Diamonds Found Once Again

Royal Hideaway Playacar in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has earned AAA's coveted Five-Diamond Award

Five-Diamond Award
From left: Jean Agarrista, Erminio Barzon
Canche and Tony Perrone

Royal Hideaway Playacar, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, has earned the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) coveted Five-Diamond Award, presented during a ceremony held at the resort on Feb. 21. Managing director Jean Agarrista (left) and chef Erminio Barzon Canche (center) accepted the award from Tony Peronne (right), vice-president of AAA in Mexico and the Caribbean. Occidental Hotels & Resorts’ all-inclusive resort was the first adults-only all-inclusive resort in the world to earn this distinction last year.



Debbie Hogan
BIVB appoints new senior director of sales
George Applegate, executive director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB), has announced Debbie Hogan as the new senior director of sales. Hogan will be based in BIVB’s Waikoloa office and will oversee sales initiatives for the domestic and international conventions, meetings and incentive markets (CMI), in addition to spearheading international leisure sales initiatives.

“It’s a dream come true to be able to bring my skills back ‘home’ to the Big Island, and help increase the revenue, expand the market and proactively initiate and collaborate on the sales visions for Hawaii,” said Hogan.

Hogan has more than 20 years experience in the Hawaii hospitality industry. She has worked with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and BIVB special committees and most recently served as director of sales for the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa.

“I feel we have made the very best choice for this important position. Debbie’s considerable experience will be instrumental in helping BIVB achieve our goals and objectives. And her passion for, and knowledge of, Hawaii Island is the icing on the cake,” said Applegate.



Terry L. Thorton
Promotion at Sea
Terry L. Thornton has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing planning for Carnival Cruise Lines.

Thornton will oversee the revenue management and strategic marketing departments. Additionally, Thornton is responsible for supervising ship deployment and itinerary planning for the Carnival Cruise Lines’ 22-ship fleet, as well as vessels under construction, which includes three scheduled for delivery over the next three years.

Thornton first joined Carnival in 1989 and is a cruise-industry veteran of more than 30 years. Thornton’s previous positions were in the marketing and finance divisions of Norwegian Cruise Line, Sea Goddess and Windstar Cruises.

“Terry has made tremendous contributions to the Carnival organization over the past 19 years and he is a valued and instrumental member of the company’s management team,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “His promotion is well deserved.”



Perry Lungmus
Travcoa Chooses Lungmus
Perry Lungmus has been appointed director of sales and business development at luxury travel operator Travcoa, where he brings more than 20 years of travel sales and marketing experience as well as travel agent relationships.

“Perry has proven expertise in developing and implementing sales strategies for luxury travel companies,” said Travcoa president Randy Durband. “We’re excited to have someone with his knowledge of the travel agency community leading our sales and business development initiatives.”

Most recently, Lungmus was director of marketing for Cruise West. Prior to that position, he spent almost 10 years at Virtuoso and also spent eight years as the director of sales for Abercrombie & Kent.