Fritz Joussen (left), who has led TUI, Europe’s largest tour operator, for nearly a decade, has announced that he is stepping down from his position as CEO effective at the end of September. He will be succeeded by current Chief Financial Officer Sebastian Ebel, an experienced TUI veteran of 24 years. Before he was appointed CFO in 2021, Ebel served on the company’s executive board, taking charge of growth across various sectors.
Joussen joined the leadership team at TUI in 2013, following a lengthy career at Vodafone where he was chief executive from 2003 to 2012. An engineer by training, he became a software developer in the USA. He spent 22 years in the telecommunications industry before joining TUI. During the COVID-19 virus and crisis, Joussen was credited with keeping TUI afloat and in a leadership posture. It was unclear, amidst all of the credits and praise he has received since announcing his departure from TUI, whether he will stay professionally active, as he is but 59 years old.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which just opened last year and has already become a major tourist attraction in Los Angeles, has announced that Jacqueline Stewart, currently the attraction’s chief artistic and programming officer, has been named director and president. She takes over later this month from Bill Kramer, who has been named chief executive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, succeeding Dawn Hudson. Stewart, who joined the museum in January 2021 before its opening that year, is a leading film historian, scholar and archivist who taught American film history at the University of Chicago, with a specialty in African American cinema, as well as the first Black host of Turner Classic Movies’ “Silent Sunday Nights,” which spotlights silent films. A MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient, Stewart was raised on Chicago’s South Side. She received her BA from Stanford University and her PhD from the University of Chicago.
Rob Lyons has started a new position as vice president, group sales & tourism strategy, at Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. Lyons has been a part of the company—one of the most recognizable sporting event venues in the United States—since early 2009. He began his career there some 14 years ago as an event presentation production assistant.
Gathan Borden has been appointed senior vice president marketing and communications at Destinations International. He joins the organization from VisitLEX in Lexington, Kentucky, where he is vice president of marketing and where he has served for more than seven years. He has overseen the advertising, branding, marketing, public relations, social media, visitor services and web strategies for the city of Lexington as it relates to travel and tourism. Borden is a 15-year veteran of the tourism industry, having spent time at Louisville Tourism in Louisville, Kentucky in various marketing roles, before accepting the role of vice president of marketing at VisitLEX.
Jill Kidder has left her post as president and CEO of Louisiana Travel Association, where she served for almost six years, and is now the CEO of Visit Baton Rouge. She replaces Paul Arrigo, who announced he plans to retire in September after 20 years leading Visit Baton Rouge.
Attraction World Group has made a number of senior appointments as part of a restructuring of its commercial team a year after its acquisition by Ten Oceans Private Equity. Among them is the naming of Isabel Beckermann (left), head of client success, as commercial director to oversee the group’s product supply and distribution strategy and strengthen links between the two. Also, Phillipa Standley, will move to a new role in the business as head of theme parks and USA partnerships to allow the group to forge ahead with contracting plans and expansion of its product range.
Lufthansa City Center (LCC) Reisebüropartner GmbH—the network of travel agencies and its own 23 stores—has announced that Thomas Klein has signed off and is taking charge of finance the franchise network. Klein is well known in the German tourism industry. He was CEO and CFO of tour operator Berge & Meer. He left the company shortly afterwards it was sold be TUI. LCC It brings together over 500 agencies worldwide (presence in 85 countries), 270 of which are based in Germany.
Nick Leonti has been named director of tourism development at the Port of Seattle. He comes to the organization from Visit California, where he was public relations manager. His tourism resumé includes a tenure of more than 15 years with Visit Sacramento, where he was director of tourism.
Katie Harber has joined Aurora Expeditions, where the former head of business development for Tradewind Voyages takes up the role of business development manager as part of the expedition cruise company’s plans to bolster its UK team. Harber will join the existing UK team of managing director Jos Dewing and BDM James Turner, and she brings experience from her previous roles with Tradewind Voyages, P&O Cruises and Shore Excursions.
