Toward a More Stable Future
New Expedia™ study shows a re-awakening among markets, as well as confirmation of what most of us already new—NYC is the only Top Ten destination in all four major world regions.
For the business quarter since the very end of 2019 and up to the beginning of 2022, the global outlook for the tourism and travel industry was mired in a muddy mess. The Expedia Group™ 2021 Q4 Travel Recovery Trend Report, which was put together using a mountainous collection of data, is encouraging—even as the recent Omicron variant of COVID 19 has wreaked havoc all over the globe. As the document put it, “Despite a bumpy quarter, there is still a tremendous appetite for travel compared to 2020. Global search volume in Q4 was flat quarter-over-quarter, but up over 70 percent year-over-year, indicating that travelers are still eager to get away.”
Shaped in the penumbra of a fading pandemic, the Expedia report tells us, “After nearly two years of the pandemic, consumers have learned how to travel under everchanging circumstances, based on their comfort level and local government and health guidance.” It added, “We anticipate that travelers will continue to adapt their travel behaviors and preferences as the landscape changes. Year-over-year progress is encouraging, and we remain confident in the power of travel and the resilience of both the industry and travelers.”
What follows is a series of written snapshots which present most of the elements of the Expedia Group’s 2021 Q4 Travel Recovery Trend Report.
● Appetites Continue to Grow: Despite a bumpy quarter, says Expedia, there is still a tremendous appetite for travel compared to 2020. Global search volume in Q4 was flat quarter-over-quarter, but up over 70 percent year-over-year, indicating that travelers are still eager to get away. In the APAC, search volumes were up nearly 35 percent over Q3.
● Search Windows Lengthen as Borders Reopen: As more borders around the world reopened to international travelers in Q4, and travel shoppers booked ahead for the winter holiday season, global share of searches in the 31+ day search window grew 15 percent quarter-over-quarter, taking share primarily from the 0- to 21–day search window.
● Consistent Demand for Long-Haul Destinations: Demand was sustained for destinations beyond travelers’ home regions, and big cities continued to be an attractive choice for travelers around the world. The APAC region had four new destinations enter the top 10 in Q4 – more than any other region.
● Vacation Rentals Maintain Popularity: In Q4, global lodging bookings (including both hotels and vacation rentals) were up more than 50 percent year-over-year. Looking at quarter-over-quarter demand globally, in Q4 there was a shift from hotels to vacation rentals, prompted in large part by the busy holiday travel season and vacation rentals’ continued popularity among friends and families traveling together.
● Appetite Continues to Grow: Evidence continues to build that travel shoppers are ready to see the world again. Compared to Q3, overall global search volume in Q4 remained relatively flat, but when compared to the same period in 2020, global search volume was up 70 percent. Results from a different
● The Expedia survey in eight countries (U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia) found that 81 percent of travelers are planning to take a leisure trip in the next six months, with North American and European travelers showing the greatest propensity to travel for leisure during the same time (86 percent).
Global Search Demand Trends
● Australia’s Re-opening Gave Q4 a Positive Start: Following Australia’s October 1 announcement that it would reopen its borders to international travelers in November, global searches increased 5% week-over-week. And during the week of October 11, APAC international searches saw a 25 percent lift week-over-week.
● November 8 end to U.S. Border Restrictions Provided a Global Boost: The reopening piqued interest for Germans as traveler search volume for trips from Germany to the U.S. jumped more than 300 percent from October to December 2021, moving from the 43rd position to 13th among searches for Q4.
● Searches Spike at the End of December: Global week-over-week searches spiked during the week of December 27, possibly due to travelers reacting to thousands of delayed or canceled flights. However, this heightened interest continued into the first weeks of 2022.
● Search Windows Lengthen with Border Re-openings: As borders around the world continued reopening to international travelers in Q4, there was a lengthening in global search windows. Forty percent of global searches fell within the 31-plus-day search window, a 15 percent increase over Q3, taking share primarily from the 0- to 21–day search window.
● Regionally, EMEA saw the greatest swing toward longer search windows in Q4, with the 31-plus day search window increasing 30 percent over Q3. NORAM and APAC saw minor shifts in search window share for the 31- day search window, while LATAM was flat.
● International Search Window: More borders opened around the world, resulting in changes to international search window share quarter-over-quarter and fluctuations throughout Q4. Forty percent of global international searches occurred in the 0-to-21–day search window, a 10 percent decline from Q3, while share for the 31- to 90–day search window grew 20% quarter-over-quarter
● Consistent Demand for Long-haul Destinations (with More to Come): The trend that Expedia first identified in Q2, of travelers looking and booking destinations further afield—outside of their region of the world—continued into Q4. LATAM led this trend, to the extent that five out of the top 10 most in-demand destinations for travelers living there were located in other parts of the world. Plus, non-APAC destinations— Dubai and Honolulu—made up two of the four new entrants to the APAC top 10, with Sydney and Singapore also joining that list.
