ‘22
What are the four conditions needed to enable further air travel? Or, put another way: What will drive air travel in 2022? Discussing the answer to the question during a recent panel discussion were a panel of experts comprised of John Grant, the widely known chief analyst at OAG, the acknowledge global authority on the airline industry; Becca Rowland, partner, Midas Aviation; and Matthew Findlay, director, global markets, Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting.
The overall answer to what will enable, or drive, the global airline industry in 2022 was and is clear and direct, the OAG panel agreed: vaccinated travelers, frictionless borders, functioning airlines and disposable income.
Specific answers ranged from: domestic airlines have fared better and will continue to do so, international travel to leisure travel will lead corporate travel in a post-pandemic recover, and airline employee sick leave “is going through the roof” and having an impact felt throughout the airline industry.
Following are INBOUND highlights from the discussion
● FRICTIONLESS BORDERS: Travel restrictions still a major impediment to travel We have calculated how many changes to the Stringency Index for each country have taken place since January 2020 – a high level of changes means that the aviation industry and travelers have had to make more adjustments to travel plans
● THE ROLE OF VACCINATIONS: Necessary but not sufficient
—59.5 percent of global population have had on ore more COVID-19 vaccinations
—High-income countries average 77 percent
—Low-income countries average 9.5 percent
Proportion of Populations Wholly or Partially Vaccinated*
|World Region||Percentage Vaccinated|
*© Australian Bureau of Statistics, GeoNames, Microsoft, Navinfo, OpenStreetMap, TomTom (Powered by Bing)
● FRICTIONLESS BORDERS: Travel restrictions still a major impediment to travel.
—OAG calculated how many changes to the Stringency Index for each country have taken place since January 2020 – a high level of changes means that the aviation industry and travelers have had to make more adjustments to travel plans.
—Recovery taking place across all Top 15 countries for capacity in 2021, albeit drawn out.
Mexico ended 2021 close to 2019 levels.
—Nine of the Top 15, including USA and China, within 20 percent of 2019 levels of capacity in December.
—2021 Recovery slowest in Indonesia, Australia, Germany Japan and UK.
Source: Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, update from January 12, 2022
©2022 OAG Aviation Worldwide Limited. All rights reserved.
● FRICTIONLESS BORDERS: Passports & Digital Health Apps
—EU Digital COVID Certificate: Provides digital proof of vaccination, negative test result or recovery from COVID-19. Rules in place from 1 February 2022. Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Poland early adopters. 33 non-EU countries have joined the scheme based on EU equivalence decisions.
— IBM Digital Health Pass: IBM’s solution if integrated into Traveler ID for Safe Travel, Amadeus’ digital health verification solution
—Common Pass for Aruba and Hawai’i
● FUNCTIONING AIRLINES: State of airline health
Schedules continue to be subject to change.
—Airlines carrying plenty of debt as they start 2022.
—Financial support & stimulus packages largely ending now.
—Staffing issues including due to staff sickness.
—Fuel price highest in many months – Moody’s forecast Brent price for 2022 to be around 2018 levels when the industry was profitable
—Tourism bodies likely to get monetary stimulus.
● JET FUEL PRICE: Fuel is 63 percent higher than a year ago
—Jet fuel price US$97.4 per barrel.
—63 percent higher than a year ago.
—Average price in 2021 was US$77.8/bbl.
—Impact on 2021 fuel bill US$48.9 billion, according to IATA.
● SOME SIZEABLE Q1 CAPACITY REDUCTIONS:
—Many airlines have reduced capacity for January-March over the first three weeks of 2022.
—These reductions may be operational rather than based on demand: i.e., to manage staff sickness.
—Cathay Pacific capacity for February and March has been reduced by about 1/3 since end December.
—Qantas capacity for January is down 21 percent since December 27.
—Virgin Australia capacity reduced by 23 percent for January and 30 percent for February.
—Chinese carriers have reduced January capacity by 10 percent since December 27th.
—IndiGo scaling back Q1 capacity by 15-30 percent.