Beverly Nicholson-Doty, a long-time veteran in tourism public relations in the Greater Miami area, has been appointed CEO of Figment Design, the Miami-based marketing and advertising agency. Nicholson-Doty, a former chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, has more than three decades of executive leadership experience, having served most recently as CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. During her career, she also served as commissioner of tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism from 2007 to 2018.
Harry Taylor, a former JTA sales manager, has joined The Travel Corporation as sales and business development manager. He’ll be taking care of Contiki, Costsaver, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. Taylor joined JTA in 2018 but during the pandemic he worked as a Covid testing operative for five months, and also as a car salesperson for six months, before returning to JTA. Previously, Taylor served a brief tenure with Saga Holidays.
EJ King has been named manager, social media, at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. In his new role, social King is responsible for overseeing the voice and message of the ACVB across all social media platforms, and for showcasing Atlanta as a top destination for business and leisure travel while ensuring content adheres to brand standards. He will also support sales and convention services to raise awareness for upcoming events. Previously, King served as lead brand ambassador for Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.
Visit Salt Lake recently named global marketing veteran Tyler Gosnell as its new chief brand and marketing officer, responsible for helping to develop Salt Lake’s brand image and increase public perception through cohesive brand narratives and strategic marketing campaigns. Gosnell has led global brand and marketing programs for leading destination marketing organizations including Visit California and San Francisco Travel, and has most recently been a key member of the destination management and marketing team at the Royal Commission for AlUla in Saudi Arabia.
Christian Lesjak will be the new sales director at Condor effective September 1, 2022 and will be responsible for partnerships with tour operators, travel agencies and cruise lines. He reports directly to Ralf Teckentrup and succeeds Paul Schwaiger, who left Condor in order to focus on other tasks. Lesjak is currently responsible for network planning and development at Finnair. He is already familiar with the German market from various positions at several airlines.
In the wake of the announcement late last month by Fritz Joussen that he was stepping down as CEO of TUI, there might have been a tendency on the part of those who cover the travel trade to overlook another significant development at TUI—that is, the news that the company’s tour operations and airlines chief, David Burling, has had his TUI contract extended ahead of schedule by two years until May 2026. He has worked for the company in various roles for more than 30 years after starting his career at Thomson Holidays in 1990. Burling was instrumental in the merger with First Choice in 2007 before heading TUI UK and Ireland for four years—until 2015 when he joined the overall executive board.
Vertical Travel Group has appointed a new general manager, Chris Richmond, for its trade sales divisions to oversee its Bedbank.com, Amathus Holidays and VillasforTravel.com brands. Richmond was previously reservations manager for Amathus, the group’s Greece and Cyprus specialist operator. Prior to joining Vertical in October 2021, Richmond, who has more than 25 years of industry experience, worked in corporate travel at CWT for six years and had a short stint as call center manager for Biblio Travel.
Donna Jeavons is leaving The Travel Corporation (TTC) at the end of August to join Abercombie & Kent in September. Currently she is managing director for the UK and Europe, TTC Tour Brands. Jeavons, managing director of UK and Europe for TCC, said: “After eight fantastic years at TTC, it is time for a new challenge and I’m excited for my new role, but I leave behind a brilliant UK and Europe sales and marketing team, who I will miss very much and that I know will take the brands from strength to strength in this important market.”
Air Canada Vacations has announced the promotion of Ana Paula De Souza to the position of director of sales. De Souza, who has been with the company for more than 15 years, was most recently national manager of corporate sales. In her role, she will be responsible for the development of the national sales strategy, as well as growing various lines of business and increasing distribution channels. Led by De Souza, Air Canada Vacations’ sales team now consists of Christine Faulkner, Erminia Nigro, Marigold Frontuna, Marco Gagnon and Matthew Djorsev.