Top 10 Booked Destinations by Region
|1. Seoul||1. London||1. Mexico City||1. New York|
|2. Tokyo||2. Dubai||2. New York||2. Las Vegas|
|3. Seogwipo||3. New York||3. Cancun||3. Orlando|
|4. Sydney*||4. Paris||4. Rio de Janeiro||4. Los Angeles|
|5. New York||4. Istanbul||5. Sao Paulo||5. Cancun|
|6. Singapore*||6. Copenhagen||6. Paris||6. Miami*|
|7. Busan||7. Stockholm||7. Orlando*||7. Chicago|
|8. Dubai*||8. Amsterdam*||8. Playa del Carmen||8. Honolulu|
|9. Honolulu*||9. Berlin||9. Las Vegas||9. Atlanta|
|10. London||10. Barcelona||10. Madrid||10. Francisco|
* New Top Ten Destination
● In contrast, North America–based travelers continued to book closer to home, with Cancun being the only destination outside the region making the top 10 list for NORAM bookers. However, this tendency looks likely to change in 2022: Expedia’s 2022 Travel Trends Report found that 68 percent of Americans are planning to go big on their next trip, and many are eyeing intercontinental destinations. (Note that NYC is in the Top Ten in all four global regions.)
● Vacation Rentals Maintain Popularity: In Q4, global lodging bookings— for hotels and vacation rentals combined—were up more than 50 percent year-over-year. Comparing bookings in Q3 and Q4, there was a shift in share from hotels to vacation rentals – no doubt prompted by the busy holiday travel season and continued popularity of vacation rentals among friends and family groups. LATAM had a particularly strong quarter for vacation rental bookings, which were up more than 100 percent quarter-over-quarter.
The numbers* behind 2021’s most productive overseas source market for inbound tourism.
Why Colombia? We asked that question in the last issue of INBOUND as the arrivals data from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) showed that the country produced more overseas visitors to the USA than any other overseas source market. And in doing so, Colombia set a record in the category, generating more than one million visitors to the United States for the first time.
Do the data that NTTO turns out in abundance have an answer to the question? Rather than speculate that much about what could have or might have explained Colombia’s unusual success in increasing its volume of visitors to the USA, we asked a leading expert in the matter, Ron Erdmann, senior research associate at CIC Research, Inc. and a long-time analyst of, and expert on, international tourism to the United States what the data told him. Along with some help of the U.S. Commercial Service in Colombia, he responded. Part of what he told us follows:
—Part of the answer has to do with the air lift capacity from the country. We know that, with the increased lift, there are far more non-U.S. travelers on the flights between the U.S. and Colombia (64 percent non-residential vs. 36 percent U.S.), so the increased air capacity helps inbound traffic.
—Also, there were less restrictions on travel, plus many Colombians came to the USA to get the COVID shot, as there were fare easier to get here (in the U.S.) than in Colombia.
—A trend already? (Not right away.) From 2015-2017, Colombian arrivals to the U.S. declined between 1-3 percent each year.
—In 2018, Colombian arrivals increased by 12 percent over the previous year to 942,617 visitors.
—In 2019, Colombia set a record for arrivals, with 944,013 visitors—up only 0.1 percent over the previous year, but enough to set the record.
—In 2020, arrivals dropped by 71 percent to 270,110. This was the lowest arrival total from the country since 1996, when 249,851 Colombians visited the United States.
—In 2021, Colombia posted a 294 percent increase over the 2020 arrivals mark to set a new arrivals for visitation to the USA at 1,063,659.
—Colombia became the top overseas market for the USA in 2021. The year before, 2020, it ranked 11th in arrivals to the United States.
Then, there is the matter of miles (or kilometers, if you will) begging the question: Is Colombia really a long-haul source market? Flights from Medellin to Miami (1,382 miles away) or Cartagena to Miami (1,104 miles) aren’t much different than the distance from Miami to New York City (1,104 miles).
Another factor: Were Colombians burst out to familiar places (and, possibly, familiar prices) in their zeal to “get out” and travel following the harshness of the global pandemic in 2020? (More than seven out of 10 Colombians traveling to the United States visited Florida last year.)
Take a look at some of the tables that follow. All are about Colombia. They probably raise more questions than they ask. We’ll have a better idea for comparisons (2201 vs. 2019, for instance) once final datal for last year are available. A* Almost all of this article relied on research and publications put out by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office. For more information, contact David Huether,
deputy director for research. [email protected].