● STASHED CASH: Will consumers spend on travel?
—GDP growth expected to be lower in 2022 and 2023 than 2021.
—Many households have reduced debt and increased savings.
—Consumers saved US$5.4 trillion globally to April 2021 since pandemic started.
—UK household savings £125 billion ($169.4 billion) higher than they would have been without the pandemic.
Expedia: Pursuit of Travel is on Horizon
Among the Survey findings: Brits ready to travel internationally. Expedia Group’s just released “Expedia® Traveler Value Index 2022 Outlook” should encourage travel suppliers and destinations that, even with the ominous shadow of a global pandemic always a threat, people want to travel, and travel internationally in 2022.
“There has been a palpable shift from counting down to an undetermined date when the pandemic will ‘end’ to the widespread understanding that COVID-19 may continue to be managed over time,” the report tells us.
So, the study’s preface explained, to better understand what’s coming in 2022, Expedia conducted a study in collaboration with Wakefield Research in November 2021 among 5,500 nationally representative adults ages 18+ across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the UK, and United States.
Conclusion? “The findings suggest that after two years of enduring the global pandemic, people value travel and personal time more than ever,” noted the report. Some highlights from the comprehensive work follow.
1. Most people will travel in the next six months — and frequent, quick trips are trending.
—81 percent plan to take at least one vacation with family and friends in the next six months.
—78 percent are most interested in frequent short trips. As people head back into the office and kids remain in school, individuals and families may be looking for more quick doses of adventure.
—56 percent of those who work often work remotely will take a “bleisure” style trip—a extending a work trip for leisure, or vice versa.
—Australians will embark on the greatest number of leisure trips. Nearly a third (31 percent) have a least three trips planned.
—People in Mexico will travel the most for work, with nearly half (47 percent) embarking on at least one trip.
* Japan’s low average spend may be due to strict travel regulations in place as well as a preference for local, low-cost trips during the pandemic.
2. People will invest more in travel compared to pre-COVID-19. More than half (54 percent) of respondents say they plan to spend more on trips than they did prior to the pandemic. Here’s a breakdown of how much people are planning to spend on average for their next trip:
|Country Market||Amount to be Spent (in U.S. dollars)|
* Japan’s low average spend may be due to strict travel regulations in place as well as a preference for local, low-cost trips during the pandemic.
3. Travelers will use loyalty points accumulated during the pandemic to help fund trips.
Two out of five (40 percent) people plan to use loyalty points for at least part of a trip in 2022. Those who live in the following countries will be more likely to cash in loyalty points for travel:
The Generational Divide Compared to older generations, Gen Z conserved the most loyalty points that could be used for travel. Here’s a breakdown of how many people have a stockpile of rewards at their fingertips:
|Generation Z (1997-2003)||61%|
|Generation X (1965-1980)||33%|
|Baby Boomers (1946-1964)||23%|
4. International travel will start to make a comeback. While most travelers (71 percent) plan to use their own car or a rental car for an upcoming trip, more than half (55 percent) say an airplane is their preferred mode of travel. With flights continuing to regain popularity and borders reopening to visitors, international travel will begin to rebound.
People who live in the following countries will travel the most internationally in the next six months:
Note: Nearly half of millennials and Gen Z say they’re likely to travel internationally.
5. Great deals and flexibility will remain top priorities for travelers. As was the case last year in “What Travelers Want and Traveler Value Index in 2021,” the ability to book travel for a reasonable price and make changes to trip itineraries is an absolute must in the eyes of travelers. It appears this widely held expectation is not only here to stay, but it has become the industry standard:
—84 percent of those surveyed say that a discounted fee is influential when booking a flight online.
—83 percent of those surveyed say flexible fare options makes a world of difference.