Dustin Arnheim, senior vice president of sales and customer experience at Visit Baltimore, where he has served for three years, is leaving the organization to join Choose Chicago. Previously, he was with Visit Indy for nearly a dozen years, lastly as senior director of sales.
At Travel South USA, Angelica deStefano (left) has been promoted to the position of senior manager, industry communications & events, and Catherine Li has been promoted to manager, global partner programs. DeStefano joined the organization more than five-and-a-half years ago from YourDailyTech, where she was editor. Li’s past experiences include serving as an academic adviser at the University of Nebraska, a market coordinator at H&R Block, and an intern at Nebraska State Attorney’s General.
From SearchWide Global:
—The City of Vacaville, California is searching for an executive director for its Downtown Vacaville. More details here.
—Visit Williamsburg has an opening for a chief marketing officer. More details here.
—Visit Walla Walla (“Where wine, culture and the beauty of the outdoors meet”) are searching for an executive director. More details here.
—The Fredericksburg (Texas) Convention and Visitors Bureau is recruiting for a new president and CEO. More details here.
—Visit Dallas has an opening for a director of the Film & Creative Industries Office. More details here.
—The Pacific County Tourism Bureau, which serves the Washington coast and Long Beach Peninsula and Pacific County, is looking for an executive director. More details here.
—Visit Vancouver WA is searching for a director of group sales. More details here.
—The Los Angeles Convention Center is recruiting for a new general manager. More details here.
—Visit Bath, in Virginia, is seeking a president and CEO. More details here.
—The Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau is searching for a president & CEO. More details here.
—Discover Santa Clara™ is searching for a chief executive officer. More details here.
—The Orange County Convention Center, site of the recent IPW 2022 in Orlando, has an opening for a deputy director. More details here.
—Longwoods International, a tourism industry leader in marketing, advertising and public opinion research, is searching for a senior vice president. More details here.
—The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a new vice president of marketing. More details here.
—Santa Monica Travel & Tourism has an opening for a new director of communications. More details here.
—Discover Santa Clara is looking for a new CEO. More details here.
—The National Comedy Center has an opening for a director of marketing and communications. More details here.
—The Muncie Visitors Bureau is looking for an executive director. More details here.
—Visit Greenville SC is searching for a president and CEO. More details here.
—Visit Tulsa is recruiting for an SVP-president, Tulsa Regional Tourism. More details here.
—The Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau has an opening for a vice president of marketing and communications. More details here.
—Visit Albuquerque is searching for a vice president of sales. More details here.
—Visit Wichita is searching for a new vice president of sales. More details here.
—The Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking a new chief financial officer. 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 sample of some of those jobs currently listed.
—New York City-based USA Guided Tours is searching for a tour guide in the New York City area. More details here.
—Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation looking for a senior director, communications. Job is based in Los Angeles, but reporting to the senior vp, marketing & communications. More details here.
—Santa Monica Travel & Tourism has an opening for a communications manager. More details here.
—Visit Seattle is recruiting for a coordinator, partnership and tourism. Location is also hybrid. More details here.
—The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a creative copywriter. More details here.
—Tourism Australia has an opening for a director of public relations-North America. Job is in Los Angeles (hybrid). More details here.
—Epsilon is looking for someone to lead selling activities for the LATM, Central America, and Canadian territories with the tourism vertical. Job is remote. More details here.
—The Fruit Company in Hood River, Oregon is recruiting for a tourism manager. More details here.
—There is an opening for a senior manager of social media currently available at Visit Florida. More details here.
—The Wisconsin Department of Tourism is searching for an Industry Marketing and Partner Relations Manager. The position is headquartered at the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s office in Madison, Wisconsin. More details here.
—Argonaut, a Noble House Hotel, has an opening for an area managing director in San Francisco. Click here for more details.
—Travel Wisconsin has an opening for a visual production specialist. More details here.
Have a job opening that you would like to post on INBOUND? Just mail it to us at [email protected].