Arrivals from Columbia to the United States
|Year||Number of Colombian Arrivals (000s)||Percentage (%) change from previous year|
Destinations Visited in 2019
Percentage (%) Visiting the Destination
95% Confidence Interval (CI)
Regions in Boldface
|EAST NORTH CENTRAL||3.73%|
|New York (state)||15.19%|
|New York City||15.20%|
|Florida||64.55% (72.95% in 2021)|
|Miami||43.75% (54.65% in 2021)|
|West Palm Beach||4.15%|
|Washington, D.C. (metro area)||3.97%|
|WEST SOUTH CENTRAL||6.21%|
Port of Entry Used to Clear U.S. Customers—2019
|Location||Percentage (%) of Respondents|
|New York/New Jersey||11.9%|
Spending Trends (Exports)
In Millions of U.S. Dollars
|Total Travel & Tourism Exports||$2,036||$2,436||$3,043||$3,466||$3,357||$3,196||$3,155||$3,412||$3,337||$1,152|
|Air transit cost||$494||$600||$664||$792||$734||$635||$670||$706||$682||$213|
|% YoY Change||+4%||+20%||25%||14%||-3%||-5%||-1%||+8%||-2%||-65%|
One purpose, % of Respondents
|Vacation / Holiday||46.0%||53.0%||54.0%||64.4%||60.5%||58.5%||57.9%||63.6%||58.7||56.2%|
|Visit Friends, Relatives||28.0%||23.5%||19.6%||18.5%||19.0%||20.9%||22.4%||21.7%||21.2||30.0%|
|Conv, Conf, Trade Show||4.7%||10.4%||4.7%||5.2%||5.8%||6.2%||8.8%||4.5%||5.6||2.7%|
|Religion / Pilgrimages||0.1%||0.0%||0.4%||0.1%||0.2%||0.1%||0.2%||0.1%||0.5||0.0%|
Information Sources Used for Trip Planning
(Percent of Respondents)
|Travel Agency (Online)||33.2%||42.7%||33.0 %||35.3%||32.1%||35.4%||32.3%||32.7%||30.7%|
|Travel Office Nat’l, State City||27.9%||16.5%||18.1%||14.2%||11.5%||15.9%||12.9%||14.1%||10.7%|
|Corp. Travel Department||9.0%||7.4%||6.9%||9.0%||7.1%||9.0%||6.8%||8.6%||7.8%|
|Travel Agency (Office)||12.6%||10.0%||12.4%||10.0%||8.6%||9.3%||11.6%||9.7%||7.3%|
|Tour Operator -Travel Club||8.9%||3.5%||5.0%||5.0%||4.9%||6.8%||6.5%||6.1%||5.0%|
(Percent of Respondents)
|Activity – Participation||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020|
|Amusement – Theme Parks||31.1%||39.0%||50.9%||49.4%||44.5%||47.2%||43.0%||43.5%||36.0%|
|Dining (experi – ence) Fine||37.2%||52.0%||44.7%||51.2%||31.7%||27.3%||26.2%||25.5%||29.5%|
|National Parks, Monuments||19.1%||24.7%||25.6%||26.2%||26.4%||27.4%||26.9%||28.5%||26.2%|
|Art Gallery – Museum||17.6%||21.0%||18.8%||19.2%||20.5%||21.6%||23.5%||23.9%||16.9%|
|Nightclubbing – Dancing||14.8%||15.8%||18.2%||18.6%||18.5%||19.2%||16.1%||16.0%||16.5%|
|Cultural/Ethic Heritage Sites||7.7%||14.7%||12.2%||13.7%||13.8%||13.5%||15.4%||15.5%||14.3%|
|Casinos – Gambling||5.1%||8.2%||3.7%||6.3%||4.3%||2.7%||3.3%||3.9%||5.9%|
|Concert, Play, Musical||14.3%||17.4%||12.2%||11.9%||13.2%||9.7%||11.2%||8.9%||5.7%|
|Am. Indian Communities||1.9%||5.7%||4.0%||2.5%||4.7%||3.6%||4.1%||3.2%||4.1%|
|Camping – Hiking||1.1%||2.0%||0.9%||1.3%||1.8%||1.1%||1.3%||1.2%||3.8%|
|Environmental- Eco Excursions||1.1%||3.3%||4.2%||2.1%||2.2%||2.8%||4.4%||2.9%||2.9%|
* INBOUND relied on NTTO and its products for the data that appear in the above article
USA is Dream Destination for Brits in 2022
From a Nightmare to a Dream: In our more than two-and-a-half decades of reporting on the inbound tourism market to the USA, the United Kingdom has never been more happily full of itself, as Brits seem determined to unchain themselves from almost two years of restrictions as a result of the global pandemic brought on by the COVID-19 virus and its variants.
January brought reports of record retail sales by travel agencies, and tour operators expanded their programs for this year’s peak travel season. One manifestation of just how strong the market will be will be the level of travel connected to next month’s bank holiday—most Britons will observe that holiday from Good Friday through Easter Monday (April 15-18).