6. People will travel more responsibly and consciously. Almost all 93 percent people say they will adapt travel plans because of current lack of workers in the tourism industry, and 98 percent are taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on local communities. Here are a few of the steps they’re willing to take to ease the strain during upcoming trips:
|Action to be taken by traveler(s)||%|
|Will diligently follow COVID-19 guidelines when they travel.||62%|
|Will pick a destination known for strong COVID-19 safety protocols.||54%|
|Will choose a destination with low COVID-19 counts.||48%|
|Will add in extra time for services and transit, helping to minimize long lines, stress on workers, and missed flights.||43%|
|Will deliberately spend at locally owned restaurants and businesses.||38%|
|Are prepared to pay higher prices.||37%|
|Are willing to postpone travel plans due to labor shortages and the impact of COVID-19.||27%|
|Tip more than normal||21%|
7. Sustainable trips will rise in popularity. A growing number of travelers are looking to minimize impact to the environment — even when doing so requires extra investment.
|Sustainable travel action to be taken||%|
|Are willing to pay more fees to make a strip sustainable.||59%|
|Will choose a less crowded destination to reduce effects of overtourism.||49%|
|Will travel locally.||43%|
8. There will be a surge in travel for personal wellness. Following the last two years, there is undoubtedly a heightened focus on traveling for personal wellbeing, and it seems trips will have a healing effect for many. Through a study of more than 12,000 travelers across 12 countries, the Expedia® 2022 Travel Trends Report discovered the following when it comes to US travelers:
|Wellness travel action to be taken||%|
|They are prioritizing relaxation as they plan their next trip.||38%|
|They are searching for a sense of contentment and mental well-being.||36%|
|They plan to spend less time on their devices to be more present.||24%|
9. Workers will use personal days for travel like never before. The pandemic caused many to reflect on what they value most, especially since many adults have had to adjust to working from home and juggling their personal and professional lives. Now, as companies prepare to return to the office and evolve remote work policies, employees will make greater use of their vacation time. Compared to pre-COVID times, the 2022 Vrbo® Trend Report, which surveyed 1,000 US families, found that:
—91 percent have a greater appreciation for spending quality time with family.
—84 percent have a greater appreciation for vacation time.
—77 percent have a greater appreciation for separating professional and personal life.
—59 percent are more likely to take a two-week vacation.
—30 percent are more likely to take a sabbatical.
10. Travel companies must continuously adapt to remain competitive in uncertain times. The future of travel, says Expedia, certainly looks brighter than it did this time last year, as people across the globe plan to travel more, increase their investment in trips, and adapt to industry challenges. But that means travel companies must adapt, too, and prepare for fluctuations in demand for the foreseeable future. In this new environment of uneven recovery, it’s more important than ever to differentiate from competition and earn loyalty from travelers who will inevitably experience plenty of brands vying for their attention. How travel companies can adapt:
1. Make sure travelers can still get a refund or credit if plans change. Clearly communicate cancellation and change policies.
2. Provide a range of options and pricing to capture demand among all types of travelers and trips.
3. Proactively share COVID-19 updates and guidance with customers, from broad updates on border status and market-specific travel restrictions, to on-property considerations such as cleanliness protocols and staffing impacts.
4. Strive to be a companion for travelers every step of the way during planning, throughout their trip, and afterwards. Deliver on promises, collect customer feedback, and adapt accordingly.
5. Offer new incentives to attract travelers. In contrast to previous years, these promotions do more than simply encourage hesitant travelers — they provide differentiation in a hot, rebounding market.
6. Consider introducing new deals specifically for quick trips to achieve a competitive edge.
7. Factor in impending redemption of loyalty points at scale, and the market opportunity ahead. Think about how your company can play a role in robust industry rewards programs.
8. Ramp up marketing, particularly in the markets where people are most keen to travel domestically and internationally.
9. Knowing travelers are focused on wellness and meaningful experiences, give thought to how you can integrate this concept into your messages to customers and potentially package deals.
10. Increase commitment to sustainability and expand eco-friendly trip options at a cost to travelers.
(Recent studies from Expedia and Vrbo were used to supplement the predictions in this report.)
Access a PDF of the Expedia Group report by clicking here.
Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro—Mexico’s Top Tens
One sure sign that the travel and tourism industry in Mexico is focused on recovery and rejuvenation—and not on such phrases as pre-pandemic and “2019 levels”—has been the focus of the Mexican travel trade publisher pasillo turÍstico in its past several issues on figures from its industry-wide survey for the past year, 2021. The publisher provides a Top Ten for four key travel industry segments, along with some useful commentary on each.
Because it borders the U.S., it is a challenge to try to measure the overall (and often, overlooked) impact and importance of Mexico’s tourism importance to the United States. First, it contributes about a quarter (23 percent) of the overall inbound visitor traffic to come to the USA. In 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office, about 18.3 million residents of Mexico visited the U.S., out of all international visitors, which totaled 79.4 million.
At the same time that Mexico is important to the USA’s inbound tourism industry, the United States is an important source marketing for Mexico’s inbound tourism. Simply stated, the USA is important to Mexico, and Mexico is important to the United States.
Following are the Top 10 from the country’s operator, airline, hotel chain and cruise ship segments. (If you do not understand Spanish, you can use Google Translate.)
Top 10 Wholesale Operators in Mexico*
|Operator & Ranking||% of Survey Votes|
|1. Mega Travel||55.36%|
|3. Sierra Madre||7.74%|
|7. Travel Inn||1.55%|
|8. Travel Shop||1.31%|
|9. Mundo Cruceros y Viajes||0.95%|
|10. Azabache and Record Vacation||0.71%|
*The survey was taken from January 1 to 15, 2022, through the Tourist Corridor database.
Click here to read the complete article.
Top 10 Airlines Serving Mexico
|Airline & Ranking||% of Survey Votes|
|3. Turkish Airlines||12.86%|
|4. Viva Aerobus||11.79%|
|7. Air France||4.29%|
|9. American Airlines||2.38%|
|10. United Airlines||2.26%|
Click here to read the complete article.
Top 10 Hotel Chains Serving Mexico
|Hotel Chain & Ranking||% of Survey Votes|
|1. Riu Hotels & Resorts||18.38%|
|2. AMR Collection||8.47%|
|5. Palace Resorts||4.53%|
|8. Hotel Xcaret||3.34%|
Click here to read the complete article.
Top 10 Cruise Lines Serving Mexico
|Cruise Line & Ranking||% of Survey Votes|
|1. Royal Caribbean||50.24%|
|2. MSC Cruises||8.10%|
|3. Celebrity Cruises||6.07%|
|4. Princess Cruises||5.24%|
|5. Disney Cruise Line||3.93%|
|6. Carnival Cruises/Norwegian Cruise Line (tie)||3.33%|
|7. Holland America Line||1.79%|
|8. Silversea Cruises||1.19%|
|9. Pullmantur Cruises||0.95%|
|10. Crystal Cruises||0.60%|
Click here to read the complete article.
China Aims to be World Tourism Powerhouse
… And other notes on the world’s largest tourism source market.
● For travel suppliers and DMOs from the United States and most other nations in the world, the view of China that seems to prevail is near-term, because of the travails of the day—right now, it means little marketing because of a global pandemic, although it could be a professed worry about crime in the U.S. and the fear it stirs among Chinese travelers—and other concerns of a near-term nature.
Those who seek to bring more Chinese travelers to the United States embrace a short-term view or strategic vision of how to work the market should dispose of the notion. Why? Following below is, word-for-word, a notice released the week before last by China’s State Council.
“The State Council* announced a development plan for the tourism sector during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) in a circular on Thursday.
“By 2025, China will have a stronger modern system for the tourism sector integrating cultural development and boasting an improved barrier-free environment and services, according to the circular.
“By 2035, the country aims to become a world tourism powerhouse, with a wider variety of tourist hot spots, including national cultural parks, world-class tourist attractions and resorts, and state-level cities and blocks serving tourism and leisure, it added.
“Modern tourism requires supply-side structural reform, high-quality tourism products, and integration with other industries, the circular said.