“Brits Pick US As Dream Destination 2022.” It sure won’t hurt the industry in the USA to know that Forbes Advisor headlined an article last month thus: “Brits Pick US As Dream Destination 2022.”
“The United States is the public’s top dream holiday destination for 2022, according to our exclusive research,” the publication told readers, “We surveyed more than 2,000 British adults and discovered that North America features highly in Brits’ travel plans for next year as people look ahead to their first real opportunity for an overseas holiday free from the stresses associated with heading abroad in 2021.”
Specific points covered in the survey included the following:
● Just what is a dream holiday in terms of flying time? Two-thirds (67 percent) of travelers said they considered a once-in-a-lifetime holiday as a medium or long-haul journey (three-to-six hours-plus).
● Asked how much they intended to spend on a “dream getaway” per person, more than one in six (16 percent said between £2,000 and £2,999 ($2,670 -$4,000); one in eight said £1,000-£1,999 ($1,334-2,667); another 12 percent indicated that they would spend £3,000 to £3,999 ($4,000-$5,338); and one in 20 said that they would spend more than £10,999 ($14,680) on their dream vacation.
● Travel insurance is now a must. Based on the average of 10 quotes run on the Forbes Advisor site, insurance for a USA trip would cost roughly £82 ($109)
● Asked what kind of “dream holiday” they were planning on booking, almost two-fifths (38 percent) chose “luxury” (five-star accommodation, private excursion, premium transport, etc.), while 30 percent selected “beach holidays.”
What Type of Holiday Are Brits Planning?
|Holiday Type||Percentage (%)|
|Luxury (five-star hotel, private excursion, premium transport||38%|
● How will holiday-makers pay for their trip? Thirty-five percent said that they would use “long-term savings or investments,” and 32 percent indicated that they would fall back on funds “saved by not going on holiday since (the) pandemic.” One-fifth of those surveyed said that they would use “emergency/rainy-day savings.”
● Who will they go with? More than two-fifths (43 percent) said that they would go with “family or children,” while 28 percent indicated that they would be going with a partner, and 11 percent chose to go with “friends.”
Forbes Advisor Top 10 Dream Destinations for UK Travelers
|Destination & Rank||Percentage|
|2. The Caribbean||9.2%|
|8. Hong Kong||4.2%|
|10. South America||3.9%|
Source: Forbes Advisor
Commenting on the survey results, Kevin Pratt, travel and finance expert at Forbes Advisor, said: “There is clearly huge pent-up demand for once-in-a-lifetime overseas dream holidays, with so many Brits not having seen the inside of an airport for two years. Once the restrictions are removed, we can expect to see millions of people heading to far-flung destinations for sun, fun, adventure and relaxation.”
NOTE: Inbound used xe.com for currency conversions
China’s Travel Trade Anxious to Re-start
With the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and their stringent curbs on tourism behind us, inbound industry looking to market, promote and sell.
But there’s a hitch. The host destination for the Winter Olympics also commits to staging the Paralympics, which requires an infrastructure of its own. So, while the Winter Olympics ended on February 13th, the Paralympics did not start until Friday, March 4th and end on March 13th.
Somehow, the dates seemed to have given credence to a notion that international travel to the country would begin to restart in the spring—now just a few weeks away.
This unsupported belief seems to have confounded enough people in the international tourism industry that China’s National Immigration Administration took the step of saying it will continue its path of imposing strict restrictions on such travel because the COVID-19 crisis is still a concern and that cross-border travel posed “great security risks.”
As reported by Reuters—it seems to have been the only western news outlet to have covered the story—the government said in a statement on social media that it will “normally issue passports” for individuals who need to travel abroad for study, employment, or business. Not for travel. In other words, the situation remains the same, even if rumors that the government would issue passports to individuals wanting to travel abroad for leisure were false.
In fact, Reuters reported that the Immigration Administration has suspended the issuance of new common passports for individuals who intend to go abroad for non-urgent matters.
Providing INBOUND with a reality check and some clarity on the matter was Z.J. Tong, president of Chicago-based ChinaPro Marketing Partners and an acknowledged authority on issues regarding the Chinese travel market, told us this: “What the news is saying is a response from the government since a lot of people are speculating that the travel ban will be loosened after the Olympics. At the moment, there has not been any new update regarding when international travel will be resumed for China. We started seeing countries like Australia, Denmark and UK, etc. to abandon their restrictive travel policies. As the world opens up, it’s a matter of time for China to reopen. But will we see that for this summer? I don’t know yet.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese Domestic Market is killing it. China’s domestic tourism market continued to rebound during the recent Spring Festival holiday, with people seeking higher-quality tourism and leisure activities and more consumers in lower-tier cities and rural areas entering the market.