“It involves promoting smart tourism with digital, networked and intelligent scenarios and expanding the application of new technologies in tourism.
“Tourism development, the circular said, should pursue harmonious co-existence with nature in steadily building national cultural parks and national parks, protecting historical resources, based on general surveys of Chinese cultural resources, and natural resources.
“To advance mass tourism and consumption, preferential policies, services, and public infrastructure should keep up with emerging development patterns such as contactless tourism and consumption.
“A modern tourism governance system should be in place for handling tourist complaints to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, emergency responses, as well as prevention and control of major
risks from disasters and accidents,” according to the circular.
(The source for the above is the Xinhua News Agency, or New China News Agency, official state press agency of the PRC.)
* The State Council is the chief administrative authority of the People’s Republic of China. In plain parlance, it is the organization with ties to the Chinese Communist Party. It manages the day-to-day business of the central government and oversees the activities of local governments. It more or less handles things between the quinquennial Chinese Party Congresses. The next Congress will take place this autumn in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
● Notes on the significance of the circular: Think long-term.
This five-year plan will follow the previous five-year plan, which acknowledged the importance of tourism (mostly domestic tourism) to the nation’s economy. By then, tourism had become seen as an instrument of economic stimulus and development, as it encourages consumer spending for products that do not require as much infrastructure as do most consumer products such as apparel, automobiles, cycles and other tangibles.
The determination to become a tourism “superstar” bodes well over the long-term for U.S. travel suppliers and DMOs looking to host Chinese visitors. Frictions and/or tensions between the United States and China notwithstanding, Chinese travelers like the U.S. enough that they will likely comprise the third largest source market for overseas visitors to the USA once there is a full year of recovery behind us.
And we like one another. More evidence that Chinese visitors like the USA, and should like it for some time to come: Even with the pandemic operating full throttle during the past school year (2020-2021), more than 317 thousand Chinese were enrolled colleges and universities in the United States. Tourism professionals like to point out that foreign students who study at universities in the United States become, in effect, ambassadors for the USA.
Among those ambassadors could be Xi Jinping’s daughter, Xi Mingze, graduated from Harvard University in 2014.
Another fact that illustrates the importance of a long-term view is the relationship that America has with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi first visited the U.S.—specifically, Iowa—in 1985 when he was part of a delegation conducting a two-week study of U.S. agriculture. He apparently formed a bond of sorts with Iowa after staying with an Iowa family. Xi returned for another visit to Maxwell, Iowa 30 years later and visited the same family. All totaled, Xi has visited the U.S. on seven occasions.
Does all of the above suggest that it will benefit tourism to the United States?
Well, it shouldn’t hurt, should it?
TRADE TALK & Tourism Industry Buzz
● IATA calls on governments to step up the relaxation of travel restrictions as COVID-19 continues to evolve from the pandemic to endemic stage. The International Air Transport Association has called for removing all travel barriers (including quarantine and testing) for those fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine, enabling quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated travelers with a negative pre-departure antigen test result, removing travel bans, and accelerating the easing of travel restrictions in recognition that travelers pose no greater risk for COVID-19 spread than already exists in the general population. You’ll find more detail in a comprehensive, 1,260-word article in TravelDailyNews.
● ABA Marketplace tells us face-to-face, in-person trade shows still drive travel and tourism industry, even if virtual business is here to stay. According to ABA, it “made a triumphant return to live events” when it held its ABA’s Marketplace in Grapevine, Texas, Jan. 8-11.
ABA’s Marketplace by the Numbers:
—1600+ people attended the show.
—447 motorcoach and tour operators were in attendance
—133 motorcoach and tour operator delegates took appointments all week
—30 appointments on average were prescheduled for each seller
—Networking Floor offered 6 motorcoaches and 101 exhibitors
Click here for full recap of Marketplace activity.
● Brands don’t close the deal in China; key opinion leaders (KOLs) do. Data from the Jing Daily report, The Drop: Understanding Successful Brand Collaborations, shows that most luxury brands rely on influencer engagement for social media campaigns in China. For example, Bobbi Brown x Monopoly in Fall 2021 used KOLs to produce over 75 percent of the drop’s original promotional content on Weibo. So why aren’t brands following in Bottega Veneta’s footsteps by deleting Weibo. Read more here.
● Visit Tampa Bay is launching a Riverwalk Attraction Pass, a new program connecting local attractions near the Tampa Riverwalk. As the local ABC TV news outlet describes it: “Similar to the very successful CityPASS program, which includes some of Tampa Bay’s largest attractions on one inclusive ticket for a discounted price, the Riverwalk Attraction Pass brings together many attractions but also enables museums and centers that would have been traditionally excluded to be part of a holistic program.” Read the full news item here.
● MSC Group and Lufthansa Offer to Buy ITA Airways. From the Travel Market Report: “MSC Group, the largest container shipping line in the world and parent company of MSC Cruises, and Lufthansa are in the process of creating a partnership with the Italian Government to purchase ITA Airways, the carrier that was formerly Alitalia.” More details here.
● Rezdy’s CEO, Chris Atkin, has some predictions for the future of the experiences Industry. A sample: “QR codes had a rocky adoption but that has turned around in the last few years as people have been trained through COVID to use QR codes to travel, view menus, or demonstrate their vaccine status. Tomorrow’s travelers do not want paper vouchers but expect QR codes and e-tickets that can be stored in smartphone ‘wallets,’ the same as an airline boarding pass. It’s a must-have, not a nice-to-have, both for ease and hygiene reasons. Technology will power much of 2022 from discovery to entry of all experiences.” Read more here.
● Oh, to be married at sea. British-flagged carriers may soon be able to do so. Read more in this item published last week by Travel Weekly UK.
● Alabama Tourism Department announces a new, statewide attraction ticket program. The mobile ticket program is a new plan to allow travelers the opportunity to visit more attractions at a discounted rate. “All-in-One” attraction tickets will be sold directly to the public, tour operators and other distribution channels on the consumer – and tour operator – levels. 39 attractions representing six different ticket options are the first phase of the program rollout. Read more here.
HODGE PODGE: Appointments, Openings & Changes
Alexi Tabrizi has been promoted to the position of executive vice president, global sales at Big Bus Tours. She previously held the position of vice president of global sales. Tabrizii joined the company from GetYourGuide, where she was regional manager-USA/Canada East, Mexico, Caribbean and where she worked for more than six years.
Jordi Zarroca has joined the Unlimited Biking team as head of groups and events. For the last 11 years, Jordi has played a crucial part in the success of Cosmopolitan Incentives, a DMC based in New York City.
Oleg Nakonechny has been named director of client services for the Hawai’i Visitors & Convention Bureau. Previously, he was director of convention services for the San Francisco Travel Association, where he served for more than a dozen years.
Michelle Degenhardt has been named global sustainability officer for The Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT). She will collaborate with FLT’s senior leadership team, employees, leisure and corporate customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to further develop and oversee the execution of strategies to deliver on the organization’s environmental, social and governance objectives. Degenhardt is based in FLT’s global head office in Brisbane, Australia and will report to Brett Anderson, FLT’s Global Head of Risk and Sustainability. Degenhardt has worked for FLT for 17 years and was formerly the company’s culture and employee engagement leader—a role that included oversight of the Flight Centre Foundation in Australia.
Ted Johnston has been promoted to the post of general manager of The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway—America’s highest railway. In his new role, Johnston will oversee all aspects of the railway operations. Prior to his new job, he was assistant general manager since April 2018 and a crucial member in the reopening of the railway last May and the celebration of its 130th anniversary in June 2021. Johnston started his railroad career with Union Pacific Railroad where he completed its operations management training program in 2012. He served in various operational roles for Union Pacific in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Pascal Rüegg has been named chief operating officer, hotels for the FTI Group. He joins FTI from Accor, where he was vice president, operations, for Switzerland and Germany. At Accor, where he worked for four years, he was responsible for 35 Accor properties. Previously, he was general manager of Mövenpick Hotel Zürich Regensdorf.