As reported by eTurboNews, the head of the China Tourism Academy, China’s tourism market performed better than expected during the 2022 seven-day Spring Festival travel rush, also known as Chunyun, as both city and rural residents found new destinations for their trips. Spring Festival holiday travel also generated tourism revenue of 289.2 billion yuan (about $45.4 billion), according to China‘s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Both numbers respectively recovered to 73.9 percent and 56.3 percent of the levels seen in the same holiday of 2019, before the global COVID-19 pandemic.
TRADE TALK & TOURISM INDUSTRY BUZZ
● Washington, D.C., the USA’s capital city, has appointed Finn Partners to handle its travel trade and consumer public relations as it looks to boost tourism following the easing of international travel restrictions. Finn Partners, which Washington, D.C. has appointed on a retained basis, said it would advise on “market strategies” to encourage tourists back to the U.S. Capital. Which has recently spent more than $10 billion on development.
The agency plans to highlight some of the tourist attractions available that are beyond the White House, such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival and DC Jazz Fest. It will also expand the training program for travel agencies in the UK and Ireland devised by Destination DC, the marketing organization for Washington, D.C. Debbie Flynn, managing partner and global travel practice leader at Finn Partners, said the U.S. capital was a “historically rich, exciting and diverse city.”
“It’s just over three months since the borders to the U.S. reopened and our focus will be to position Washington, D.C. front and center.” NYC-based Finn Partners has more than quadrupled in size in eight years. It has offices across the U.S. and in London, Paris, Beijing and Singapore, among other locations globally.
● Major air tour operators in Germany increased their turnover in 2021 compared to the year before, reports the fvw|TravelTalk Dossier. However, the publication says that turnover is still far below the pre-pandemic level. The overall market even shrank significantly once again, we are told: “Compared to 2019/20, the 27 tour operators who provided their figures this time for the fvw|TravelTalk Dossier, which has been published for 50 years, reported an increase in turnover of 16.5 percent to 7.5 billion euros for business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Compared to 2018/19, however, this is still 58 percent less.” Read here for the complete article.
● ANA, Jobi Partner in Ride Sharing Venture in Japan: California-based Joby Aviation has announced that it is forming a partnership that will see Japan’s largest airline, ANA, join with Joby to bring aerial ridesharing services to Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation has also joined the partnership, with the intention of exploring opportunities such as ground-based transportation. Joby is developing an all-electric, five-seat aircraft that can take off and land vertically (eVTOL). With a maximum range of 150 miles (241 kilometers), a top speed of 200 mph (321 km/h) and a low noise profile to allow it to access built-up areas, Joby’s piloted aircraft is designed to make convenient, emissions-free air travel an everyday reality. For example, the 31-mile (50 km) journey from Osaka station to Kansai International Airport could take less than 15 minutes by air rather than one hour by car. Read here for more details.
● Thomas Cook, the OTA travel company that is a re-launch of the famous Thomas Cook brand that shut down in September 2019, has launched a business in the Netherlands, as the brand starts to expand into Europe. According to Travel Weekly UK, The Dutch company will operate on the same digital platform as the UK and will work with new and existing partners to offer consumers in the Netherlands holiday packages in a wide range of European destinations. Customers will be able to fly from all major airports and choose from airlines such as Transavia, Corendon and easyJet. Thomas Cook’s new Dutch company is a member of ANVR, the Dutch travel association, as well as SGR and Calamiteitenfonds, which together provide full consumer protection. Thomas Cook Netherlands will initially have a small local team with support from the current UK team. As the business develops, it aims to add more team members.
● Mapping Black Townships in the USA: Cymone Davis, former city manager of the oldest historically Black town in Oklahoma is developing a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool that will map all the Black townships in the U.S. Davis, who recently stepped down as city manager of Tullahassee, Oklahoma, in order to run Black Towns Municipal Management, has a goal of scaling and creating sustainability for the work done in Black townships. In an article in DailyYonder.com, she said: “I think that what I’m really excited about with the GIS mapping tool is for the public to identify, recognize, and completely go down their own rabbit hole of figuring out what Black townships are, where they used to be, and what they can be.” The tool was scheduled to launch any day now, preferably during Black History month. Davis said records indicate Black townships were around even before the American Revolution, and now roughly 30 historic communities and townships remain today. “The history of all these townships is so unique, and they’re so different,” she said. Read here for the complete article.
● British Columbia’s Government Announces Attraction to Honor Chinese Canadians: Expected to open in 2023, the historic Wing Sang Building, the oldest building in Vancouver Chinatown, will be the permanent site of the Chinese Canadian Museum. “The contributions of Chinese Canadians to this province have been invaluable,” Premier John Horgan said. “The Chinese Canadian Museum responds to the community’s long-standing desire for a place to share stories of achievement and shine a light on injustice. The museum will be an important place for all British Columbians, connecting the past to the present and future generations.”