Colm Lacy and Tom Stevens have moved up from their interim positions at British Airways, which they held during the global pandemic, to the roles of chief commercial officer and director of brand and customer experience respectively. Both have now been confirmed in their positions. Lacy started working for British Airways in 1997 as a finance analyst, since then holding a number of finance and commercial positions. Stevens joined British Airways on the graduate program in 2011, initially working in the procurement team before moving to customer and operational roles. Both have been on the management committee since 2021 and will continue to lead the airline’s digital-first, customer-centric strategy to ensure the airline delivers for its customers as it moves out of the pandemic.
Sabrina Salgado has been senior manager of brand strategy and communication for the Latam Group, reporting directly to the group’s vice president of sales and branding, Andreas Schek. Salgado, who was previously senior manager of brand communication at Latam Brasil between 2019 and 2021, returns to occupy the position of Alexandra Vila Ramirez, who recently left the company. Salgado is an advertising professional with a postgraduate degree in International Business and an MBA in business management. She has worked in marketing, branding, communication, branded content and live experience for several companies, including Grupo RBS, Grupo Globo, WarnerMedia and Record.
Zane Harrington has been named marketing and communication manager at Perot Museum of Nature and Science. He joins the attraction from Visit Dallas—a Dallas Delivers where he was communications manager and where he spent five years.
Phil Gardner has left the tourism business and Thomas Cook, where he was chief commercial officers and has replaced in the role by head of ancillaries and financial services David Scott. Gardner has been with the online business since it launched in in the wake of the Fosun Tourism Group’s acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand following the latter’s collapse in September 2019. Fosun acquired Cook’s digital assets in November 2019. Gardner left to join “a new venture.” Gardner worked as head of sales, e-commerce and marketing at Thomas Cook. Scott, formerly the OTA’s head of ancillaries and financial services, joined the business in December 2019. He will now oversee the company’s expanding commercial and contracting team as the business builds relationships with hoteliers, destination management companies and ancillary providers.
The Fort Wayne Convention and Visitors Bureau has hired Jill Boggs as president and chief executive officer. She most recently held the roles of CEO at the Kosciusko County Convention and Visitors Bureau and also assistant vice president of university marketing and communications at Trine University.
Amy Cannon has rejoined the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) as director of communications and membership. Cannon, whose professional career has involved tenures at organizations and associations in the areas of member relations, marketing and more, previously served as SYTA as senior manager, member relations from 2010-2014.
New York City-based data analytics company Curacity, which serves the travel industry by driving direct bookings to hotels and resorts via trusted publishers and Instagram creators, has announced the appointment of Claire Hathaway as chief sales officer. Previously, Hathaway spent four years with Triptease, a UK-based tech outfit in the hospitality sphere, where as Vice President of Strategic Accounts helped the company expand globally by building strategic partnerships on an international scale. She also did a five-year turn with Jetsetter, the curated online travel marketplace.
Jon Mamela has joined Travel Alberta as senior vice president, chief commercial officer, leading tourism and destination development, effective March 14, 2022. Jon Mamela brings a unique blend of public and private experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. He comes to Travel Alberta from Destination Toronto, where, as executive vice president & chief marketing officer, he worked with government and industry groups to promote the city. Prior to that, Mamela was chief marketing officer & senior vice president, marketing & sales at Destination Canada.
Destinations International has announced the appointment of Gretchen Hall as its chief operating officer, effective April 1, 2022. Hall is currently the president and CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Natalie Hernandez has been named vice president of activity partnerships for Xplorie. She joins the company from the Expedia Group, where she was senior key account manager, strategic partnerships. Hernandez spent almost three-and-a-half years at Expedia. Prior to that, she was director of sales at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.
Coastal Mississippi has appointed Judy Young to the role of executive director for the coastal tri-county destination marketing organization. Young brings more than 20 years of experience in tourism program design, product development, marketing direction, convention and leisure sales, logistics and supplier management, department administration, and advocacy with the Greater New Braunfels (Texas) Chamber of Commerce and most recently as the vice president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in New Braunfels, Texas. Young succeeds Milton Segarra, who resigned in October 2021.
Conrado Ventura recently left his position at Hotelbeds, where he was contracting manager-Los Angeles/Coastal & Northern California, and where he spent more than a decade, to join The Hotels Network as a market manager. He now works out of Orlando.
The American L.G.B.T.Q+ Museum has found its first executive director—Ben Garcia, previously the deputy executive director and chief learning officer of the Ohio History Connection. At the Ohio History Connection, a statewide history organization, Garcia managed more than 50 museums and historic sites, the state archives and the state historic preservation office. Before that, he worked as the deputy director at the Museum of Us in San Diego and head of interpretation and operations at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkely, California. The American L.G.B.T.Q.+ Museum, which will share space with the New-York Historical Society, will be the first museum dedicated to L.G.B.T.Q. history and culture in the city.
Jorge Rodriques, a long-time veteran of the tourism industry in Brazil, recently joined the TBO Holidays team headed up by Ana Vainstein, the Miami-based director of Larin America for TBO Holidays. Rodriques, according to the news portal PANROTAS, will serve as senior international destination specialist for Latin America. Previously, he was a partner at the AIT tour operator, where he spent nearly 20 years.
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism has appointed Pulse Travel Marketing as its new in-market representative. Sana Keller, managing partner and public relations director at Toronto-based Pulse Travel Marketing, says the agency will work with the Santa Monica Travel & Tourism team to increase brand awareness and ensure that this prime Southern California destination is prominently positioned with the travel trade, and key distribution media channels across Canada. Canada is a vital market for Santa Monica tourism and is in the top three countries for international visitors to our community, says Misti Kerns, President and CEO of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism.
Jeff Lanzarotta has been named director of sales and business development for Keytours Vacations, which is based in northern Virginia in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. He joins the company from Kempinski Hotels, where he was director of global leisure sales. Previously, he spent more than 16 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., lastly as director of global leisure & luxury sales.
From SearchWide Global:
—Visit Seattle is searching for a new president and CEO. More details here.
—Conference Direct, a provider of global meeting planning solutions, is searching for vice president of global sales. More details here.
—Meet Minneapolis has an opening for a vice president of equity, diversity and inclusion. More details here.
—The Tennessee Hospitality Association is looking for an executive director. More details here.
—The South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking a new CVB director. More details here.
—The Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking a new chief financial officer. More details here.
—Destinations International is looking for a manager of meetings and events. More details here.
—Visit El Paso is searching for a director of marketing and communications. More details here.
—The Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau has an opening for the position of vice president. More details here.
—A world-wide hospitality group is looking for an executive director of hotel sales & marketing a position that would be based in San Francisco, Toronto or remotely. More details here.
—Visit Greater Palm Springs has an opening for a vice president of sales. More details here.
—Visit Denver is seeking to hire a new vice president of tourism. More details here.
—The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau has an opening for a director of marketing. More details here.
—Visit Dana Point is looking for an 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
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.
—Snowmass Village in Colorado is looking for a tourism manager. It’s a new position, focused on operations and management of the Snowmass Tourism office. More details here.
—Visit Denver, The Convention & Visitors Bureau for Denver, is looking for a director of government and community affairs. More details here.
—The Museum of Science in Boston is searching for a group and tourism coordinator. More details here.
—Travel Oregon is looking for a destination development program manager. Salary $75,400 to $86,707 a year. More details here.
—Amazon Web Services is searching for a head of travel & hospitality industry marketing. Located in Seattle. 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 Anaheim has an opening for a sales & tourism coordinator. More details here.
—Mid Atlantic Tours & Receptive Services has an opening for a tour planner-group travel & tourism. More details here.
—The City of Virginia Beach has an opening for a convention and tourism representative. More details here.
—There is an opening for a sports tourism assistant at the City of Myrtle Beach. More details here.
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