The province is providing $27.5 million to the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of British Columbia to support continued planning and operations of the society, as well as the purchase of the historic Wing Sang Building at 51 East Pender Street. “Museums connect us to the past and the present. For years, the Chinese Canadian communities in B.C. have been calling on government to share the rich history of Chinese Canadians – both the challenges and contributions,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This new museum is a light in Vancouver Chinatown and a response to a call to action from our fellow British Columbians who have historically endured poor treatment. It is an important legacy for British Columbians for generations to come.”
The building will be owned and operated by the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of British Columbia.
● City Experiences announced the launch of Venture Ashore, the largest independent cruise excursions provider in the world, delivering uniquely curated amazing experiences for cruise travelers led by professional guides in hundreds of ports worldwide. Venture Ashore cruising excursions are offered in 111 countries and counting with departures from over 500 ports of call worldwide featuring over 5,000 individual tours. Venture Ashore is the newest addition to the City Experiences portfolio of brands, and backed by Hornblower Group, supporting the company’s overall business strategy in becoming a global transportation and experiences leader. Venture Ashore offers a wide range of tour offerings to satisfy a variety of groups, interests and budgets. Parties of 12 or more can take advantage of a dedicated groups service, with a team of personal specialists to support a seamless experience from start to finish for a unique and tailor-made itinerary. Venture Ashore also offers extensive private tours and features small group tours, varying by destination and demand, accommodating up to 25 people or as few as 6. Read here for the complete article.
● Also from the Hornblower Group: It announced it has acquired Australian travel group Journey Beyond. Based in Adelaide, Journey Beyond owns 13 Australian travel and transport brands operating throughout Australia. It comprises trains, marine vessels, 4WD touring vehicles, luxury camps and lodges, and aircraft. It includes The Ghan cross-country rail service. “As two organisations with expertise in the experiential travel space, Journey Beyond aligns perfectly within our business strategy. We look forward to growing the business operations the Journey Beyond team has built as the premiere experiential travel company in Australia,” said Kevin Rabbitt, CEO, Hornblower Group.
● Alaska Airlines Launches Flight Subscription Service: A familiar business model has moved into new territory—the airlines business—as Alaska Airlines has launched Flight Pass, a subscription-based travel offering based on value and flexibility. Available now, members can fly up to 24 round-trip flights a year to the most popular routes within California, as well as non-stop service from California airports to Reno, Phoenix and Las Vegas, for a fixed monthly rate. With annual plans starting at $49 per month, this new way to fly allows travelers to lock in main cabin deals for a full year and rewards subscribers with lower-than-average fares on eligible flights. Read here for more information.
HODGE PODGE: Appointments, Openings and Changes
Kenley Moy, who has been with the San Francisco Travel Association for more than two decades, has been promoted from his position as vice president of national sales offices to a newly created role—vice president of global sales and strategic partnerships—which will encompass the national and international sales teams in charge of self-contained meetings. Moy will focus on building stronger strategic alliances for SF Travel with third-party meeting management companies and business event strategists, and shape the organization’s presence at trade shows around the world.
Juliette Losardo has been selected as the new exhibition director of World Travel Market (WTM) London, one of the leading global events for the world’s travel and tourism industry. The annual event is slated to take place at ExCeL London on November 7-9 this year. She joins WTM London from Clarion Events, where she was group commercial director, and has also held senior roles at Centaur Media and Getty Images. Losardo is an experienced business leader with a record of more than 18 years at leading companies in the international media and events sectors. Losardo succeeds Simon Press, who has left the company to pursue new opportunities.
Visit Denver has named Flávia Light as its new vice president of tourism, responsible for leading international sales and marketing efforts while serving as a connector for Denver’s cultural community. She is also responsible for overseeing VISIT DENVER visitor centers and assisting with new tourism event generation. Relocating to Denver from Orlando, Light most recently worked for GoPegasus, a tour operator, DMC and transportation company, where she served as director of strategic growth marketing and sales, overseeing international business development for the leisure and group segments. Prior to that, she spent nine years as marketing and sales director with Walt Disney World, Disney Destinations.
Recouping and rebuilding in the wake of the global pandemic that did so much damage to the travel and tourism industry, the flight search engine Viajala has hired Rodrigo Melo as its new director. The company is headquartered in Colombia. Previously, Melo was a regional sourcing manager for Hotelbeds, and prior to that, he was regional director of product development for Tourico Holidays.
In Tennessee, Molly Brown has taken over as the new owner of Tour the Upper Cumberland, which is slightly less than an hour east of Nashville. Previously, Brown was executive director of Putnam County Tourism. She plans to elevate and expand the Upper Cumberland agency in order to promote its attractions, history, experiences and other points-of-interest in the 14-county region. In addition to her other previous work, Brown has served as public relations media manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.
Gina Gemberling has been named president & CEO of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau after serving in the position on an interim basis for for nearly a month. Gemberling was picked to succeed Gretchen Hall, who has left after more than 20 years with bureau. Hall is joining Destinations International as its chief operating officer. Gemberling joined LRCVB in 2018 as vice president of sales and services, and she was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing in 2020. She previously spent 24 years working for the Springfield (Illinois) Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she held roles in sales, service and marketing before becoming executive director.
In Kentucky, Janette Marson has been named president & CEO of ShelbyKY Tourism. Shelby County borders part of Louisville and Jefferson County. Marson comes to Shelby County with a long career in marketing, advertising, and public relations. For almost nine years, she was the Executive Director of the Lake Cumberland Tourist Commission in Russell County. Currently, Marson is also president of the Kentucky State Tourism Association. Marson, who starts her new job, replaces former President & CEO Chenelle McGee, who went on to the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism as international sales director.
Ann Kavanagh has been named executive director of the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) Kavanagh, who will perform the role remotely with travel to the region as required, replaces Christina Oliver who has relocated to the USA with her family. The appointment takes effect from 18 April and Kavanagh will be supported in her role by APTRA Administrative Officer Sharolyn Paul. Prior to her appointment to lead APTRA, she spent more than 30 years operating her own PR and communications firm, Kavanagh Communications, which is located in London.
The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department has hired a new director of state parks—James Timberlake. He succeeds Kris Marek, who retired late last year. Timberlake comes to Oklahoma State Parks from Santa Fe Family Life Center, a nonprofit sports and fitness complex in Oklahoma City. He had served as the center’s executive director since 2015. “We are so lucky to be able to add someone of James’ caliber to our team,” Jerry Winchester, executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, said in a statement.
Worldwide Attractions has announced the appointment of Issy Wiggins-Turner as USA Sales Director. UK based, Wiggins-Turner will be representing Worldwide Attractions’ U.S. clients on the UK, Irish, French and German markets. A widely known veteran of the tourism industry, A veteran of the industry, having honed her sales skills within the car hire and travel industries, she operated her own firm for more than 20 years, primarily fashioning tailor-made cruise and land holidays.
Joe Tropia has been named senior manager of marketing programs at Superblue, an initiative designed to champion artists whose ideas are best expressed through large-scale immersive installations. Superblue Miami is now open, and more locations will be announced soon. Tropia departs One World Observatory in Manhattan. His work there followed a tenure as director of trade and group sales, North America, for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; as well as a spell as director of marketing at National Geographic Encounter.
The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB announced the appointment of John R. Melleky to the position of arts and culture manager for the Tourism Division of Collier County. Melleky joins the organization with extensive experience in development, fundraising, strategic planning and event/festival organization. He most recently served as the senior development officer at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, The State Art Museum of Florida, located in Sarasota, Florida.
Rental Escapes, a luxury villa company specializing in providing private villa rentals worldwide, has announced the appointment of Willie Fernandez as chief marketing officer. Fernandez is responsible for driving Rental Escapes’ global brand strategy and marketing initiatives, as well as overseeing the product teams who liaise with the company’s network of valued travel advisor partners and villa suppliers. Fernandez joins the company from World Travel Holdings, where he spent 15 years, lastly as vice president/general manager for the Villas of Distinction brand.
One of the most closely followed travel and tourism industry professionals is making a career pivot. Following 20 years in the service of TUI—this includes a turbulent period during the darkest days of the global pandemic—including a four-years tenure as head of TUI Germany, Marek Andryszak is leaving the field and has joined the Polish outdoor specialist 8a.pl, which is regarded as the market leader for outdoor and mountaineering equipment in Poland. In a post on his LinkedIn pages, Andryszak spoke fondly about it his time with TUI, even if it occasionally meant some friction with travel agents, who felt that he was not doing enough for their sector of the industry.
TruTravels, a youth specialist operator in the UK, has hired James Lavin as part of a wider recruitment drive and growth strategy. Lavin is tasked with helping the operator’s expansion by supporting existing travel agents and developing new agency partnerships. He is based at TruTravel’s head office in Kingston, London. Lavin started his travel career nearly 14 years ago as a Thomas Cook travel agent. He also worked as a rep in Kos for Club 18-30 and as UK and Ireland sales manager for youth brand Contiki.
Bannikin Travel & Tourism, best known for its focus on adventure-based tourism, is expanding its expertise to include food and culture. Toronto-based Bannikin sees adventure, food and culture-based tourism as holding the most potential for positively impactful tourism that best celebrates a destination’s authentic sense of place. Trevor Jonas Benson joins as CEO. Cultural connector, multilingual researcher, and outcome-driven manager Camilo Montoya-Guevara joins as manager, strategy & development. Experienced strategist with expertise in agritourism, wine tourism and urban regional planning, while Caroline Morrow takes on the role of tourism development specialist.
Benson has been supporting the development of strongly sustainable businesses and flourishing destinations in Canada and abroad since 2006. Montoya-Guevara has worked on over 30 tourism strategy and development projects in Canada and internationally. Morrow’s experience includes national strategy planning, product development and visitor experience design, and she has a strong interest in connections between land management, food systems, tourism, and healthy ecosystems.
Honeyfund, the honeymoon and universal gift registry site has announced the appointment of Erin Gunnuscio as vice president of marketing. She brings over 15 years of travel-focused product and marketing leadership experience to the role in addition to branding strategy and a track record of facilitating synergistic partnerships. Prior to joining Honeyfund, Gunnuscio spent a decade at the Tripadvisor company, SmarterTravel (it was sold last year to Hopjump, a Boston-based digital marketing company) where she led brand development, user acquisition, strategic partnerships, and social media strategy for the portfolio of travel brands. Gunnuscio also completed back-to-back three-year tenures at Bókun, a booking management software for tours and activities, and Cybereason, a cybersecurity technology company.
Leonardo Ferrazzo is the new sales and marketing manager in Brazil for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. He was recruited for the position by Imaginadora de Destinos the rep for the SeaWorld brand in Brazil for the past 12 years. Ferrazzo will be responsible for sales strategies, relationships with tour operators and the overall travel trade. A veteran of more than 15 years in the travel and tourism industry, he has had experience with LATAM Airlines and other sectors of the tourism business.
Sonya Singh has joined Toronto-based VoX, taking over as public relations manager for VISIT FLORIDA. Previously the director of marketing and communications at Fairmont Royal York and Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto Canada, Singh has also managed public relations for Visit California. She has also served in senior public relations roles for a variety of companies in the Toronto area.
Laura Robertson has joined the UK luxury tailormade tour operator Exsus Travel as the latter took the step of recruit a worldwide travel expert to join its team. Robertson previously worked for If Only and Barrhead Travel, including the Scottish agency chain’s Canada Travel Specialists division. Robertson has been a part of the travel and tourism industry in the UK for more than 16 years.
Allianz Partners has announced that Elena Edwards has been promoted to chief markets officer at Europe-based Allianz Partners Group and that Jeff Wright has succeeded Edwards as CEO of the U.S. business unit. Prior to his promotion to CEO, Wright was the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Edwards will also retain her position as CEO for North America, overseeing the company’s business units in the US and Canada. Edwards first joined Allianz Partners in 2019 as the General Manager for the U.S. business unit, where she provided executive leadership on strategy, prioritization and execution. Wright joined Allianz Partners in 2019, and has over 17 years of experience in the insurance industry.
Transat A.T. Inc. has named one-time pilot Marc–Philippe Lumpé as chief airline operations officer, in charge of all of the company’s airline operations. Lumpé will replace Jean-François Lemay, who has led Air Transat since 2013, effective June 1. Lemay, whose departure was announced previously, will work alongside him during a transition period. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the aviation industry and has held various management positions, including with Virgin Atlantic Airways, Qatar Airways, Air Berlin and Thomas Cook Airlines. Earlier in his career he served as a pilot for Lufthansa.
Laura Wilson has been appointed as Fred Holidays sales and product manager for the brand’s newly-launched worldwide tour and package offering. Wilson leaves her position as business development manager for Fred Olsen Travel where she led the Fred Cruise and Travel Norwich Airport brands. Prior to joining Fred Olsen Travel, she spent seven years at CMV where she held different positions, including national sales manager within the trade sales team. Fred Olsen sells North American and East Coast product.
Explore St. Louis has named Catherine Neville as its new vice president of communications A well-known figure in the St. Louis area, Neville joins the organization from the Hermann Farm and Museum in the area, where she was chief curator. Previously, Neville was producer and host of a television show, tasteMakers. Prior to that, she was publisher of Feast Magazine, where she spent more than 11 years.
Travel Wisconsin has openings for a social media manager and an industry services manager. Deadline for submitting an application is March 14 for the social media manager position, and March 16 for the industry services manager job. More details here.
From SearchWide Global:
—The Manistee County Visitors Bureau in Michigan, is searching for a new executive director. More details here.
—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 detailshere.
—The Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking a new chief financial officer. More detailshere.
—Visit El Paso is searching for a director of marketing and communications. More detailshere.
—Visit Greater Palm Springs has an opening for a vice president of sales. More detailshere.
—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.
—The Space Coast Office of Tourism in Florida is seeking a deputy director. 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.
—The Colorado Tourism Office Communications is looking for a senior manager. 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.
—AEG Worldwide is searching for a director touring – operations in Los Angeles. More details here.
—New England Excursions has an opening for a tour guide. More details here.
—Sun Shine and Blue Water Travel in Orlando is looking for a travel guide. More details here.
—Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism is searching for a tourism assistant director. More details here.
—There is an opening for a tour guide at the Carolina Polo and Carriage in South Carolina. More details here.
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